Over the weekend, I spent some time on campus here in Corvallis, experiencing some of the Homecoming events. One of the events was a free outdoor concert by country musician, and Corvallis native, Jackson Michelson.
Now, it was a chilly night, with a lot of other student activities going on, and so the crowd wasn’t as large as I was expecting. I’m sure, for a guy coming back to his hometown after being out on tour, it might have been a little disappointing that it wasn’t a very large crowd.
But, I give him credit. On stage, none of it mattered. He knew that his job was to entertain the people who did take the time to come see him play, and he absolutely did. Above, you can actually see him having a little girl teach him some line dance steps to do while they sang the next song, and he genuinely seemed to enjoy interacting with the kids in the audience and anyone else. Yeah, it would have been understandable if he simply went through the motions and moped about the crowd size, but he knew what his job was, and he made sure to do it for his audience. I can respect that even if I’m not the world’s biggest country music fan.
It reminded me of a speaking gig I once had at an ILTA conference a few years ago. I was on a panel that was right after lunch on the last day of the conference, at the same time as an all-star panel of judges talking about eDiscovery. While I was excited about the topic, we wound up having maybe 10 people actually come to to the session. Again, it would have been easy to just go through the motions, but hey, we prepared a good session, and those 10 people deserved to hear it. So that’s what we did.
As it turns out, one of those 10 people was actually a recruiter who loved my passion about the subject and recruited me to a new position, so that just goes to show that you never know who’s in the audience, so no matter how many people are watching you speak, or attending your training class, give them your best.
They are there and they deserve your best, regardless of who they are and whether you have a similar experience with someone who attends a class or session. For however long you are in front of that audience, they are the most important customers you have.