In 2001, I created a training system for wedding and event DJs called The 1% Solution. Over the years, as I’ve expanded that training, I’m proud to say that the phrase “1%” has become a part of the DJ lexicon, but it’s often misunderstood as being 1% better.
The reality is that a 1% improvement in just about anything would likely be unnoticeable. My goal was never to be 1% better, but to create entirely different results by changing how we do things ever so slightly — 1% differently to create a 100% different result.
For example, take two songs played sequentially for the same group at the same time. You could get two entirely different dancefloor reactions based on how those songs are mixed. If a song is allowed to fade into nothing and then the next song is cued up, you’d likely end up with people leaving the dancefloor. But if those same two songs were flawlessly beat mixed at the right part of the song, those same dancers might now cheer, scream, sing along and dance with more energy than before. What you played was the same, but how you did it changed the results.
In my 30 year career, I’ve discovered there are moments at every event where I can impact the results by changing my wording or inflection, the volume, timing, or staging, ever so slightly. A simple method I teach in our workshops is for the opening of an event:
Too many wedding DJs start their events with no life at all (“How’s everybody doing tonight?”) or by going overboard and trying to force a reaction (“I SAID HOW’S EVERYBODY DOING TONIGHT!!!) instead of finding a way to release all the energy that’s just waiting to explode naturally from the guests.
Instead of doing nothing or becoming an obnoxious cliché DJ, you can help the guests to show their emotion through applause and cheers naturally. Guests know when to clap. They simply need two elements: A reason and an opportunity. Given those two elements, they will spontaneously burst into wild enthusiastic applause every time. Yes, every time. If they didn’t, you didn’t do your job properly. The reason is right in front of them – i.e. the entrance of the bride and groom. The opportunity is created by your skills of knowing how to introduce them and when to shut up so they can go crazy.
It’s impossible in a written article to demonstrate all the 1% Solution factors to create this result. Where you stand, the volume, the inflection, your posture and expression, the specific words, the timing — all of these factors are well within the talent set of virtually all mobile DJs.
In the coming months, I’ll explain how to use The 1% Solution, not to be 1% better, but to make very small changes using the talent you already have, with new skills to create entirely different results – cheers, tears and overtime instead of silence, apathy and early endings.
Just think about creating raving fans clamoring for your service at a premium price instead of emails asking, “How much for four hours?”
Randy Bartlett is the owner of Premier Entertainment in Sacramento, California. He’s been DJing professionally for 30 years, and has spoken at countless DJ and wedding vendor shows all over the world. In his youth, he hustled pinball to build his vinyl collection.
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