What We Can All Learn From American Idol
Posted by Todd Smith
Prefer to Listen? Play Audio Version
Episodes of Amazing Race, Survivor, Shark Tank, Undercover Boss, and American Idol have provided opportunities for thought-provoking conversations with my children. Take this past season’s Amazing Race as an example. In one of the episodes, a husband and wife team “ran their mouths” without considering the impressions they were making on the other racers.
During the very next segment of the show, a team in front of this annoying team “U-turned” the couple. For those of you who don’t watch the show, a U-turn results in an extra challenge. Their extra challenge entailed sending and receiving an SOS message using Morse code. Too difficult for the team, they came in last place and were sent home. Does this episode ring a bell for you? Do self-control, character, likability, attitude, and respect come to mind?
American Idol has also supplied me with many lessons to share with my children, and none of them have anything to do with singing. Here are three lessons with one common theme, consistently portrayed each season:
Present yourself with confidence
Regardless of age or experience, it is so clear who has confidence and who does not. The performers who presented themselves with confidence looked confident, acted confident, walked with confidence, sounded confident in their interviews, and belted out the songs with confidence.
The judges, from the initial auditions to the finale, stressed the importance of presenting yourself with confidence. Getting “America’s vote” was no different. The contestants with the most confidence were the ones who received the most votes week after week.
The big takeaway here is that people can intuitively tell if you are confident in what you are doing or saying. Being confident is one thing. Portraying it is another.
A few words of caution. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Arrogant people are easy to identify. They are the ones who can’t stop telling everyone how good they are.
Start to be aware of how you present yourself through email, over the phone, and in person, and consider how you can present yourself with more confidence.
Think before you speak
Making it to the top four, contestant Michael Lynch proudly announced his goal was to make the top three. As soon as I heard his words, I told my family he was done. The judges commented on it as well and America voted him out on the very night his interview was aired.
I have noticed that each season’s top three finalists choose their words carefully. They know America is judging them by not only how well they sing and perform, but also by the things they say on camera.
Just as America is judging these contestants on what they say, the people around you are forming opinions of you based on the things you say. Don’t allow yourself to get sloppy and say things without thinking about them first.
Accept bad news with dignity
Another common trait among the performers revealed itself during the judges’ critiques. The top performers never looked dismayed, discouraged, or made excuses when critiqued by the judges. While deep down inside they may have been devastated, you couldn’t tell from their facial expressions or their verbal reactions. They understood the importance of having a “game face” and the importance of accepting constructive criticism.
Coping properly with bad news and being prepared to accept their fate became part of their personal brand. No way would America make someone the next American Idol if they whined, complained, or made excuses.
As you go about your daily activities, remember that just as America is instinctively forming opinions of contestants on American Idol based on the way they present themselves, the people in your life are instinctively forming opinions of you based on how you present yourself.
If you will present yourself as a person worthy of getting America’s vote, you will win the respect and praise of those who are watching.
Load Disqus Comments
Top 20 Most Popular Posts
- 36 Ways to Make a Positive Impression in Less Than 10 Seconds
- Personal Accountability—A Requirement for Life Advancement
- The Power of Showing Your Appreciation
- Carefully Select the People Who Influence Your Life
- 10 Ways To Be A Good Listener
- 25 Unexpected Ways to Make Someone’s Day
- Your Words Reflect Your Character
- The Damaging Effects of Sarcasm
- The Importance of Being On Time
- Becoming a Disciplined Person
- 33 Ways to Reduce and Prevent Stress
- 10 Simple Ways to Show Your Sincere Interest in Others
- Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control
- 49 Simple Ways to Make Your Life Better Right Now!
- Beware of the Green-eyed Monster
- Believe That You Can
- 10 Life-guiding Decisions
- The Uncomfortable Path to Success
- Give the Gift of Encouragement
- 130 Time-management Tips
Most Recent Posts
Connect with Little Things Matter
Little Things Matter
Improve Your Life One Thing At A Time
SUCCESS BOOKS ® is proud to Announce the Release of Todd Smiths New 280-page Hardcover Book and AudioBook