Studying a Celebrity — Wes Winters Tribute to Liberace

Learning From The Pros — Wes Winters Tribute to Liberace

Three times a week Wes Winters stars in an afternoon show at the Liberace Museum, 1775 East Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas.  A Musical Tribute To Liberace is one of the best show bargains in Las Vegas.  Here are some lessons we can learn from the show that we can use to become better speakers and presenters of humor:

1.  Be yourself.  When I attended the performance I expected to see someone playing the character of Liberace.  Even though Wes occasionally delivered a Liberace line in the style of the legendary entertainer, 99 percent of the show is performed as Wes Winters.  Although he wears the flashy coat and jewelry in the style of the great entertainer and plays on a Liberace piano, Wes says: “There is only one Liberace.”  How true.  And there is only one Wes Winters.  And only one YOU.  As a speaker, your strength comes from being authentically you.  Your audiences don’t want to see you trying to be some other famous speaker.  They want to be touched by the real you.  Wes is a genuine, warm person and by the end of the show you feel like you know him.

2.  Talent will take you a long way.  Wes plays the music of Liberace.  What is surprising is that he has never had any musical training.  Because of his natural talent he was able to listen to Liberace recordings and learn to play the numbers by ear.  Pretty amazing.  It shows what talent and persistence can do.  That’s not to say it came easy to him.  He spent countless hours in practice honing his skills.  If you have a talent for something, focus on the task of becoming great and the odds are on your side.  Talent, passion, focus are a magical combination.

3.  The power of stories.  The Tribute show is more than just music.  What helps bring the show to life is storytelling to highlight the life of Liberace and Wes Winters journey to the Las Vegas stage.  A story is one of the most powerful vehicles for adding power to your speeches.  It paints pictures and makes your talk memorable.  It’s through story that you convey emotion and share the genuine you.  For more on the power of storytelling visit:  Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater International.

4.  Have fun.  Throughout the show it was clear that Wes Winters was having a great time.  This wasn’t just an act.  He mingled with audience members in the lobby after the show.  And as he left the building and crossed the parking lot he was still laughing.  Whatever you choose to do, enjoy it.  If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, find something else to do.  This applies to your speaking and your entire life!

The Musical Tribute to Liberace currently plays Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday at 1:00 pm.  Admission to the show is $15, (702) 798-5595.   A free shuttle bus is available.  Visit www.liberace.org.
Wes also entertains at Carluccio’s Tivoli Gardens Restaurant (Italian) next door to the Liberace Museum, Wednesday nights, 7:00 – 10:00 pm.  (702) 795-3236.