"How To Make
Music Networking Events?"
know how to make a Showcase or record launch,
a Show Biz party, work for you?
tells all with a little help from Debra Fine~
you Really know how to make the most of it?
Do you dread
music receptions, banquets, and other
music, recording and business-related social events?
Does attending another
Show Case or Record Launch make you want to run inside your
bedroom and lock the door? You’re not alone. Many of us are apprehensive about these
music business situations, because most of us either hate entering rooms where we don’t know anyone or hate spending time with
music people we don’t know well. Keeping a conversation going during such occasions is an ordeal.
Everyone learns the technical skills required for
music, recording, publishing, but not everyone places importance on conversational skills. The ability to talk easily with anyone is a learned skill, not a personality trait. Acquiring it will help you develop rapport with
other music people and leave a positive impression that lasts longer than an exchange of business
cards or Email addresses.
By far the best place to learn talking
skills is at 'Toastmasters
International' - a world wide circle of
folk interested in talking, whether
making speeches or simple presentations
... or just being able to hold a
conversation. I advise everyone who will listen to
join your local Toastmasters Chapter
.... check out your nearest at http://www.toastmasters.org/..
It is non profit making, they meet every
second Wednesday 7pm to 9pm ... you will
meet astonishing people and become a
speaking force to reckon with.
tips music guys can use to improve their small-talk skills:
Be the first to say hello!
Toastmasters or your local Chamber of Commerce
they teach you that the first 30 secs. is the
most important when you are introduced to
someone. Work out a good 30 secs. that
brings over who you are, what you do in the
music business, and the
fact that you are a nice guy to talk with. You
should work hard on this 30 sec. presentation
and hone it to perfection.
Act as if you’re the host and introduce new arrivals to your conversational partner or partners.
I have seen
guys totally take over functions and gatherings
using this technique .. so that the punters think he is someone to
reckon with ... it's simple ....just do it.
You can look like you are in charge of the
whole music function.
Smile first and always shake hands when you meet anyone.
The smile is
the most important bit. so long as you
have teeth to die for....well have you?
firm quality hand shake impresses...but never
shake a hand too hard, just enough ...
especially with the ladies ... and don't forget,
in today's 'lovey' world it is expected of a
confident man that he kisses a lady on both
cheeks ... that is the real world of ' Show
Take your time during introductions!
Make an extra effort to remember names, and use them frequently in the conversation.
trick for remembering names is to repeat it
three times immediately you are introduced
...... "Dec this is David Stelling"
..... "David Stelling, what a great name,
David have you met these nice folk I am talking
with...... David, let me introduce
every time, and you will be surprised how you
remember the name even when you meet three weeks
later at another music or recording function.
Maintain eye contact in any conversation. Many people in a group of three or more people look around in the hope that others will maintain eye contact on our behalf. But people don’t feel listened to if you’re not looking at them.
International really teach you how to maintain
eye contact ... so important. Don't you
just hate it when you are talking with someone
and they are constantly scanning over your
shoulders to see someone of more importance in
the music business?
contact is singularly the most confidence
building trick there is...whether you are in
conversation or delivering a speech or music presentation to 300 or 30,000 people.
Check out the 'biggies' like George Bush [love
him, or hate him ... he's the best at eye
Get somebody to talk about why they’re attending the event, and you are on your way to engaging them in conversation.
some people, in the music industry, of whom it
can be said: "if the letter 'I' was
missing off their computer they couldn't write a
letter". In other words, they
simply have no conversation other than talking
on using the words 'you'. 'we', 'they',
'us'. Even if you cannot avoid saying 'I',
there is always a way of turning the phrase
around to mean the same thing but doesn't use
the word 'I'.
it ... next Email you write, simply do not use
the word 'I'. Go back over this article
and check how few times I use 'I'. There,
I have given you an excellent secret of writing
well and gaining respect in the music /
recording / publishing / production business.
Listen carefully for information that can keep the conversation going.
don't talk about football and the way 'we'
played this afternoon .... it freaks me out that
so many grown men can feel they are actually
playing with Manchester United ... including my
football is a spectator sport and most people at
a music / recording function are 'doers' and 'participators'
not spectators. I wouldn't know one end of
a football pitch from the other...and strangely,
due to the circles I mix in, I know loads of
ultra famous footballers...and they love it that
I don't bore them with talk of football.
