Yo-Yo Ma on performance as hosting

Yo-Yo Ma

While I’m on stage, you’re all my guests, because that’s sort of like the, you know, the unsaid agreement. So while you’re my guest, if something bad happens on stage, I often think of Julia Child, you know. Oh, the chicken’s fallen on the floor! Yes. Oh, well pick it up and put it right back. You know, and you know what? Everybody’s with you.

So whatever you practice for on the engineering side that fails is all right, because we have a greater purpose. The greater purpose is that we’re communing together and we want this moment to be really special for all of us. Because otherwise, why bother to have come at all? It’s not about proving anything. It’s about sharing something.

Yo-yo Ma — Music Happens Between the Notes

I loved this episode of On Being. Not to compare myself to Yo-Yo Ma, but getting into the mindset of a host who’s creating a special experience for my guests seems to be a great tip for presenting. Especially if I channel Julia Child as my host spirit guide.

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