How many of you are having a good time when you're presenting?
Are you distracted by fears, by insecurity, by how you're coming across or by how many ums you're saying? "Am I doing the right gestures?" "Am I funny enough?"
Or are you reveling in the opportunity to share your message, meet cool people, interact with the audience, and feel that electric feeling when everyone in the room is with you and "getting it?"
Here's a performance by a young man who truly enjoys himself and embraces his unique qualities. He's not concerned so much with doing things "right" as he is about giving his mind, body and soul to the performance, and his appreciation to the audience.
Contrast James with some of the other performers who appear to be trying to do everything "right" and "safe," but who are missing out on the true joy of touching the audience emotionally.
Here are the judges' comments after James Durbin's performance on American Idol last week.
Jennifer Lopez: I feel like you really encompass the whole audience. It was really a full performance of a great song by a great artist. Period.
Randy Jackson: What I also loved about it, you enjoy yourself. That's the greatest thing about any performer performing. Anybody can come out and put on a show and choreograph it, but I really felt like you were having a good time.
The fire, the piano, you coming out here with us, playing up there with the crowd. Dude that was a great, great, great performance.
Here's James' performance:
Now watch Thia Megia's performance from the previous week and listen to the judges' comments, including "dig a little deeper" and "is that song who you think you are?" Thia went home last week, not for lack of talent, but the audience was obviously missing some connection with her.
Which one are you? The safe one? Or the one who pushes boundaries, lets go of inhibitions and finds the joy in presenting?