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So, what makes you want to be “Behind the Mic?” Actually, there’s so much more to that than just a place to stand, right? You’re behind the mic because you want attention and I assume the attention you want is positive?!
So, what made you make the decision to be an “entertainer?”
Actually, there’s so much more to that than talking into the mic and trying to be witty. Isn’t there?
Well then, what made you want to become a “DJ?” Is it simply because you have the spotlight on you? That light is great because it bathes our egos. It can also “burn” the ego too. There is nothing like being up in front of a group of people and they are all looking at you because you say something like: “Hi, my name is Dave and I’m here today with all of you to help Eric and Denise celebrate their decision to get married!” No response. Hear the crickets chirping? Ugh. At this very moment, you will establish your rapport with that audience. You will define your participation. Squirming yet?
Ooh, ooh, pick me! (I’m raising my own hand here!!!) We need the positive feedback and it’s so amazing when we get it. Isn’t it? There is nothing like the hug from a client for a job well done. Right? What?! You’re not getting any? I wonder why? Maybe we can figure it out.
This business demands that we have a strong spine and an iron will. It also demands that we be flexible and understanding. It’s a conundrum. If a client is happy with your performance, you’ll get glowing feedback. While that’s nice, it’s not the best teaching moment. The real teaching moments are those where you feel REALLY uncomfortable with what the client is telling you. You may feel so uncomfortable that you strike out at them verbally and build a brick wall of defense around you. You know what? That’s the worst thing you can do.
I’m not saying that when a client is not happy with your performance that it’s all your fault, but you do own some of it. The question is “How much?”
We are given plenty of rope. The only question is how much to you need to really do a good job hanging yourself. Does the mic give you permission to be anything other than a good businessman? Does the mic give you the power to abuse people because they don’t agree with you? What power does the mic give you?
It’s an awesome responsibility. Not everyone can use it. Most people will run away from you when you ask them a question with a mic in your hand. Ask that same question without the mic, they most likely will spend some time talking with you. That is a pretty big difference.
What do you think the audience is thinking about you as they watch you speak to them? There may be a THOUSAND different thoughts flying around: “Oh no, a wedding DJ,” “His shirt is wrinkled,” “He’s slouching,” “Wow, he’s fat.” Well the good news is you’ll never hear any of those thoughts. They may never have been created, but you most likely did think of a few. The best advice I’ve ever heard about speaking in public? “Never mind what people think about you, because they DON’T”
That doesn’t mean don’t care about what they think, just don’t try to think for them. I don’t know about you, but I have enough trouble thinking for myself.
The microphone, it wields a lot of power. A verbal sword if you will. Don’t abuse it.
Next time: What does your voice sound like to others?
Dave Winsor can be reached at

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