The secret to making the crowd fall in love with you

I’m a terrible blusher.

No biggie...just me at the San Fran Opera House getting ready to perform.

No biggie…just me at the San Fran Opera House getting ready to perform.

It’s not discrete.

My blush looks more like a blotchy rash that you could catch. It starts on my chest, runs up the left side of my neck and on to my face. It’s not the gorgeous rush of pink that most people have.

When I get embarrassed or nervous, the gross rash-like blush emerges and people start backing up, worried they might catch some kind of disease.

I’m sure you’re thinking “But how often can one gal blush? It can’t be THAT big of a deal?”

Actually, I blush quite a bit. I always tend to blush when I’m on stage in front of hundreds of people with lights shining upon me for the world to see.

Basically, the ABSOLUTE WORST time.

After hundreds of shows, this alien-like blush has not gone away.  Over time,  I learned that the blush was my secret weapon –  the secret  to make the crowd fall in love with you.

In my career as a musician, I have:

  • Butchered songs
  • Fallen off stage
  • Forgotten words
  • Had to sing with a puke bucket side stage (weird flu thing)
  • Said the wrong thing
  • Told jokes that fell flat

The list could go on.

You name it. I’ve botched it.

But when I botch it, the show always gets better.


Let me repeat that:

When I botched it. The audience loved me MORE.

The secret is people love to see you make mistakes.

Not because they want you to fail,  but because they too make mistakes.

On stage, when I just about fall on my face or make a joke that is NOT funny, I can almost feel my audience’s anxiety. They are GLUED to me. When I make a mistake, I am suddenly FASCINATING. When they see that I brush my mistakes off by smiling and poking fun at myself, they relax into the show even more. The laughs are harder, the smiles broader and the toes tap in time.

When you make a mistake remember: in that moment you are the most fascinating person.Tweet this.

Perfect is boring. It leads to a stale experience.

Sometimes there is a typo on your site, your website gives you shame, you’re horrified that you contacted a potential client and didn’t have all your ducks in a row, or you think that Facebook photo makes you look terrible.

Embrace that gross blotchy rash-like mistake.

Make it your thing.


Have you ever made a mistake that made your client love you more? I’d love to know your experience with fumbles. Comment below.

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • So wonderfully true! I shall endeavor to fall flat on my face more than usual today <3

  • I love this. I tell this to people all the time when it comes to making videos. No one can relate to perfect because duhhhh no one’s perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  • ha, ha, Farideh, I love this! I sometimes think: oh, my website could be so much more professional (it’s a lot of DIY and doesn’t have that sleek look you see everywhere right now). And then I think: nah – it’s great just the way it! You are right: perfection is so boring 🙂

  • Nancy

    So true. I’ve been a trainer for 14 years now and I still remember a participant’s comment after a course. At the end they had been asked what they had learned over the previous 2 days, and one person answered: I learned the most from your ‘mistakes’… I was a bit shocked/surprised when she said it and I can even remember the way the others looked at me (waiting for my reaction). And when I asked what she meant she said: I noticed that at a certain moment, while talking to others, you dropped your little water bottle. (And?) Well, if this had happened to me, I would have ‘died’ but you, you just picked it up and kept on talking… This was huge learning for me… (And for me :-))

    • Yes! Especially in those moments when you’re the “authority” as a teacher, or trainer or expert. When someone like yourself just keeps on keepin on….all the people watching you feel 1000X better about themselves.

  • zomfg LOVED THIS! Wasn’t expecting you to say this at all!!

    [bad language warning]

    When I was hosting my storytelling show ( recently, I was getting the crowd to do some chanting for my own blogs.

    I asked if they would they all chant, “YES! YES! MARSHA!”.

    I suddenly got really embarrassed about asking them to do this, and (without really meaning to), said to 140 people, “I feel like… I feel like I’m wanking into a mirror”.

    I went SO RED. And then I forgot to press record because I was blushing so much. But you’re right – they loved me for it!!

  • Very cool story! And I’ll have to try to make you blush next time we’re on Hangouts … KIDDING. (Am I?)

    Anyway, awesome story and photo!

  • Interesting. Sometimes a botched performance in my group means personal injury, and in the past we used to actually go out of our way to look like we were more injured than we actually were.

    I’ve never seen more energetic applause then when one of our sideshow tricks “appeared” to go badly, but then we got through it anyway. It was a very interesting thing to observe.

  • This the best thing I have read in ages. I just love the notion that perfect is boring. It leads to a stale experience and that mistakes make me fascinating. What an awesome insight. It has made my day.

  • Hahahahaha! I blush the exact same way! It’s a blotchy mess! and I have actually had people express concern for me. <3

  • Jen

    I love this! Great advice 🙂

  • ade shola

    Thanks for sharing. No oNe can be perfect I go with you

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