OK. You're up for a business award and you're asked what piece of music you'd like to be played as you walk from your table to accept your award. What do you choose and why is it really important?
And The Winner Is...... you! Congratulations! The moment you've been dreaming about! You've won a massive award and beat the competition; you're walking to receive your award and will shortly offer a few words of thanks to those that have helped you in your quest for greatness whilst at the same time you'll be able to see the faces of those that you've beaten. As you take your time walking to the podium to collect your award the event's sound engineer is playing what they think is a clever or appropriate piece of music and what you hear in your moment of glory is "Save All Your Kisses For Me" by Brotherhood of Man. You scream 'Arrrrrgggghhhh!' inside and want to shrink into the carpet with embarrassment as the dream quickly turns into a nightmare.
An award acceptance track is the piece of music that sums up everything about your victory and leaves those around you in no doubt that you're the best. It, in my opinion, is essential to know what this piece of music is, right now. This choice is a no-brainer for musicians or film actors because the music that provides the bed for their walk can be from the single, album or film that they're collecting the award for. The rest of us don't have that luxury and if you're not careful and you don't prepare right now something then you can be certain that, at the apogee of your career, you'll be accompanied to the podium by Tina Turner with "Simply The Best" ringing in your ears.
An acceptance track must, by definition, be a piece of music that is really short because you don't know how far your walk from the table to the podium will actually be. It needs to be a piece of music that can deliver its payload really quickly, no messing about, it needs to be straight to the point.
The award acceptance track must echo the mood of your victory - it must be anything but glum and humble. Not only does it need to mean something to you but it also needs to let those around you know just how you feel and just what this means to you, perhaps also what they've just missed-out on.
The acceptance track needs to be easy for the sound engineer to cue up and fade out so that your walk to the podium looks nothing but choreographed, rehearsed and 0% accidental. You need to make those around you know that this was always going to happen and that the smart money has always been on you.
For me, my acceptance track is How High by The Charlatans and here's why: it gets down to business; within 4 seconds it's already delivered its killer hook through a gnarly guitar riff. Within 10 seconds it's already delivered the essence of the verse and, payload delivered, it then moves onto the chorus, one that can easily be faded out by a sound engineer.
"When I hear this song I always picture myself picking up another award, this track is a continual reminder that everything I'm doing is done with the goal of being #1 in mind."
The message of the track How high, I wanna kiss the sun perfectly fits an award ceremony and sends a real message out but, apart from that, I've got to say I haven't a clue what the track's really about but who cares? The question the song poses "How High?" paints the picture that there's no upper limits that can be envisaged, it says it all and captures the essence of euphoric victory.
Olympic athletes training for gold mentally picture themselves crossing the line first. In order to win an Olympic gold winner has to know what victory tastes like, they need to hear the crowd roaring, they need to feel the euphoria of winning and want it so badly that they push themselves to their limits. Such visualisation is an important component of winning; the athlete has to believe they are going to win otherwise they've lost before they get into the starting blocks. Why shouldn't businesspeople harness the power of this technique too?
So, is it really all that different for you to motivate yourself by thinking positively and visualise your own award-winning moment? Come on, close your eyes, picture yourself walking up to accept your award, see the faces of those you have beaten, hear their applause and feel that huge smile on your face - now, tell me what piece of music (your acceptance track) is being played so loud that it tingles your ears and pounds your chest as you make your triumphant walk to the podium?
I think mine would have to be "Things can only get better" by D Ream.
Not only is this amazingly catchy, upbeat, energetic and inspiring but because it backs up my philosophy - by happy with what you have achieved, but never be satisfied. Oh, plus it's quite short!
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