Engaging your audience

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Tell me what I’m doing wrong
June 1, 2011
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June 16, 2011

I have mentioned in previous blogs, that I was a full time musician in my twenties and after a long time away, got back into it about a year ago. I have a house gig at Nattie’s in Port Credit every Saturday from 2- 6 PM with my band www.treeoh.com. Sorry, couldn’t help but put in a little plug. 

The reason I’m referencing this, is I had a little reboot on what’s really important to an audience. My example pertains to entertainment but I believe the same holds true for anyone you’re trying to engage. In our case, we were playing on the south side of Lakeshore, next to the double doors to the outdoor patio. Doors that are wide open during nicer weather. A neighbour in an apartment building on the north side of Lakeshore called to complain about how loud the music was. How he heard us over the traffic I don’t know, as Lakeshore is a main drag. The guy’s name was Dave.

It started off pretty harmless. An invitation to join us, announced over the PA system, working his name into songs, Move it on over Dave, Mustang Davey etc. Grade 5 kind of humour. The interesting thing is that the bar regulars knew Dave and the bartender who took the complaint call was literally on the floor laughing every time we made some sort of a reference. We worked it for a whole set and carried it a bit into the next set. When new people entered the bar, we filled them in on the running joke…everyone warmed up to the band and we all shared some laughs, at Dave’s expense.

The point?  It wasn’t canned patter perfected with time, it fed off something happening right then and there and it resonated with the audience. There is something genuine about that kind of communication. So my revelation is, whether you are a truck driver communicating with a receiver, a sales person connecting with a new client or a service representative dealing with a customer complaint; take a chance, have some fun, move away from the standard patter, listen and react to what’s going on at that precise moment. Make it real and plough some new ground. It can haul you out of the mundane and bring the person you’re speaking with along with you.

Lee’s quote for the day

If salt were communication then pepper should be spontaneity. Like your diet, a little less salt and a little more pepper is the best way to go. :)


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