Janelle's Blog

Stayin’ Alive with John Travolta

Meeting John Travolta

The setting was the 2008 John Travolta Saturday Night Spectacular, a Super Bowl fundraiser party for National Breast Cancer Foundation and Marshall Faulk Foundation.

The streets were lined with Super Bowl fans searching for places to eat, drink, and be entertained. Inside the Scottsdale Galleria Corporate Centre, a multi-level 60,000 square-foot atrium-like building, 1,300 fans were packed in to see their favorite stars and light up the pre-game evening with the music of REO Speedwagon.

There was a frenzy of enthusiasm as people inside waited for John Travolta to walk the red carpet. In the last few minutes before he appeared, I was introduced by Mark Steines, co-host of Entertainment Tonight, to take the stage and greet an enthusiastic crowd as I told them about NBCF and our work to help save lives across America.

I had just stepped off the stage and was making my way through the crowd when the invitation came for me to go to the upper deck to meet John Travolta. What a thrill to cross the room and stand face-to-face with one of my long-time favorite actors. As we started to talk, I was fascinated at how he turned his magnetic screen personality to a one-on-one encounter. I have never met any celebrity with more personal warmth and connection.

What Does Larry King Have to Say About the Power of Connection?

Television personality Larry King, one of the greatest communicators of all time, has probably interviewed more famous people than anyone in the world. Larry says, in his book How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere, that to connect with people there are a few basic things you must do. The first rule of conversation is to listen.

That’s what John Travolta did. He paid close attention to every word I spoke, giving me 100% of his attention even though there were over 1,000 other people hoping to have a glimpse of him. The second I started talking about National Breast Cancer Foundation, his multi-million dollar smile broke loose across his face and his entire countenance locked in on our conversation. He thanked me for what we do to help women as he told me he had lost two people to breast cancer.

Larry King also talks about using eye contact and body language to make people comfortable when you are talking to them. I watched John Travolta skillfully hold our conversation by connecting with focused eye contact and body language to match. He wasn’t looking over his shoulder and giving me half-attention. He made certain he didn’t miss a moment of time by directly facing me and keeping the conversation in alignment with his body language.

Then, one more thing Larry King talked about was allowing your unique personality to come through. Talking to John Travolta was comfortable and relaxed because he took complete control of a moment in time and gave it a twist of his magnetic personality.

Stayin’ Alive

Twenty-eight years of stayin’ alive because of early detection–that is what I celebrate today. I want to thank John Travolta for his caring about others to include National Breast Cancer Foundation in his outreach to the world.

You may not have an opportunity to talk with a famous celebrity like John Travolta, but I can guarantee you something. If you will incorporate the easy steps to connecting with people that Larry King suggests, your circle of influence will increase. Dozens of people pass by you every day and you may not even notice the clues they give you about their deepest hurts. Women that are experiencing breast cancer desperately want someone to listen, to connect with them, and to make them feel like they care.

Start with meeting new friends on MyNBCF, our online community. Connect with compassionate and caring words.

Thought for Today:

“Listening gives such powerful emotional oxygen to everyone involved. When we don’t listen, we often give unwanted answers and solutions to problems that do not exist. Most of the time, they’re just gasping for air.” – Stephen R. Covey

Live Life,


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