The audience had come to boogie and that’s what they did, cramming the dance floor as soon as the band took to the tiny nightclub stage.
With two trumpets, two trombones and one sax, plus guitar, bass and drums, the band was a whole lot of brass throwing a party of sound.
They were a good match for the exuberant crowd and I was enjoying getting amongst the dancers.
Yet when my friend leaned over and said, ‘What do you think?’ I couldn’t help but feel there was something missing.
I cupped my hand to his ear and shouted above a blast of trumpet,
‘They need a leading character.’
That was it.
The music was great. They could certainly play, and they brought dynamism to the stage. But after forty minutes, it was all starting to blend into one, loud sound.
Every now and again, one of the band members chatted to the crowd, but he came across as a supporting character. Not the main man. Not someone we could connect with, remember, talk about.
They were all support and no lead.
As creators and communicators, we need to know our lead.
Any time – no, EVERY time we put our work in front of an audience, there must be a lead character.
Our lead is our main message. It’s the thought, the essence, of the thing we are communicating. It’s what we want people to remember from their encounter with us.
It’s what we are offering in each blog post, article, speech, It will change. It will sometimes be a small message, sometimes a big and important one.
Knowing our lead each time means our connection with our audience will be clearer, stronger and more memorable.
Putting our lead out in front is how we get invited back to the stage for an encore.