Storylines: Speaking Tips from Country Music Superstars
It’s the summer concert season, with artists and bands of all vintages and genres taking to the stage. Anyone who gives presentations – even those who may not care for country music – would be smart to take in a country show.
Country music enthusiasts are known for being extremely loyal. Having just watched Kenney Chesney, Keith Urban and three other acts entertain a stadium full of raving fans (what company or exec these days doesn’t want ‘raving fans’?), I saw a dramatic difference from most rock and pop concerts in how their performances were staged. It helped to explain why country stars are so beloved.
To begin with, a huge runway with two side stages extended far into the audience. The performers spent much of their time out there, within just a few feet of the fans. And they were not shy about reaching out to the crowd, slapping hands, signing autographs and posing for selfies – all in the middle of their concerts.
Interestingly, I noticed that a recent country music awards TV show was staged very differently than the staid Academy Awards. Rather than stroll down an aisle past other politely applauding celebrities, the country stars strutted past real fans who were just as excited as the artists.
Country fans are so loyal because country stars make it a point to authentically connect with them. Think about your business presentations. Do you hide behind the podium and a deck of dense slides? Or do you break down barriers and actually connect with your audiences?
Today, people quickly tune out poor performances. As a presenter, you must be able to reach out to audience members, engage them and keep their interest if your message is to be heard.
Check out our 10-point presentation evaluation to see how you and your team perform.
You may not be able to sing and dance, but you can steal a few techniques from the country music world that will help you strike a chord with your audiences.