Mike Walter


Mike Walter




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Going For It Early

January 21, 2017 by Mike Walter
I’ve been on a campaign lately to raise everyone’s performances in our industry and to throw better parties. There are a number of people speaking and hosting workshops to improve your MCing skills and I think those are essential and very important, so I’ve taken a different angle of late, and focused on the dance floor: namely, rockin’ it! That’s why I’m so excited to be presenting a seminar in Las Vegas at MBLV21 called “10 Things You Can Do To Throw a Better Party.” The title is self-explanatory and my presentation will be loaded with great tips and suggestions along with video footage to back them all up. One of the things I’ll ... [read more]
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Finding DJ Employees – Where Not To

March 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
I've spent the past few weeks highlighting some careers that I think are good to recruit from. I've enumerated the benefits of looking at waiters, bartenders and teachers just to name a few.Here's one though that I avoid at all costs: Civil Servants. Specifically firemen, policemen and anyone in the military. At first blush this might seem odd. In fact I know personally some very successful DJs who are Civil Servants, most notably Paul Beardmore who is not only a prominent name in our industry but who has been a heroic firefighters for years (and was one of the first on the scene at the Pentagon that fateful morning of September 11th) So let me explain why I feel these are not good careers to recruit from. Civil Servants do not have much flexibility in their schedules. They can often be forced to ... [read more]
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Face-To-Face

March 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
Back after a coupla weeks off. These busy seasons always seem manageable till you get into them and then all of a sudden you are over your head. Anyway, I've righted the ship here at Elite and am back to being able to contribute to this fine website. My thanks to the readers who reached out and asked if everything was ok and told me they missed reading my columns. And to Tony, my editor, who very professionally yet effectively let me know I was missed. It's nice to be appreciated.A few weeks ago I talked about when to invite a music mixer into emcee training. I mentioned how they need to be ready talent-wise and also experience-wise but that even then there has to be another ingredient: Their desire. I'm big on desire. I'm big on pro-activity. I'm big on employees who get in my face and say: I'm ready for ... [read more]
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Did A DJ Just Serve You Lunch? Finding Great Talent in Unexpected Places

March 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
Years ago I was doing a wedding at a local banquet hall where the Maitre D is gay. This is actually pretty common in our area. Many gay men seem to have the right talents and personalities and in many cases they make the best Maitre Ds. More on that in a bit. Well, this one in particular Maitre D, Larry, was very outspoken about his sexual preference and openly joked about it. He was cool and since I grew up with a homosexual older brother I've always been very comfortable around gay men. So during this one wedding that we were doing, Larry came over to the DJ table while the dance floor was packed and very subtly pointed to a guy on the dance floor and said, "He's a member of the 'family.'" Knowing that was code for, "that guy's gay." I turned incredulously towards Larry and said "how could you possibly k... [read more]
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Taking Responsibility

February 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
Last week I discussed how using an assistant (or "back-up" or "Music Mixer" or whatever title you're comfortable with) will help make you a better entertainer. Two weeks ago I also detailed how important it is to have such an "entry-level" position in your company in order to ease new people into your roster and allow them to start earning some money right away.So by now the point should be made, right? Well, at the risk of piling on, I've got one more very important reason to have a "music mixer" type position that you can start new people out in: Responsibility and Professionalism can only be proven over the course of time. You as an owner or manager of a Multi-Op know that having DJs who show up when and where they are supposed to show up is vital to your success. So when you interview you ask the... [read more]
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Using An Open House for Recruitment Part 2

February 10, 2008 by Mike Walter
Open House Part Two Last week I talked about the set up and beginning of an Open House. Now that you've got the room filled with potential candidates, it's your time to shine. Go sell them on why the Mobile Disc Jockey business is such a great opportunity for the right person. I start out by showing our demo video. It's a four-minute montage of fun upbeat party footage featuring the DJs on staff and happy clients. The shots are all edited MTV style, quick and set to a cool club song. It's an impressive introduction to our company both for clients and potential recruits. When the demo is over, I take the microphone and I run through the job details. I use a Power Point presentation to hammer home the important points. What does the job entail, what are the opportunities here at Elite and what will the... [read more]
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Is Your DJ Calling You During Dinner?

January 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
Everyone loves telemarketers right? Especially when they call you at dinner time or just at the climax of the movie you're watching (and you can't find the remote to hit "pause") As annoying as they can be, ever think about it from this point of view: "that caller must have some thick skin!"I mean how many times an hour must that person get hung up on? Or worse, spoken to nastily? And yet here they are, on your phone line, sounding chipper and inquisitive asking for your time and attention. Think that would make a great trait for a Mobile DJ? I do. People aren't dancing? No problem, I'll keep a smile on my face and keep trying. Some drunk dude talks to you like you're an idiot? No problem, I'll smile at the next person, they're bound to be nicer. I happen to think a thick skin and an ability to... [read more]
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Using An Open House for Recruitment

January 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
Open HouseWhen you start an active recruitment push, placing ads in papers and sticking flyers up at the local colleges, your phones are going to start ringing off the hook. You are going to attract a lot of people and you are going to have to meet with most of them (some you can actually eliminate over the phone.) For years I set up interviews and met with people one-on-one. I realized though that this was an inefficient way of doing things and so for the last five to six years, I have instead hosted a few "Open Houses" to coordinate with my recruitment. The advantage of this is that I can meet anywhere from 10-20 people in one evening and I only have to explain the job once (as opposed to 10-20 times.) But that's not all. I believe, if you host an Open House correctly, you can get your recruits even m... [read more]
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Entry Level Positions

January 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
Recently a thread started on one of the DJ chat boards about whether to use a two-DJ package or not. I am a strong proponent of working with an assistant so I followed the thread closely until it took a few tangents and had lost its focus. Of the responders who actually answered the basic question (do you use a two-DJ package or just one DJ?) 60% said they used a second person at least some of the time. To me there are so many reasons to use an assistant that I don't even know where to start. But since I am in the "recruitment" phase of my weekly article, I'll start there. Having an "entry level position" available within your company is essential to bringing in new talent. When I meet someone, a new recruit, no matter how perfect they might be for my company and no matter how strong they come on in ... [read more]
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When Can DJs Become MCs?

January 26, 2008 by Mike Walter
There is a moment, usually about two to four months after a new music mixer starts with us and has been assisting on weddings, when the time seems perfect to begin emcee training. I'll try to be as exact in this article as possible but it is probably like trying to describe the moment when you fall in love. It's not quite something you can be precise about . . .but you know it when it happens.The first step in the process is that we encourage our emcees to give us feedback on our new music mixers. The first thing we are looking for is quite simply which mixers are cutting it or even excelling and which ones aren't and should be phased out. Professionalism and responsibility are key here. Have they been on time for every event? Do they call into the office every Monday like we ask them to? Are they available f... [read more]