I was about 7 rows back in a packed theatre the 2nd day this movie was out. It was one of the only times in recent memory the audience clapped at the end. Which was deserved. Here are some key takeaways, one being the unlikely suggestion that we all need to be more like Queen in our public speaking endeavors – especially founders pitching investors.
* Side note: I was floored that Hollywood made a PG-13 movie about Queen, and that it is in my view, legitimately PG-13. As many others have already suggested, I predict an Oscar Nomination for Rami Malek. Wow just wow – what a performance.
5 Takeaways from the film
Q is for Quit.
This one’s for founders the pitching investor community. As in Don’t Quit. You actually want to be like Queen. Hear me out: When the film ended, I stayed in my comfy movie seat. I watched all the credits roll. It was great music after all, but I wanted to soak it all in. When I left the theatre that night, I did what I often do when I am bedazzled by a performance. I researched Queen. I researched Freddy Mercury, his early life, his romantic relationship with Mary Austen (never knew about that), his bandmates, even his teeth. I watched videos of him live, in fact the very first one I pulled up was their Live Aid performance. It was so identical to the one in the film it was almost scary. I started to listen to his music daily and with new appreciation. In short, I developed what some might call a mild obsession about the movie.
This, founders, is what you want investors to do with your company. You want to pitch and have investors leaving the room looking you up, learning about you, thinking about you and your company constantly, thinking about how very awesome you are, wanting more of you. So don’t Quit, and be Queen.
U is for Unique:
The draw to Queen was in their unique-ness. I’ve always been fascinated by their ability to mix rock and roll with opera, and this came through in the film – with a humorous tone to it. Their recording of Bohemian Rhapsody and how songs came to be would inspire anyone. They said it themselves – “We exist for the Underdogs. We’re the band for everyone out there who doesn’t fit in.” And their unique way of writing songs that were simple, catchy, and downright good – was unparalleled at the time, and arguably, still is today. They capitalized on their unique-ness.
We are all unique. For startups – your team is unique, your product is unique and your challenges too – they are unique. Grab hold of your uniqueness and be sure it is positioned to investors and partners as an asset.
E is for Energy:
Freddy Mercury had an insatiable energy about him. His whole band had infectious energy that knew no bounds. When you’re on stage you better have energy. He was captivating and – another E – exciting. You couldn’t watch Queen live and not be moved. He was able to move tens of thousands of people to sing, stomp and clap in unison – just because of who he was – his credibility, one might say. It was truly something to behold, his influence. People were so curious about him – about what made him tick, what his songs really meant, who he really was inside. We may not know those answers, but we know one thing without doubt – Freddy fed off the crowd’s energy. He was a performer of the highest caliber. It’s when he felt the most alive.
You must have energy on the stage when you’re speaking – that is a no brainer. And yet how often we forget to focus on this and “bring it!” Do whatever you need to do – listen to your favorite “pump-me-up” song (Recommended: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen). Do jumping jacks or 20 pushups on the spot. Get your blood flowing. Get your energy UP!
E is for Excellence:
Queen sought perfection and excellence in everything they did. They also took numerous risks. When it came to their agents, the instruments used in their songs, what they’d wear on stage, and even where they’d tour. But in all of their decisions they sought excellence. Freddy Mercury was especially attune to the quality of the music, often re-recording takes dozens of times until it was just right – until it sounded perfect to his perfect pitch ear.
Shoot for Excellence in your speaking, in your investor pitch, in your TED talk or book tour.
N is for Natural Ability:
Connected in some ways to excellence, Natural Ability refers to Freddy’s self-awareness. His recognition of his gifts and talents. The original band was on life support when its lead singer left, and then Freddy came onto the scene suggesting he take the empty slot. It’s not known whether he actually had 4 additional incisors which made his mouth and sound bigger (as the film suggests), but we know he did have a huge sound, a natural ability to sing and hit crazy-high notes on-pitch, and the desire to push himself. He even pushed the limits of how one defines “Rock and Roll” music, for as we can all likely agree, the music of Queen is in a category all its own. There’s no one really like Queen, and there likely never will be.
And so it goes with you and your business. Know your talents and gifts. Find team members and employees who complement that, who help you push limits. Overcome obstacles. Reach new heights.
Haven’t seen this film yet? Go. It will not disappoint. Just be careful, you might develop a temporary obsession with Queen…but there are worse things in the world.
indy Skalicky is an expert public speaking coach, keynote speaker, brand consultant and the owner of On Point Communications, LLC. She coaches speakers and runs workshops on storytelling techniques, speech writing, delivery, and overall content development. Master the Message. Learn more at www.onpoint-communications.com or contact Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 970-290-4684
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