Public Speaking Tip from a Karaoke Bar

Last Friday night, I enjoyed the music scene in Nashville and went to both a Karaoke Bar and a blues bar.   While the Karaoke bar was an interesting novelty, I left after about 30 minutes.

By contrast, I didn’t want to leave the blues bar and only did so when I remembered that I had to get up early the next morning. Of course, a major part of the reason why was the quality of the performers. Performing at the blues bar was Josh Garrett and the Bottom Line, a magnificent blues band. The joint was rockin’.

But comparing them to the Karaoke singers, you really got a strong sense of the importance of connection with the audience. Even the best Karaoke singers had no connection with the audience. They were up there reading the words from the Karaoke machine. More importantly,  the experience was for the singers.  It like they were on an “American Idol” ride at a theme park. The goal was for the singers to have a great time.

Contrast that with the professional blues performers. For them, it was all about the audience. They were connecting with the audience from the start, doing everything they could do ensure that everyone in the audience had a good time. Of course there was eye contact. But more than that, there was an audience-centered attitude that everyone in the joint appreciated.

And we were all happy to pay for that connection.

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