Recently I notified you of a performance I did a few years ago for the San Diego Chapter of the National Speakers Association. Well, it was fantastic!
Earlier that day I gave a keynote speech at the Hilton San Diego Resort to a group of 300 staffing professionals. The theme of their convention was “California Dreaming” and I was the opening speaker. When I was introduced, instead of playing a sound track as they had done for the previous speakers (convention chairman, etc.), once I got to the stage all dressed like a typical speaker in my blue suit, white shirt and tie…they brought me a guitar!
The audience giggled so I said, “OK, if it turns out that I can actually play this thing, will you agree to go nuts with applause?” They laughed and said yes.
Then I started singing and playing California Dreaming by the Mammas & Pappas, and true to our agreement they gave me wild applause. And they sang along.
When I put the guitar down I told a story about the importance of dreams and the need to challenge yourself with bigger dreams.
“If you aren’t a little scared about whether you will succeed then your dreams aren’t big enough.”
I concluded the speech with a repeat of the song and they all joined in the fun. Standing ovation, tons of smiles and a great event all around.
That evening I went to Greg Godek & Karyn Buxman’s home in La Jolla where twenty members of the National Speakers Association had assembled for some fine wine, great food and professional development. It was billed as “Jim Cathcart Un-plugged” and I spoke for about 30 minutes on how my speaking career had evolved over the years. We all discussed how my career transitions and theirs could be handled better. It was a good learning discussion.
Here is a sample of the songs we sang. (Yes, I’m aware that this seriously dates me.)
I believe in Music/ I’d like to teach the world to sing
Don’t Be Cruel
Bye Bye Love
Riding Free (my motorcycling ballad)
Thank the Lord for the Night Time
Blowing in the Wind
Where have all the flowers gone
Fire & Rain
Don’t Think Twice
Folsom Prison / Understand Your Man
His Latest Flame
Leaving on a Jet Plane
All I have to do is Dream
House of the Rising Sun
Little Latin Lupe Lu
Country Roads take me home
I’ve got friends in Low Places
Gentle on my Mind
If I were a Carpenter
Secret Agent Man
Puff the Magic Dragon
We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place
If I had a Hammer
This Land is Your Land
Here’s my question for you:
When is the last time you had a simple and fun “Jam Session” with your people? How about combining some of your business training with a kick back event like this? You could do it Karaoke style if you prefer, or just do a “living room concert” as we did. The net effect is a great sense of camaraderie and happiness all around. And it takes very little planning or staging.
Find your song, create an opportunity and let the music flow! If you want me to be your musical performer, let me know. http://GuitarMusicLive.com