Send in the Clowns

What are your thoughts about getting up on stage with a live audience? For many, it is an absolute terror. Walking on stage takes courage and an ability to laugh at yourself every once in a while.

My first stage experience was playing the piano for a grade school talent show. My knees trembled; but, at the conclusion, I heard that sound – applause.

Effort + Results = Applause

I was hooked. Since then, there were performances ranging from major events to dive karaoke. There were times of successes and mess-ups for the world to see.

I’ve spoken to small and large audiences across the land and once had a former U.S. President comment, “I enjoyed your remarks.” I even gave a losing answer on the TV game show Family Feud – bummer. A live audience, with immediate feedback, can be exhilarating.

However, the most challenging audience was performing as a leader in the corporate world. I trust many will remember my sense of humor; however, all is for naught, if there were no results – team results on a professional and personal level.

As a leader and/or sales professional, you are on stage and life is a constant audition.

Whether intentional or not, you will have a direct impact on those you work with 24/7. There is no clowning around with that kind of responsibility. Let’s build people up. A sense of appropriate humor and accomplishments will go a long way in developing a cohesive team.

This evening will be my first shot with an “improv” techniques-based business group – ‘Pitch Lab.’ Will I get to clown around? Will I choke if they call me out to participate? Maybe so, but that’s the point. It is meant to be a learning environment. What techniques can I learn to improve my message delivery?

Life is too short not to have some fun. I love clowning around but, remember, we all benefit from results. A useless clown is a scary clown. Don’t be that clown.

Thanks for listening and feel free to share with “that guy.”

Previously published on LinkedIn

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