Training: One DJ’s Key to Success

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By Mike Walter

“Why do you even have a cordless microphone?”

That’s part of one of the earliest lessons I learned in this business. The question was posed by John Murphy, my first boss and the owner of Star DJs at one of our monthly meetings. He was asking one of us (thankfully not me) why he wasn’t out on the dancefloor more making things happen and getting involved with the crowd.

His question about the cordless microphone rang so true it left this guy speechless. And the rest of us, probably 30 other Star DJs, all sat quietly, learning the lesson. If we wanted to make the right impressions at our events and, in doing so, generate the most referrals possible, then we needed to interact with the guests. We needed to utilize the technology that exists and take our cordless microphones out onto the dancefloor and make things happen.

I worked for Murphy for almost five years and then ventured out on my own. I’ve since grown my company (Elite Entertainment) to a fairly nice size (20 DJs and 1,200+ events per year). Along the way I have continued many of the philosophies that Murphy instilled in me early on at Star DJs: Interact; You Can Teach Others How to DJ; and Delegate or Suffocate.

Training is the key component to my success at Elite Entertainment. I’ve been able to duplicate what I personally do at events with numerous DJs. I’ve made it a conscious decision to recruit people with no DJing experience (hence no bad habits and preconceived notions about the business) and fill their heads with everything I need them to know. I do this through rehearsal and repetition as we perform everything from Bridal Party Introductions to The Electric Slide over and over and over. It was Aristotle some two millennia ago who said, “We are what we repeatedly do” and I instill that truth in my DJs. If you want to be great at something, do it. And when it comes to something performance-based, do it over and over. Through repetition you’ll get better and better and more and more comfortable. It’ll become your own.

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