Dave Letterman Dissed Us, But We’re Not Gonna Take It


A few days ago, I was watching David Letterman on the living room flat screen. He was interviewing the singer/songwriter Billie Eilish, and he said this:

“I have seen your concerts…And the commanding power that emanates from you and the music is stunning. Do you remember the first time you recognized…”

Dave paused for a second. He was stuck on that word “power.” 

He continued: “…And it IS a power.” 

But then he backtracked.

“That’s the wrong word because ‘power’ suggests that it’s manipulative. And it’s not manipulative at all.”

Power = manipulation?

That got me thinking. 

Maybe I should rename my business…

“Story Power to Manipulate and Dominate the Masses.” 

I think not, though because…

…that’s a tad long and…

…Dave got it dead wrong!

A quick story to prove the point: 

Melissa and I went to the rock-and-roll show last night at Off Broadway nightclub in St. Louis. The artist: Aaron Lee Tasjan, one of my favorites. 

Toward the end of his set, he played a song called “Little Movies.” There’s a part of the song that gets real quiet. And when he reached that point, you could have heard a pin drop. 

Every face in the crowd was staring at Aaron Lee Tasjan. Listening with total concentration. No idle chatter. No beer bottles clanking. Just the artist and the audience, fully connected. 

A powerful artist in full control. An audience captivated and delighted.  

Call that what you will. But it ain’t manipulative. 

Power is a tool.
You can wield it for good.
You can wield it for evil. 

You can wield it to inspire, delight, and lift (see Aaron Lee Tasjan and Billie Eilish). 

Or you can wield it to manipulate and mistreat (see the Pied Piper of Hamelin).

So it goes with music. So it goes with marketing. 


I think I’ll stick with “Story Power Marketing.”

And you?

Embrace your power as a marketer.

Develop and nurture that power. Wield it for good. 

Don’t listen to Dave. 

You offer valuable products and services (if that’s not the case, opt-out and move on. Nothing to see here). 

When you market powerfully, when you captivate prospects, you don’t mislead and manipulate. You guide them to a better place. 

Keep it up, and let me know if you need a hand.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.