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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Garth Brooks Approach to Keeping the Audience in the Palm of Your Hand!

So we all know there is only two kinds of music...country and western. I love this article from Carmine...enjoy.

5 Ways to Deliver a Presentation Garth Brooks Style

Jul. 26 2011 - 12:10 pm | 614 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment
Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks in Concert
My wife and I recently returned from Las Vegas where we attended a Garth Brooks performance at the Wynn hotel.  I had no intention of writing a column about it.  I’m not a music critic, after all.  But after watching Garth captivate a crowd for nearly two-and-a-half hours with no band and just an acoustic guitar, I realized that I had not watched a “concert.”  Instead I had witnessed a magnificent presentation of his “product”—his songs.  I also realized that the way this showman delivered his material carries valuable lessons for communicators in any field.  Here are 5 ways to deliver your next presentation Garth Brooks style.
Provide an education. Garth’s fans expected to hear his hits.  But Garth gave them something more—an education in contemporary music history.  He sang his first big hit–Much too young to feel this damn old—to open the show but then surprised us by saying, “This isn’t where it began.  It began in the 1960s when I was the youngest of six children…” For the next portion of the show Garth talked about the early country influences on his life as well as the other genres and popular music that influenced his music.  He played songs from Simon & Garfunkel, Don McLean, Elton John, James Taylor and others.  He would then demonstrate how he added a layer to those styles to write his hits.  “If you take Bob Seeger, add George Strait country lyrics, you get ‘Thunder Rolls,’” Garth said as he started playing one of his most popular songs.
Your audience expects you to talk about your product or service.  Surprise them by giving them an education as well.
Tell stories. Garth set up each song with stories.  The stories were mostly personal anecdotes about growing up in Oklahoma, his parents, and early memories of playing in bars.  But he also told many stories about how certain songs were developed or why they were written the way they were.  Stories are emotional.  Stories connect a performer with his or her audience.
If you want to really connect in a meaningful way with your audience—tell more stories.
Balance humor and drama. Speaking of stories, Garth perfectly balanced humor and drama.  Some stories had the audience buckling over with laughter while others left the audience in tears.  Some were hilarious, others touching, sometimes both.  Garth told the story of the first time he met one of his idols, James Taylor (one of Garth’s daughters, Taylor, is named after the musician).  They were slated to perform a song together.  During a brief rehearsal, Garth was so star-struck he could hardly remember the words to “Sweet Baby James.” The audience was in stitches as Garth demonstrated how he kept choking.  He then slowed down his delivery, lowered his voice and recounted how Taylor stood up, walked over to Garth, gave him a hug, sat back down, picked up his guitar and started the song again.  This time Garth remembered the words.  Very touching.
Tell stories but remember to blend drama and humor.
Encourage audience participation. Garth encouraged the audience to sing along with many of his songs.  He also asked the audience what they wanted to hear and took spontaneous requests.
Don’t just “present” to your audience.  Include them.
Express joy. It was clear that Garth loves music, period.  The genre hardly matters to him.  When he talked about the music that inspired him, Garth had a smile a mile wide.
Your audience is giving you permission to be passionate.  It’s okay to express the joy you have for a company, a person, a product, or a service.  Be genuine, of course.  But be joyful.
Carmine Gallo is the communications coach for the world’s most admired brands. He is a popular keynote speaker and author of several books including the bestsellers, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. His new book, The Power of Foursquare, will be released by McGraw-Hill in October, 2011 Follow him on Twitter: carminegallo

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