On Broadway, Every Performance Counts!
How do you keep up the enthusiasm when you have to give the same presentation over and over? For inspiration, let’s take a look at performers on the Broadway stage.
Many organizations rely on people who give virtually the same presentation on a regular basis. Some examples: a sales rep gives the same spiel several times a day; a tour guide regularly tells the same stories to groups; a fundraiser frequently talks about their organization’s mission to donors; an HR trainer gives the same introduction to new employees every Monday.
Maintaining enthusiasm in each instance is critical in order to be effective at your job. Even if the presentation starts to feel tired and repetitive to you, the audience is new and different every time. How do you stay fresh and positive every time you deliver? And as a manager, how do you train your people to keep up the effort?
For inspiration, we take you to the neon lights on Broadway.
We (Eliot and wife Ellyn) took our son Noah to New York City as a belated Bar Mitzvah present this summer. We did a four-day, four-show Broadway marathon, seeing A Bronx Tale, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. For Noah, a lover of theater and acting, this was a trip he’d been looking forward to for a long time. And it wasn’t enough to see the shows—we also stayed around after the performances hoping to glimpse some of the actors.
During the shows, we watched performers who do the same thing day after day after day—delivering the same lines, using the same gestures, singing the same notes. And if they want to keep their jobs, they need to bring the same amazing amounts of enthusiasm, emotion and energy to each performance. They did, big time.
After the shows, we got to meet many of them outside the stage doors, and for the most part, they were gracious, positive, and happy to visit with us. They posed for selfies with Noah and talked to him for a bit as they signed autographs. Some were willing to talk about their experiences as actors, share what it was like to work on Broadway, and offer an encouraging word or two to a young actor. He was even able to email two of the actors he connected with, and received hearfelt and motivational responses from both of them.
The actors seemed to recognize that, for the audience, each and every night is opening night, and that each individual audience member represents an important connection, even a young teenager from Deerfield, IL. Noah (and his parents) left with an immensely positive set of stories, photos and experiences that we have already shared with many others. The enthusiasm of the people we saw and met, all of whom do the same thing every single day, made a huge impact.
That’s the lesson to share with your team when they struggle to keep up the energy on a daily basis. For your audience, it’s ALWAYS opening night. They don’t care if you’re tired, if you had a rough day, or if something got completely screwed up during your last meeting. Sometimes this means that you’ll have to fake it by creating energy and excitement even when you’re not feeling it at the moment. Remember…they don’t care how YOU feel, as long as the message is being delivered in a way that will hold their attention.
Each day brings a new opportunity, and each interaction makes a difference. Keep bringing the energy, and you’ll do great work!