One minute with Sam McCool
Sam McCool has been a finalist on Australia’s Got Talent, sold out solo comedy shows at the Sydney Opera House and performed all over the world from Bollywood to Hollywood.
What makes him unique is his ability to connect with and relate to almost any audience instantly. How? Embracing diversity. He has travelled and worked in 80+ countries, speaks 4 languages. He is just as adept at conversing with MPs and C-Suite executives, as he is chatting with blue collar factory workers.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Sam (virtually) for a quick virtual chat about what makes him tick, and his focus on diversity & inclusion while simultaneously remaining the witty, upbeat MC that clients love to invite back for events- again and again.
What elements do you bring to your role as an MC?
My focus is always on the audience. I want to honour their time and attendance so see it as my role to capture their attention from the 1st minute and keep it throughout. Once I have their attention, my aim is to entertain and engage their minds through relevant humour. This comes from countless unseen hours of research, writing, re- writing and rehearsal, to create a seemingly effortless delivery on the day.
Most of my clients are surprised at how much I seem to know about their industry, company or people. I do my homework, as it always shows up when least expected and in the best possible ways.
“The extra mile yields the extra smile” – Sam McCool (2021 i.e. just made that up now).
What’s 1 quick tip that can help people improve their speaking immediately?
The biggest tip is confidence. It overrides anything else you can do as a speaker, but it’s not a quick thing to master. A very quick tip is to ensure you stretch your mouth, tongue, lips and facial muscles before speaking. We often neglect this, yet being able to articulate clearly in front of crowds when your nervous, relies heavily on relaxed facial muscles.
What makes you a thought-leader on diversity?
From an early age, I have always had a thirst for knowledge about the world and how other people live. It led me to explore over 80+ countries, live in several, and learn 4 languages. I’ve often put myself in a position of being ‘the odd man out’ in a given group of people at home and abroad. Whilst living and travelling overseas I realised over and over again, that you get the most out of an experience, not by imposing your way of doing things but by learning how others do it. That way you’re learning multiple methods to deal with life, rather than only the one you inherited from your parents, education system or cultural background.
How did your idea of the world’s first multicultural game show come about?
I created a 1 hour comedy special for the Sydney Comedy Festival in 2015, and called it Embracism. It was a comedic look at our misconceptions of cultural identity and historical anomalies. From there I was recommended to deliver a comedy keynote at the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Anti-Racism launch at the UNSW. That led to various collaborations on creative projects, like the play “Lighten Up” which I co-wrote. People were slowly recognising the power of addressing cultural stereotypes and social stigma, through humour. Eventually a TV producer I knew suggested I find a way to promote my concept of cross-cultural understanding through humour in a fun easily digestible way. From that “Melting Pot Luck” was born… the world’s first multicultural game show.