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A lesson from Elton John

Kathryn Janicek Image

Elton John finally made his way back to Chicago.

This was a show originally scheduled for 2020.

Like a lot of concerts, it was delayed because of the pandemic.

As the months passed, I didn’t think he would actually make it back.

As you may know, Sir Elton recently had COVID.

Was he going to be too nervous being in a big crowd again? Would he be fully recovered?

Instead, what I witnessed was a man who put every ounce of his being into the show.

From the first second to the last – he had endless energy.

He was like a kid.

And so were each one of the band members.

Many of whom are in their 70s.

But each one acted like they were… maybe 25.

So much energy and so much enthusiasm.

These legends have been playing on stages worldwide for decades.

We all would have been fine if they phoned it in.

But instead, they played like they were still earning our respect as musicians.

They genuinely acted like they were excited to be there.

Elton waved to the crowd for 2 1/2 hours like he was your grandpa and you were driving up to his house after he spent two years in quarantine.

Energy. Excitement.

Right from the top, no time wasted.



True professionals.

They get it.

There isn’t time to warm up.

Once you hit the stage, you have to be ready.

To entertain.

To captivate.

This comes up with my clients all the time.

When they first call me, they explain how they were great in the middle of a podcast or another interview, but it took them time to warm up.

But we live in a world where we don’t have time to warm up.

If we don’t catch people right off the top, they will start checking their email or move to a different podcast.

We must captivate and entertain from the top.

Capture the audience and make them want to stick around.

Elton didn’t need to do that.

Nor did his 74-year-old percussionist, who has played for every major act in the world.

Yet, they acted grateful to be on the big stage.

The next time we’re on a stage or in the media – we have to act like we’re grateful to be there and that it’s not old hat.

We have to prepare and be ready on the first beat.

This is not a normal conversation.

This is something that takes a different level of preparation.

That first soundbite has to be a headline.

It has to encapsulate all of the excitement going on in your organization.

It’s an important lesson to learn from these pros.

They’re teaching us night after night, how to perform to make our audience keep coming back for more.

P.S. I had great seats (thanks to my United Center/Chicago Bulls client). If you want to see video from the show, I shared it here on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training for health care professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in health care. Check it out even if you’re not in health care. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.