Full disclosure: I am a die-hard Vertical Horizon fan. So imagine my delight when I discover my favorite band is playing in Scottsdale – and Joe and I are in town!
I’ve been to a half-dozen Vertical Horizon concerts, but this was the absolute best – and I think the same principles apply to making your presentations amazing:
- Make the Venue. The concert was at Livewire, a new club in downtown Scottsdale. It seats about a thousand people, but there was only about 300 people in attendance. I don’t think the PR for the concert was the best, but that worked in our favor as the venue felt incredibly comfortable and intimate.
- Tell a Story. The lead singer, Matt Scannell would share something unique about each song. And when you are in an intimate setting, it felt like he was talking to each of us.
- Engage the Audience. Matt encouraged the audience to interact with him by asking them to sing along, hum a tune or answer a question.
- Vary the Tempo. The playlist wasn’t all rock. They played uptempo, acoustic, and a ballad. The band took us on a journey of highs and lows culminating in their biggest hit, “Everything You Want.”
- Listen to the Audience. At the last minute, Matt added an acoustic segment because I had mentioned that I loved their “old stuff.” – Matt dedicated “The Man Who Would be Santa” adding something like “Thanks to Joe and Kristin Arnold for reminding us that the songs from the past have made us the band we are today.” They also switched out “Broken Over You” for “Save Me From Myself” in honor of the crowd at the front of the stage.
- Mingle with the Audience. Lastly, we felt like a Very Important Person – because we were! A few years ago, Vertical Horizon crowdsourced their new CD, Echoes from the Underground through PledgeMusic. I bought the CD and two VIP backstage passes – so we were able to meet the band before they went on stage. They were really interested in hearing from us and asking great questions about us, what we do and our VH journey. It created a bond between us and them – and ultimately, that’s what made it so special.
You too, can make your speech special by taking a few lessons from Vertical Horizon.