I’ve always have thought President Obama was a great speaker. I can’t even imagine having to do that many speeches… being careful of EVERY single word (knowing that one wrong nuance or inference could be front page headlines)… what a tough job. But I found it interesting to find out that Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his teleprompter.
Anyone who’s heard me speak or train knows that I’m a big advocate for “no notes.” If you see me on stage, I only have a pocket Bible. No notes. My dad always did the same. At my “Using 10-Minute Talks“ seminar last year at the YS National Youth Worker Conferences, I instructed youth workers to use shorter, story-driven talks… with no notes!
I guess Obama is trying to wean himself of his “notes” too. Yahoo news reports:
Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small.
After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches, reports surfaced that he was training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii. But no such luck.
People often react when I say “no notes.” But think about it. We want kids to remember what we say… don’t we? How can we expect them to remember the gist of what we said, if we can’t even remember “the gist.” And that’s all I expect speakers to memorize: the gist.
When I say “no notes,” I don’t mean “memorized.” My outline is memorized. My intro, transitions and closing are memorized. But my wording is extemporaneous. Think about it. If you hear a good joke and then repeat it at work the next day. Did you memorize it? No. But, unless you’re my wife Lori (she can’t tell a joke to save her life), you remember the details and basically tell the joke in your own wording.
Many stand up comedians will do this. You’ll see comics reviewing a list before they go on stage. If you watch me before a talk, I have a list, much like a stand up comedian’s list.
Last Sunday morning I spoke… here was my list:
What were you thinking?
as a kid…
faulty decision making
How can I change?
the secret, in 8 small verses
Ephesians 4: 17-24
God Wants to Change the way you THINK
Confessions about food
God wants to change the way you THINK
PAY FOR IT
What are you putting in your head? Surrounding yourself?
Get rid of fat clothes
Yes… I just typed that out without looking at any notes. Why? I have that list memorized. That list means nothing to you. But it means everything to me.
I never use the list on stage. It’s always in my back pocket, but I have never used it.
A list like that isn’t as hard as it looks. Those aren’t random words. Each story and idea flows from the last and to the next. It’s an easy memorize.
Wow… this is becoming a long blog.
I’ll be teaching this again at the YS Conventions this year… maybe you’ll just have to come check it out. 🙂
(ht to David for the article)