Unconventional speaking advice #5: No Brown M&Ms

This post is part of the Unconventional speaking advice series. To find out more go to the first post.

Do you have specific technology requirements for your speeches?

Do you rely on other people to set things up for you?

Are you a prima donna millionaire?

If so, why not start using Van Halen’s unconventional contract rider whenever you’re paid to speak:

There will be no brown M&Ms in the back stage area upon pain of forfetier of the show

I heard about Van Halen’s requirements in last week’s episode of This American Life. While touring the rock band demanded a bowl of M&Ms in their dressing room with the brown ones painstakingly removed.

A spitful, ostentatious request?

On the contrary.

The band would travel with five trucks of equipment. Everything had to be setup quickly and safely. They had specific logistical, technical and personnel requirements of each venue. There must be enough electricity. The stage must be strong enough to support the weight of all the equipment. And hundreds more requirements stipulated in a vast contract.

Hidden in Article 126 was the M&Ms clause.

A brown M&M would indicate that the venue manager had not read the entire contract. Other things may have been missed. Important safety requirements that could put the band and the audience at risk.

Do you get paid to speak? Have you ever been let down by a venue? Maybe you need an M&Ms clause.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Famously (and hilariously) referenced in Waynes World 2 – Zang!

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