Failure to Communicate – By Jim Cerone, MBLV20 Presenter

December 21, 2015 by Mobile Beat Staff Writer

Ever finish a party and then beat yourself up driving home? How come it never really took off? You got some people out of their seats, but not everyone. What’s missing?


To quote Strother Martin’s character in the movie Cool Hand Luke: “What we got here is…failure to communicate.” Here is what I used to do as a DJ:

1. Set up

2. Sit behind my table until dancing started

3. Try to guess what would make people dance

Sound familiar? As the DJ, I thought my job was just to make people dance. Wrong, wrong, wrong. That’s when the Perfect Host concept was born.

Our events are SO much more than dancing. In fact, at some of my weddings dancing ends up being the shortest part of the night! We have to use cocktail and dinner time to CONNECT with the guests. I call this the Preamble (#4 in the Perfect Host Top 10 list). During my seminar, you’ll learn why the Preamble is vital to creating a connection with every guest.

By the way, I urge you to do this off the microphone. Really think of yourself as the host of every party. If you were having people over to your house, how would you treat them? What would you do? What would you say?

If the party was at your house, you would know in advance who was going to be there, right? You’d prepare based on the guest list. Here are a few questions I ask all of my brides and grooms in advance (part of Show Prep, #1 on the Perfect Host Top 10 list): Tell me about your parents (this is a cautious way of asking if there are any divorces)

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Have your families met one another?

How many in your wedding party?

How do you know them? Grade school? High school? College? Work?

Do they all know each other?

How many guests will be attending?

Where are your guests coming from? Is there a large group from one area?

What percentage of the guests will be your age? What percentage will be your parent’s age?

Keep in mind; I never used to ask any of these questions. I also never used to make a complete connection. What changed? I began to think of every party as my own. Truly taking ownership—taking responsibility for the success of the entire party (not just the dance floor) makes all the difference.

Do you get frustrated when guests won’t quiet down for your opening announcement? Here is why that happens—at that moment the guests have no idea who you are. It’s easy to be rude to a stranger. However, people will almost always show respect to someone they “know.” Acting as the Perfect Host from the minute guests walk in (during the all-important Preamble) allows you to become a friend. Later when you take the microphone, everyone will stop talking. It’s like magic. And it’s all about the connection you create by being the Perfect Host instead of just the DJ.

Find out more and see behind the scenes video of the Perfect Host concept in action at MBLV20. I look forward to shaking your hand!

Mobile Beat Staff Writer (371 Posts)

This is the general editors account for Mobile Beat Magazine and Website. Who reads Mobile Beat online and in print and attends Mobile Beat events? DJs, VJs and KJs to start with, especially those who own and operate mobile entertainment services. They provide music, video, lighting and a myriad other entertainment choices for corporate events, wedding receptions, dances and innumerable other gatherings.

Filed Under: 2015, Mobile DJ Performance Tips