How to remember your speeches

How to remember your speeches

Oct 19, 2021 09:47 AM
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Nov 4, 2021 09:00 AM
Dominic Zijlstra
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Performative speaker Robbie Crabtree explains how he chunks things into blocks, resolves open loops, and adds musical notes to make his speech stick to his mind.
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Performative speaker Robbie Crabtree explains how he chunks things into blocks, resolves open loops, and adds musical notes to make his speech stick to his mind.
Connect with Robbie at @RobbieCrab
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but in terms of how do you remember it.
You know, it depends on the person is the honest answer, some people need to write all out and need to be more memorized. Some people are better at what's called extemporaneous speaking, which is speaking without notes. So that means you're still prepared. But you don't need to memorize the full thing in order to understand, and you don't need notes to actually guide you.
So for instance I did a 45 minute speech the other day, and I had no notes, nothing was memorized. I basically written it out in blocks. So, I just knew what each main block was. And then I was able to speak on each of those blocks in this period of time. And what you'll find is the longer you do this, the more you get this internal clock that kind of guides you.
So, because as a trial lawyer, I would have very tight time domains. I learned what 15 minutes felt, what 20 minutes felt like, what five minutes felt like. So like I told you, I don't actually have to write it out and memorize. But I put blocks and I know that those blocks are so I'm structuring them in a way that is going to take the listener on a journey, right? We're going to have some sort of narrative flow.
Oftentimes that means I'm opening up a loop at the beginning, which is going to be my macro loop. And then I'm providing smaller pieces inside of that, that are kind of interchangeable. But when you think about it, it's normally what I'm calling a stacking and I'm leading to the most important thing by setting up the first thing, the second thing, and it leads into the third thing, which is the big one and then you're closing that macro loop at the end.
So that's a general basis of how I would think of structuring it. The reason we do this in order to make it sticky, going back to that point is if we open a loop, humans want resolution, and if we have something that's unresolved early on, we can keep them engaged for much longer, because they want to figure out what is that conclusion.
So if we start thinking about these pieces, we start using them and then we create this musicality or this dynamic delivery on top of it. We're using almost musical notes. Like when I write something, oftentimes if I'm writing a big speech, I will literally write musical notes over top of the words so that I know exactly what they should sound like and how to build different rhythms and cadences.
And where tonality should change, where volume changes shifts, and where big pauses are so I can really drive home that point.

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