But of course, while enjoying the music, I was also busy looking for a presentation angle. I was not disappointed.
The entertainment included two musical sets with groups of 3-4 performers sharing the stage in each set. In presentationland we would call that a PANEL, ladies and gentlemen. That's right. It was a panel of presenters... I mean performers sharing a stage.
Here are my Nashville nuggets for your presentation pleasure:
1. The banter between the performers added to the entertainment. It was clear that they all knew each other. They shared anecdotes and joined in with refrains or harmonies at various stages of the evening. Sometimes they would add backup guitar support. Rather than being a group of individual performers who just happened to be on a single stage, they acted like a connected trio/quartet whose members took turns being the solo act. The interaction between the performers made the shared stage a huge asset.
The same kind of interaction is key to a successful panel. (See my prior post.)
2. Personal stories sold the music. Each songwriter would add color commentary to the song they were about to sing. They would share something about their inspiration, or how the recording artist discovered the song, or that they were riding in their pickup truck (Ford F150, I believe) when inspiration hit. While the performances were the main event, it is those personal stories that touched the audience directly. After hearing those stories, we felt closer to the performer, like we shared a special bond.
Personal stories do the same thing for presentations. They give it color and connect you to your audience in a meaningful way.
3. It doesn't hurt to have great food and wine before or after your presentation. Just don't be the person whose talk makes people late to either a meal or the bar.
4. Even a Caveman can be a great presenter.