Remember: People want to be with people who make
them feel special, not people who are “special”.
Take responsibility to help people you talk to feel as if they’re the only person in the room.
this point. Everyone, especially in the
music and recording game, loves to be
flattered... "nice tie Charles, I've
always wanted a silk tie that colour...where did
you get it?"
Play the conversation game. When someone asks, “How’s business?” and “What’s going on?” Answer with more than “Pretty good” or “Not much”. Tell more about yourself so that others can learn more about you.
important to steer the conversation back to
them.... if they ask you an 'open ended
question', as above, be sure to finish what you
say with a similar open ended question ... "and
tell me how did you get to be CEO of Sony
International" ... that should keep
him going for an hour?
Be aware of body language. Nervous or ill-at-ease people make others uncomfortable. Act confident and comfortable, even when you’re not.
trick is to always be aware of the way you are
standing, or sitting...ask yourself the
question: "if I was pictured now by a
'Hello' magazine photographer would I look
stunning and glamorous?" In other
words, always 'make pictures' ... in the music
industry, this is as
important on stage as off stage.
the 'art' ... Kevin Woodford [Ready,
Steady, Cook] and Dec .... making
pictures ... you never know when the
camera will click. This time on
Kevin's top rated radio show.
your picture appear in the 'dreadful, off guard
picture' section of the celeb magazine or the
totally glamorous section?
Be prepared. Spend a few minutes before an anticipated event preparing to talk easily about three topics. They will come in handy when you find yourself in the middle of an awkward moment... or while seated at a table of eight where everyone is playing with their food.
Yep, just the
same as doing a radio or TV interview for your
new recording release, have
three fantastic, funny stories ready...each of
Me on the
biggest radio programme in Spain - Mary Harboe
... stories ready
Always use the short one
first. Real, true stories involving
yourself, even if they are stolen from a joke
book or funny story in a newspaper or News
programme. Just putting yourself in the
lead part of the story will make you the most
skilled conversationalist around.
International rate this skill so highly that
they devote a whole instructional book to it.
Show an interest in your conversational partner’s opinion, too. You’re not the only person who has opinions about funding the space program or what will happen to the stock market.
is more annoying than ranting on about your
opinions...leave them at home. No one
wants to hear that Jimmi Hendrix would leave
Brian May standing...that is simply your opinion
... the guy you are talking to may have every
Queen album ever released and a whole wall
devoted to Brian May pictures.
could also be the boss of a very major label
that you would love to have a recording deal with.
Be prepared with exit lines. You need to move around and meet others.
with having the three stories ready, it
is important to have three or four great, fun,
exit lines ..... you will always find
excellent lines in 'One
Minute With Dec', the widest read, weekly,
delivered, music Ezine on the Internet.
Free subscription at www.makehits.co.uk/popup1.asp
Don’t melt from conversations. Make a positive impression by shaking hands and saying goodbye as you leave.
this reinforces the perception that you are the
most important person there. You have to get
around to everyone.
sure of the huge goodbye and if you see a
photographer make sure to grab his attention and
take a photo of your group. Nothing
impresses more and you never know where that
Show Biz photo will turn up....'Hello'
magazine? In fact have a photo taken
with each group you talk with .... eventually
the buzz will go around ... "who is that
guy in the Versace suit with the fantastic tan
... must be someone really big in the
the photo taken - It's
all called: "Being famous before you are
all guys in The
Serious Writers Guild know about this most
important skill....you want to learn it?
purchase the ten month programme 'How
To Make A $Million From Your Music' at
With practice, you can learn how to make the most of
meetings with Record and Publishing Companies, interviews, and networking events or of entertaining clients at
Music Showcases, conventions, trade shows, and other
music-related functions. You’ll learn to appreciate, rather than dread,
music networking events.
idea for this article was by Debra Fine.
Thank you Debra. She is a former engineer living in Denver who works nationwide as a speaker and trainer presenting “The Fine Art of Small Talk”. She is the author of The Fine Art of Small Talk (Hyperion October 2005). Visit
www.DebraFine.com or call 303-721-8266 for additional information.
This Article was
written by Dec Cluskey and Debra Fine
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