Jackie Gingrich Cushman

If you happened to be in Philips arena last week, you might have seen me at the Bon Jovi concert.  I was one of a group of eight women walking around in pink Bon Jovi T-shirts.  Yes, we did draw quite a few stares, and I did catch one lady pointing us out to her friend.  Luckily, being stared at a bit does not bother me much.

Normally, I don’t listen to Bon Jovi’s songs, but wow - is lead singer Jon Bon Jovi a great performer.  He gives his all - and the audience reacts.  Here is what I learned from watching Jon Bon Jovi and his band and I suggest the presidential candidates might want to take a few notes:

1)        If You have a Crowd - Merchandise.  According to the Ticketmaster Web site, the maximum seating capacity at Philips arena for a concert with floor seating is 21,000.  Now I am not sure if the arena was full, but it was at least close to full.  When we walked past the entrance doors, we were confronted by merchandise front and center, T - shirts, shorts and tattoos.

Tip - Once you have a crowd, make sure you have a way for them to transfer their cash to your campaign.     

2)        Be the Man (or the Woman) – Jon Bon Jovi has been married to the same woman for decades, and they have four children – but, though he’s well into middle age at 46, he looks the part of a rock star: tight pants, unbuttoned vest, great shape.  In addition, his body movements and confidence exude “rock star.” 

Tip - want to be president - be presidential.

3)        Repetition is Good - keep using the old material that people love.  Bon Jovi opened with classics, some of which dredged up decades-old memories.  The gray haired couple ½ way back on the floor never sat down.  They loved the oldies and it showed.

Tip - Repetition, repetition, repetition.

4)        Get the Crowd Involved in the Act – Each time Jon Bon Jovi or guitarist/songwriter Richie Sambora asked the crowd to sing, both men walked to the sides of the stage, as if they were opening center stage to the crowd.  At one point, Jon Bon Jovi disappeared for a few minutes, reappearing in the middle of the audience, singing his heart out, in a different outfit. On his way back to the stage, he shook as many hands as he could.  The crowd LOVED it.

Tip - get the crowd involved, and shake EVERY hand you can.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.