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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM FERUARY 2010
Welcome to Las Vegas. What an amazing city totally centered around separating you from your money. Damn good at it too. While you’re in Vegas, you’ll most likely take in a few seminars. I love a good seminar. I’m thankful to learn something new. I really pay attention to the speaker and how they use emotion and feeling to get a point across. How about you? Are you as polished at speaking?
It has to be one of the most overlooked aspects of being a mobile DJ. If I’m wrong, please email me and let me know. How much training and guidance have you had? If you have had some, is it ongoing? Why or why not? It’s not as sexy as the lights you’ll see, or the great new speaker technology, but it will have more impact than those things.
Have you ever played “60 seconds of Hell?” I created this game when I was an Adjunct Professor of Broadcast Journalism so that I could teach my students how to ad-lib. Here’s how you play: Gather a bunch of DJs in a room. Select one to leave the room for a moment. While that person is out of the room, agree on a topic. Invite the person back into the room and someone gets ready to time it. Tell them they have sixty seconds to speak about “TOPIC” and GO! Watch what happens. It may seem like you would find it easy, but a couple of things take place. You exhaust the topic in the first:30 because you are reciting facts, or you can’t string together enough thought to make it past 20 seconds. The group will let you know as soon as you’ve exhausted your knowledge of the topic and call TIME. It’s great to do. Try it. My class thought they’d ask me to do it. I said “sure” and left the room. I heard a lot of yelling and laughing. They invited me back in and gave me my topic.
Tampons. Really! I launched right into what I knew about them, and I also created a couple of funny asides and was still cruising right along when they called “SIXTY SECONDS!” but I kept going and had them all laughing. Wanna know what I did differently? I told a story instead of reciting facts. It was a riot. We still play that game.
So, did you learn anything? Can you pull this off? Have someone pick a topic for you. Try it at the bar. That will be funny.
So, telling a story. How good are you at doing it? I recommend that you take the opportunity to reach third or fourth graders at a local school. This will be a tough group to read to. They know their stories and they expect them to be read well. I do it every chance I get. Better yet, go to the local Children’s Hospital and volunteer to read to the kids there. It will be different trust me. Reading to kids at school will fill you with pride. Reading to a child with a life-threatening illness is full of emotions. The kids really benefit from something different while they are on the ward. The parents will love the focus to be off their child’s medical situation and on something fun. When you look into the eyes of that child, you will be changed forever. I guarantee it. You may feel great at the end of the reading, and ask if you can return to read again. They will say yes, but there is the chance the child won’t be there the next time you return. It’s the chance we take to grow. We open our hearts. We allow that emotion to settle in and sometimes it can be very unsettling. No matter what happens, I really enjoy the hug around the neck I get from the parents and the kids. Something else happens when you volunteer. You get noticed. You get asked back. You are seen as someone who is not afraid to walk into difficult situations and shine.
Have you learned anything today from this column? Do you have room to grow and learn or are you stuck in an old pattern of living. Push your limits. Get uncomfortable. Challenge yourself. Enjoy Vegas. Meet some new friends. Don’t sit on 16!!