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Speech and Living Room Concert in La Jolla


By Jim Cathcart

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.
And then……

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.
And then……

I picked up my guitar, as promised, and played songs we all knew. After 38 songs! I was exhausted and happily hoarse. We all had a wonderful time and vowed to do it again soon.

Here is a sample of the songs we sang. (Yes, I’m aware that this seriously dates me.)

California Dreaming

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

Solitary Man

Sweet Caroline

Blowing in the Wind

Where have all the flowers gone

American Pie

Fire & Rain

Don’t Think Twice

Folsom Prison / Understand Your Man

His Latest Flame

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Bird Dog

All I have to do is Dream

House of the Rising Sun

Proud Mary

GLORIA

Little Latin Lupe Lu

Louie Louie

Country Roads take me home

I’ve got friends in Low Places

Surfing USA

Gentle on my Mind

Rhinestone Cowboy

If I were a Carpenter

Secret Agent Man

Suspicious Minds

Puff the Magic Dragon

We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place

If I had a Hammer

This Land is Your Land

Hotel California

If I’d had enough voice and energy left we could have done 100 more songs. As you can see from the photo, the women in the audience responded especially well. 🙂

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

Jim Cathcart