Turn Your Weakness into Strength – By Paul Kida, The DJ Coach

December 19, 2011 by Paul Kida

What? Weak is weak isn’t it? How could you possibly take a weakness and make it something strong and beneficial?

Take a trip back in time to when you were first starting out in your disc jockey career. You were excited and enthusiastic to get out there and make your mark in the DJ industry. You were so confident that you could rock the world! However, do you also remember certain aspects of the job that you felt uncomfortable doing? Maybe some things that sent a shudder down your spine? You had to make a decision: Take the bull by the horns, so to speak, or merely do what felt comfortable and let the uncomfortable details just slide on by, hoping that the rest of your performance would make up for what you were lacking? Let me relate some personal experiences of my own that will help you to understand just what I mean.

When I first started out in the business, there were certain aspects of the job that I absolutely loved. Mixing the right songs and creating special moments for the bride and groom were right up my alley, and I enjoyed every minute of that.

However, there were some facets of the job that were a little less enjoyable. Making announcements in front of one or two hundred people wasn’t a top priority on my list. Since I did have a public speaking background from a young age, I did learn to get over that pretty quickly. One thing that was more of an obstacle was dancing. Yes, I loved music, but I was never into dancing. I loved to play the music that kept people on the dance floor, but that was it. By nature, I am generally more reserved, so I felt safe behind the DJ booth spinning tunes for others to enjoy. I was great at what I did, but I was like a lot of other DJs out there, mainly playing the music and making announcements. I was letting my weakness hold me back from being a better DJ.

The good thing was that I realized I wasn’t living up to my potential. Although we didn’t have resources like conventions and associations that are available today to help improve skills, I was able to connect with a DJ friend of mine who was extremely outgoing and who was willing to help me work on the weaknesses in my performance. Before I knew it, I was out there on the dance floor teaching line dances when needed, and becoming generally more involved with the guests.

Yes, I was able to see my weak points and then turn them into strengths. I worked hard on my public speaking so that it improved, and my announcements became more meaningful and exciting. I was able to interact better with the audience in ways I had never imagined, incorporating dancing and games into my events. All in all, it made me a better DJ.

We all have a tendency to back away from things or situations that we are uncomfortable with. Or we feel that it won’t matter if we have weak points, so we just leave them alone. FIGHT this tendency and start focusing on your weak points, instead of ignoring them or even pretending that they don’t exist. Now is the perfect time to start. Take a few minutes and honestly review your weak points. We all have them; it doesn’t matter who we are or how long we have been in the business. The sooner we can identify them and begin to work on improving in these areas, the sooner we become stronger and more confident in our abilities.

Are you the best master of ceremonies that you can be? Take the time to work on your presentation. When I was starting out, there were no MC workshops. I had to find a class that would help me to improve my speaking abilities. Years later, I felt that I needed to refresh my MC abilities, so I enrolled in Mark Ferrell’s Master of Ceremonies Workshop. Even after more than 25 years in the business, this workshop took me to new levels of performance. It has been a true benefit that I highly recommend to every DJ, regardless of how long you have been a disc jockey.

Perhaps creating new, exciting and unique grand entrances is something that is hard for you to do. Talk to other DJs who may be more experienced in this area and pick their brains. If you are able, attend Peter Merry’s workshop that specifically deals with creating inspiring grand entrances tailored to your clients’ personal taste.

As you pinpoint each of your weaknesses, take the necessary steps to transform them into strong points. There really is no excuse not to take advantage of all the help now available in the form of books, seminars, DVD programs, workshops and conventions like the Mobile Beat Show in Las Vegas each year. Some additional special aids that I have found personally beneficial are Jim Cerone’s Being the Host, Scott Faver’s Before, During and After and Larry William’s Minding Your Business. Feel free to contact me anytime for more ideas.

If you are not sure what your weaknesses are, invite a fellow DJ to an event, then have an honest discussion about it afterwards. Take constructive criticism to heart. Offer to do the same for your DJ friend. Believe me, it does work. I’ve done this with several of my friends.

As you continue to progress and work on your weak points, you will see and feel a renewed strength growing every day. You can turn your weaknesses into strengths, thus becoming a complete, well-rounded mobile entertainer.

Please send any comments on this article or suggestions for future articles or questions to djcoach@mobilebeat.com.

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Paul Kida, The DJ Coach, is a founding member of the Colorado Disc Jockey Association. He owns JAMMCATTS DJ Entertainment (www.jammcattsdj.com), and is a regular speaker at Mobile Beat DJ Shows.

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