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I used this article to brainstorm our large group program practices.  I know it will be helpful to the youth ministry nation.

Full Article Link (Article is by Lindsay Dudeck from Fishhook)

“And now, here’s your host, Jimmyyyyyyyyyyyyy Fallon!”

The curtains part. The band plays. The audience applauds. The host emerges. The show begins!

As one of the 11.3 million people tuning in to the February 17, 2014 premier of “The Tonight Show,” I might have been the only one saying to myself, “This is a great example of effective communication! I should blog about this!”

“What could you have in common with Jimmy Fallon?” could be the beginning to a good joke, but it’s not. Let’s leave the jokes to Fallon, people. Instead, we’ll focus on five professional takeaways from Jimmy Fallon on his “The Tonight Show” premier.

1. Bring Enthusiasm

“Thank you! Please, have a seat! Welcome. Thank you so much, everyone! Welcome to the Tonight Show! This is the first Tonight Show broadcast from New York in over 30 years. Welcome!”

You can see and hear that Jimmy is obviously pumped to be there! (see full six minute clip here) He looks happy, walks with a spring in his step and engages with his audience! Do you do the same? What does your body language and tone say to your audience?

2. Introduce Yourself

“I’m Jimmy Fallon and I’ll be your host … for now. For those of you who are watching me for the first time, which is very possible, I’m 39 years old and live in New York City with my beautiful wife, Nancy, and my daughter, Winnie, who’s six months old and the best thing to ever happen to me. I love her so, so much and I’m a proud, proud dad.”

Did you catch that? He didn’t assume you knew who he was! His name is even in the show title and logo! TV news anchors do the same thing. He/she may have been opening the broadcast for 20 years, but never assumes the audience knows him/her. Do you begin an announcement, speech or message assuming your audience knows you?

3. Introduce Others

“I’m lucky to say my parents are here tonight to see me. Hey, Mom and Dad! I love you guys! … To the left is the most talented band in all the land trying to lend a hand, The Roots! … To my right, is our announcer and psychic, Steve Higgins from Iowa.”

Jimmy took just a few seconds to introduce the others around him, even sharing little facts and/or what he loves about them. They are just as much a part of “The Tonight Show” experience as he. Could your audience name anyone else on stage with you?

4. Set the Stage

“Usually our show starts with the monologue – the first ten minutes of our show. So after your local news, I’ll come out from that beautiful curtain. I’ll hit this monologue mark here, which is a four-leaf clover … And, I’ll read jokes off a cue card … and these are jokes based on what’s going on in the news … stuff like that. I’ll make fun of everybody!”

Again, Fallon didn’t assume the audience knew what the show was about. After he introduced himself and others, he shared what both the live and home audiences could expect. Does your audience know what’s coming next? Do you set the stage for both your live and at home/podcast/live stream crowds?

5. Share your Goals

“My goal is to make you laugh and put a smile on your face so you can go to sleep with a smile on your face and live a longer life. Isn’t that the whole goal of what we’re doing? Have fun!”

Jimmy and I have similar goals. I  watch “The Tonight Show” because it makes me laugh! NBC’s strategy worked. They took a 30-something host and found a 30-something audience with the same goals. Does your audience know your goal? Do they know why they came?

Lindsay Dudeck     05.14.2014

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