I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the 1970s.
Neil Diamond was the Jewish Elvis, the kid from the neighborhood who made it big, so I was indoctrinated early. The first cassette tape my parents ever owned was Neil Diamond’s You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. My mother used to pick me up from grade school—in our brown Oldsmobile station wagon—while blasting “Forever In Blue Jeans.”
So, you see, my affinity for the man isn’t my fault. I was genetically (and geographically) programmed to like him.
Here are five things Neil Diamond—my musical guilty pleasure—teaches you about live presentations:
1. Don’t be afraid to stand out.
If you’ve ever seen Neil Diamond in concert, you know he loves his sequined shirts. He started wearing them early in his career so everyone in the audience could see him—and it became a key part of his shtick. No, you probably shouldn’t wear a sparkly vest during your next speech. But it’s a good reminder that occasionally dispensing with convention can work to your advantage.
2. Know who you are.