Thursday, August 13, 2009

Begin With the Unexpected

While visiting my husband's family in Santa Barbara this week, I had the pleasure of listening to a performance of the Canadian Brass at the Lobero Theater.

As we took our seats, I noticed that the stage was set up predicably - with black chairs arranged in a semi-circle, music stands, and brass instruments ready.

When the lights went down, we heard horns playing from the back of the concert hall and turned around to see the quintet slowly walking down the aisles, playing what sounded like a graceful processional. By the time they reached the stage, they had us.

What was so brilliant about this entrance, was that the stage set-up had led us to believe that the musicians would enter from the wings. The simple twist of entering from the back - and thus physically being with the audience - enabled the musicians to both surprise and connect to us. The effect was both captivating and endearing. You could feel the warmth and affection coming from the audience for the rest of the performance.

From the Green Room: Try beginning your presentation with something unexpected that also brings you closer to the audience. They will love you for it.


Anonymous said...

I loved your article and intend to use it at my next presentation.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous that you can learn lessons from everyday encounters. Luv your blog

Anonymous said...

I was so moved by your description of the musicians' entry. What a superb illustration of trying something unexpected -- a technique we all know but all too rarely use.

Sarah Gershman said...

Thank you for reading! I appreciate your comments.