I recently emceed a wedding on the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka and I warmed up the dance floor by leading a couple of crowd dances. It's my specialty! I absolutely love getting people off their seats to be playful together. But it's always a daunting task to get a group of strangers to do what you want them to do. Even if you come in with all the positive energy you can muster, a lot of times in the beginning you're met with blank faces, skeptics and Mr & Mrs. apathy. During those fleeting moments where all I hear is the echo off my mic in a silent room, I can safely say I have never felt lonelier in my life. There's a reason why so many of us hate public speaking.
But through the years I have learned some tactics and strategies that have helped me break through these frosty public receptions. Whether at a corporate event or at a party, I always try to find the royalty in the group. Royalty doesn't just mean people who are higher up on the social or professional ladder, but there's a sparkle about them that others are attracted to. And just like the real royals, they're also expected to partake in certain customs and traditions that comes with their privileged position.
In a wedding it's easy, it's the bride and groom. In front of everyone, I'll invite them to join me for a 'special married couple group dance' to help kick-start the party. And once they jump on the dance floor, I open up the invite to others. Soon their bridesmaids and groomsmen hustle in, followed by their doting parents and then the rest of the congregation come out to support them. And before I know it, I have the entire crowd wrapped around my dancing finger just like in the video above.
Leadership in a lot of ways is like a wedding emcee. Sometimes you need more than sheer will and charisma to break through to an unreceptive audience. So do yourself a favor and find the royalty in your midst, the influencers that others admire. Befriend them and bring them into your fold by sharing with them your mission. Once they're on board publicly, invite everyone else and watch the social dominoes fall in your favor. Sometimes a blessing from a king or queen is all you need to move people.