LizaMinelliHere’s what I learned from the legendary songstress.

Liza (with a “z”) is an icon, a once-fading star who’s making a major comeback. Does she look the same? None of us do. Is her voice the same? Of course not. But I still jumped at the opportunity to see her in person.

I’m glad I did, too, because everyone in the room that night learned some valuable lessons about grace under pressure and connecting with an audience—lessons that could serve salespeople well.

The Show Must Go On

As the house lights dimmed, the band started playing “New York, New York.” The curtain opened slowly, and there was Liza—dressed in black with a bright red scarf. The audience members jumped to their feet and cheered. Liza smiled and waved, walked slowly to the microphone, and began to speak.

Oops. No sound.

Unfazed, Liza walked to the edge of the stage with a big smile on her face and began addressing the audience without a mic.

A tech rushed on stage and handed her a new mic. It didn’t work either. As the curtain slowly began to close, Liza sat on the piano bench with her music director, cocked her head to the side, and gave a marvelous half-smile that said, “So what?”

Everyone laughed. We were with her.

A voice informed us that the show would resume shortly. Within a few minutes, the curtain reopened. Liza was still there in her black outfit with the red scarf. Again, she walked slowly to the mic, but this time she tapped it before speaking, just to ensure it worked. It did. We all roared with laughter.

Lessons from a Legend

I learned a lot watching Liza that day. She:

  1. Connected with her audience … immediately
  2. Went with the flow
  3. Let her personality shine
  4. Used humor
  5. Worked with what she had
  6. Owned the stage

That’s exactly what great salespeople do, isn’t it? If you’ve never heard her sing “Liza with a Z,” it’s an amazing rendition—even today. Liza taught me some great lessons. I will never forget that evening.

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What lessons about life and business have you learned from entertainers?

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