Speakers dream of being rock stars – idolized by their fans, playing to big houses and selling lots of “merch.”
But there are highs and lows.
I attended the Lady Gaga show this past week in St. Paul. She was great. Let’s look at the parallels to speaking.
1. At the start of the show, the lights went off and the fans exploded. Even though she wasn’t even on stage yet. Anticipation. She had it in spades. Does your audience have the same sense of pent-up emotion waiting for you?
2. She enters with an entourage of dancers and singers –while sitting on a mechanical unicorn. That’s an entrance. How do you enter the stage? How does the audience see you?
3. She gave a great show. She was warm, personable and authentic. Are you?
4. The next morning, I woke up with “earworms” of her songs in my head. Can your audience members remember your keepers?
5. She put on a great show and everyone left happy except for the review. Don’t listen to everything reviewers and naysayers offer. Often, they are not worth the effort. You play for fans, not the reviewers.
Now the Bad – from the reviewer.
1. She was singing songs from an old album. Do your oldies stand the test of time? (I thought he was nuts to write this. We love hearing old Springsteen songs.)
2. She’s not “relevant” any longer as evidenced by not being invited to the Grammies. Are you relevant? Or are you delivering a message that is out of touch?
Looking at Friday’s preview of the Grammies, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt were not nominated for any awards. A new generation of artists has grabbed the spotlight.
Speaking has never been an easy business. Now you know you have to keep current or risk being run over by new people with new thoughts.
Don’t take this article as a downer. Take it as a signal to step up your game.