« Reinventing your product category for a new market | Main | PR vs marketing vs social media »

June 13, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Greg McVeigh

Great reporting. I hope to see your next lecture using these dance moves and an enlarged stage. Your point about a sound check is spot on. If the production folks give you the opportunity, take it.


Great Great article! Lot's of lesson's to be learned. I will however never fit the tight jeans.

David Meerman Scott

Greg -- I actually am using these techniques (but not dancing). It's amazing to me that people don't sound check.

Gert-Jan -- After losing 50 pounds in the past 2 years, my waist is now 31 inches... not quite Jagger's 29 inches, but I'm taller! So don't say never. You can if you want to.


Wait, if I had gone to the Stones concert in Chicago, could I have written it off as a business expense?

Great post. What I've always admired about Jagger is how he manages to create this huge physical presence with that tiny body that fills a 60,000-seat stadium. It's amazing. He uses every bit of his body -- arms, legs and otherwise. Definitely a lesson there in owning your physical space and making use of gesture.

Rodney Goldston

Hi Dave. Funny I spent the day yesterday thinking of how to work music into my next youth presentation. I'll be speaking to a group of high schoolers in Philadelphia at the end of the month. I'll definitely refer to this post for guidance. As always thanks!

Keith at KendallPress

David, you clearly enjoy what you do and you are the consummate professional. I started smiling as soon as I read your opening sentences and thought to myself "and now he's even found a way to write off show tickets!" But in equal seriousness, watching a master commanding an audience, being a prospect when you're a sales person and being marketed to when you're a marketer, gives everyone an opportunity to be the student. We excel only when we don't take our craft for granted, but rather, we get better when we practice and embrace continuous learning.

Your comments about music, particularly familiar music make sense. I've often kept tunes in my head but rarely used them in presentations. Except once; when really desperate. I was the speaker that followed Amanda Palmer and Matthew Ebel at Jeff Pulver's 140 conference in Boston. I knew only that I couldn't go on before a full audience and start talking about "Marshall McLuhan and the influence of Sesame Street on communications over two generations."

I was in deep trouble and I knew it. My desperation led me to ask all three of them to help me sing the Sesame Street Theme song before I started. It worked.

You can see it here; it's only one minute long but it changed everything for me, for the audience, for my talk.
and in fact - that one minute continues to be my strongest memory of that talk. That and the laughter, participation and interaction with the audience.

Tom Borgman

Any time spent with the Stones is good time spent David! Your observations really strike a chord (sorry). As an avid music head, I love any discussion about music or the business of music.

I think the overarching biz/marketing concept Mick and the Stones really get is a compelling customer experience with a capital C! We go to many live venues, large to intimate, and so my "sample size" is substantial. Your post makes me think of one particular up and coming regional band with a brooding, almost spooky folk atmospheric that gets many/rave reviews that hint of big things to come.

Their live performances are, unfortunately, painful to attend for many (read: potential new fans pulled there by the likes of us who will put up with them out of sheer willpower) because they don't understand customer experience or, by extension, speaker craft. They rarely talk or engage with the fans and if they do, it's a mumble and they look at the floor most of the time. I could also go on and on about staging, song mix/flow, etc.

Maybe that's their real personalities or perhaps, as individualists and "pure" artists, they don't care/want to look at their performances as a chance to market themselves further...wouldn't be the first time a band takes that approach, right?

But my point is that their current approach is no doubt impacting their growth/popularity. Their "business" is underperforming relative to expectations. I attribute it mostly to the under-leveraging of their live sampling to potential new fans.

Gotta run to play my Stones iTunes mix...have a great day!

David Meerman Scott

Rob - sure, why not? It's "research". Yes, Jagger is amazing and I learn from him about how I do my speeches.

Rodney - There you go. As if I was reading your mind.

Keith - that Sesame Song thing was genius! I had seen it before. Music is certainly a great addition to any talk.

Tom - I've gone to 530 live shows (I'm such a geek that I have a database). I'm always on the lookout for lessons to be learned from music. But you bring up an alternative - that musicians can learn from marketers.


Mick Jagger is my hero. I think his stage performances are spectacular and you've made several good points here.


Thanks for sharing, great article - loved the point about stagecraft.

Kathy Joyner

I too went to the Boston Show - all the way from SC! It was amazing! You are right Jagger is a professional speaker and definitely knows how to work an audience. All your points are good for us to remember when we speak in public as well. Where was the teleprompter? I looked for one but never could find it.

My trip to Boston reminded me of your class I attended a few years ago on New Rules of Marketing and PR. My how time flies! I continue to follow your blog - keep up the good work!

David Meerman Scott

Hi Kathy! I went again on Friday night. Turns out he used the teleprompter (which was in front of stage center) only for his "jokes" about Boston. He did not use for lyrics.


Mick Jagger can still cast his spell ! In all his year, he can still grab his audience. What a great teacher!


very nice and interesting good luck

Christine Lundquist

All is exactly correct. The Stones and Mick Jagger are masters! Mick uses the technology and staging to perfection. And that is why us Producers and TD's love to put together a brilliant stage - so that brilliant artists and/or speakers make use of it. I traveled with The Stones while they were touring in Asia. I lived in Singapore at the time. Mick is kind and gentle. Then when he got on stage, he is eccentric, electric, energizing and so talented. You made my day with this review. Now if the 49ers win tonight for pre-season, it will be a nearly perfect day. Kindly, Christine

The comments to this entry are closed.


Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

follow me

David Meerman Scott books

I want to speak at your next event!


David Meerman Scott e-books

David's iPhone and iPad apps

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2004