Why Having Confidence is Critical

By Mike Walter, “Multi-Op Corner”

There are certain things that people who know me, whether it’s as a personal friend or people who have just come to know me through social media, have started to associate me with.

I get text messages, for example, from time to time saying “just heard a Prince song and thought of you.” Those make me smile since, yes, I am admittedly a huge fan. I also get phone calls and texts when my beloved Cowboys are losing which doesn’t exactly make me as happy as the Prince messages do.

But the thing I love more than either of these is when someone sends me a motivational or inspirational quote. I really enjoy these and I tend to weave them into my everyday conversations and as well as my seminars and articles on a regular basis.

So when someone emails me with a “just heard this quote and thought you’d like it…” I get pretty stoked.  First of all, the quote is probably going to be something that personally motivates me.

And just as importantly, I’m thrilled that when the person heard it or read it they thought of me. What a cool association!

As you can imagine after reading the preamble to this article, this happened to me recently. I got an email from one of my DJs who happens to be a Giants fan.

He’d seen a documentary on Tom Coughlin and noticed a sign the Giant’s head coach has over his desk:

“Confident enough to perform….
Humble enough to prepare”.

As a public speaker I related to those words immediately. Whether it’s DJing someone’s special event or presenting a seminar to my industry peers, these eight simple words are something I live by.

Public speaking is not for the meek. I’ve never really believed the saying that it’s the number one fear for most people (over drowning? really?), but I do know that most people get so uncomfortable when the spotlight is on them that they’d just as soon let someone else take the mic.

Point being, confidence is critical when it comes to performing. We, as entertainers and DJs, need to be confident that our words will be effective. We need to be confident that the next song we are about to play will work.  We need to confident that when we ask a crowd to do something they’ll respond.

Lack of confidence, in our cases, will simply become a self-fulfilling prophesy: if you don’t believe a crowd will respond to you you’ll sound unsure which will only make it more likely that they don’t respond.

So confidence is critical but, oh, how easily confidence can turn the corner to cockiness. Once we start believing we are that good, we start believing it’s innate. We start believing that it’s all about our talent and we can flip the switch on the mic and words of wisdom will suddenly flow.

And that can very quickly lead to lack of preparation. It can lead to forgetting all the things we used to do that made us great (and gave us confidence in the first place) and if there’s anything worse than a timid performer it’s a cocky performer who ain’t all that.

So I return to that simple and concise saying over Tom Couglin’s desk and I urge you, dear reader, to live by these words. Have confidence in yourself as a DJ. As a public speaker. As a performer. Believe in your abilities and your talents and your experience.

But never forget that what got you to where you are is your preparation. Take the essential steps in rehearsing what you are going to say as well as previewing the music you are going to play.

Preparation is not for the untalented or unsure entertainer. It’s for the talented DJ who wants to excel and be their best.


  • Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-System DJ Company in New Jersey that has been selected by TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com as a top Entertainment company in the country. For over 30 years, he has MCed events from weddings to fashion shows and beauty pageants and his public speaking experience and acumen have served him well as a presenter.

    He began to offer seminars in 1998, at first specifically to the DJ Industry, then he expanded to speaking to event groups and finally to any and all audiences. His seminars are known for their fast pace, mix of information and entertainment and deft use of Keynote. Having sat through enough tedious seminars in his life, Mike vows to never bore an audience. Whether he is offering life changing advice, motivational challenges or hard-core information on how to grow and expand your business, Mike promises he will deliver a quick, concise, and nugget-filled presentation every time he speaks.

    Mike has published three books, Running Your Multi-Op which is widely consider the most comprehensive book for anyone interested in expanding their DJ business, the self-help primer, Ten Things You Can Do to Have a Better Day and the music history compendium: On This Date in Music. He’s also released a number of education videos to help his fellow DJs and business owners. In 2014 he partnered with Joe Bunn to start the PhDJ Workshop and in 2017 the two began a weekly podcast called the PhDJ Podcast.

    For more information head to DJMikeWalter.com and OnThisDateInMusic.com

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