What’s Your Soundtrack?


Roy said something once I already intuitively knew but hadn’t thought about so succinctly when he said:

“Control the music. Control the room.”

Music is a mood selection device – even if we don’t know the words to the songs.

I’m getting ready to get back on the road for a few speaking engagements. I insist on controlling the music as people enter and leave the venue. I do this for three reasons:

  1. It focuses and fires me up.
  2. The rhythms and tempos set the tone. They set a mood and energy in the room before I start speaking.
  3. Awkward silences stink.

So, here’s mine. Here’s my pre show music for 2012.

It’s about 90 minutes long. I like being at the venue and set up early when possible.

However, I also know that if I start with Talking Heads (#11), I have forty minutes of music. If I start with Lyle’s “Church” (#13), I have thirty. Those are perfect, even times to countdown to showtime.

That’s where I learned all this – show business. I did theater for ten wonderful years – including sound design. I learned how to set the tone for both cast and audience.

So – this is my pre show soundtrack. Post show, I reverse the order – starting with a live version of John Prine’s “Picture Show.”

What’s your soundtrack?

What’s the music of your life today?

If you were speaking at an event today like I am, what would be the last song we hear before you come on stage?

Why that song?

I always like the ‘why.’

I think it’s part of the reason I get to speak to others so often.

Like John Prine says in “Picture Show” … A young man … from a small town … with a very large imagination …

Click here if you can’t see the embedded video.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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Good advice? Please share. Thanks!
  • http://www.mysleepingproblems.com Nancy Nadolski

    Morning Tim,

    Sleep – is what I’m good at. Actually, it’s not sleeping that I’m good at. This next week I start Sleep School for my patients. Have relied on every lullaby known to human ears. Any suggestions?

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      White noise? Ocean waves? Have you ever tried one of those noise machines? Because our two children have white noise in their room, and we have monitors in both rooms, I cannot sleep on the road without it. It’s too quiet, so I use a white noise generator app on my phone while I sleep.

  • http://www.FullThrottleLiving.com Lisa Brouwer

    My last song is Bon Jovi Welcome – “Welcome to wherever you are, this is your life, you’ve made it this far”… or his “We Weren’t Born to Follow”. The song that is guiding me in how I live my life is Mercy Me’s Goodbye Ordinary. Take a listen… very inspiring!

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      I feel the urge to wave my lighter. : )

      I’ve seen them maybe four times … the first was, gulp, back at the original Farm Aid almost 30 years ago.

  • http://www.hollandhomeservices.com/ Steve Holland


    I know what song you’d pick for me… Born to be wild!

    If I was doing a One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning presentation – It would have to be Yellow by Coldplay and for obvious reasons. Man would I love to get the rights to use there song in some of my commercials http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MwjX4dG72s&ob=av2e

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      I’m sure Chris Martin would be happy to rent you the rights to that song for a few bucks. : )