Posted on 17 November 2010
Then came the advent of the karaoke machine and all of its many affordable versions where folks could purchase this wondrous invention and have it in their very own home! Like the player pianos, my father also pursued these with gusto. His favorite of all was a Christmas karaoke machine. In fact, he purchased one for each of his children. He had a Christmas room at his house in central Pennsylvania that he kept decorated with lights, angels, toy trains and the sounds of the Christmas karaoke year round.
Thousands of people visited the Christmas room and each one was “invited” to sing along. Being invited meant that the microphone was thrust in front of you. Voice quality, tone or timbre, meant nothing to my father. It was all about the joy of making everyone feel included. And folks loved it. Even the ones who croaked like frogs and couldn’t carry the proverbial tune in a bucket.
Lately I’ve heard several great speakers tell sales people to shut up and let the customer talk. I’ve even had our campaign committee trainer teach us that we needed to be quiet and let the donor talk. When I graduated from the Air Force Academy, our Air Officer Commander (AOC) gave us each a squadron plaque. Attached to the back of mine was a personal note where my AOC expressed the fact that he wished I would have applied to be our Squadron Commander. I was shocked! I had no idea he thought that I could do the job! Why hadn’t he asked me? Why hadn’t he passed the proverbial microphone?
You control the microphone. Never pass up the opportunity to put it in front of the other person. People love to talk, they love to be heard; they love to be asked their opinion or asked to fulfill a role. Not everyone is a type A extrovert ready and willing to grab the microphone. Many of us are just waiting our turn in line to be asked or given the opportunity to have the loudest voice in the room. Remember to intentionally pass that microphone around, at the meetings, at social gathering, in your home. Ensure everyone has a chance to be the center of it all, even if they haven’t asked to be there.