The energy was electric--even though we had been waiting five hours for French DJ David Guetta to come on stage at Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas.
Recently named #65 on Forbes Highest Paid Celebrities, he put on a remarkable performance, and the crowd was captivated. I translated my experience into 7 tips you can use the next time you speak:
1. Location, location, location.
A sunny beach pool in Las Vegas made a delightful venue, but influencing the venue where you speak really matters. Crowded rooms, bland backdrops, and windowless venues will not inspire your audience.
2. Involve your audience.
During one part of Guetta's set, he mutes the speakers to get the audience to sing along. The tune says, "Work hard," then he mutes it as the audience sings the next line, "Play hard." This repeats several times much to the crowd's delight. I have watched far too many leaders talk at their audience as though they were speaking to cardboard cutouts, not real live people. Interact with your audience and involve them.
3. Remember the triple-three rule.
Prepare well. The first three and the last three minutes are the most important parts of any speech. In between, pick just three points you want your audience to remember and plan your talk around that.
4. Go in with a bang.
Guetta led with his music. He didn't start by getting on the mic and saying, "Hello, it is great to be here. I hope the traffic wasn't too bad. Isn't the weather good?" Cut the inane ramblings when you first appear on stage and start with a bang.
5. Leave them wanting more.
Guetta didn't play 30 seconds of every tune he has ever written, clumsily rushing and mixing in everything. He picked his set, stuck with the plan, and left people wanting more. Most leaders cram in too much information when talking internally with their teams, which causes them to rush, cut the wrong topics, and overwhelm their audience. Ruthlessly pick your play list and stick to it.
6. Go out with a bang.
DJs go out with a bang by saving their best tune until last to leave their audience euphoric. Never end a talk with questions. End with your final message and make it memorable.
7. Use technology that works.
Guetta had perfectly timed streamers shooting over the crowd, light shows, and video screens. Nothing was delayed due to technical failures. This is the number-one distraction for internal company presentations and talks. Get technology that works reliably, test it ahead of time, and have a technical expert at the ready.
You may not have your audience dancing and waving with their hands in the air like Guetta does, but follow these tips and you will grab attention, get your message across, and be remembered.