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Public Speaking: Quick Tips to Fix Forgetfulness

Updated on October 12, 2009

It's extremely interesting to note that even some world-renowned performers suffer from extreme stage fright and the paralyzing fear of completely going blank on their lines. Luciano Pavarotti was famous for butterflies to match the cavernous size of his belly. The Great Maestro always worried that he would forget the lines to one of his thundering, soaring, operatic arias.

Many many many many many years ago, my father was co-starring in a major network sitcom taped in front of a live audience. He stepped out onto the set and couldn't remember a single line! Nothing! The other actors were waiting for their cues and they never came. He just kind of walked around the set talking about how nice the weather was and what about all those nice new cars coming out this year. The producers had to send the audience home as he was in virtually every scene in the show and the only thing he could do was adlib! And in network television sitcoms off the cuff adlibbing is not exactly how the programs are taped...

Having trouble remembering your lines in a play? Don't worry, most people find it the hardest part of acting. Never fear, however, as I have some foolproof tricks to help jog your memory.

They didn't work for my father, but that's because he was hopeless... and that's a whole 'nother Hub... or set of Hubs...

Many people find it difficult to remember everyday things, such as shopping lists and phone numbers. So, how in the world are you supposed to remember all these lines? There are some characters in classic plays who can have several thousand lines to remember! It may seem like the impossible, but as I can certainly testify (been there, done that, got the t-shirt), it isn't.

I once had to deliver a very long monologue... in Italian! Now, I'm fluent in the language so you would think that it wouldn't be such a difficult task. However, what you may not realize is that Italian is written in a very different structure than English. The English language is based on structuring paragraphs with a series of short to medium length sentences. Extremely long, multiple-appended, drag on and on and on and on sentences are frowned upon. The proper English paragraph has a mixture of short and medium length sentences, but when you're reaching 30 to 40 words, it's high time to reach for that period key that you've been avoiding for so long.

That is emphatically not the case with the Italian language. The most erudite and poetic literary geniuses of the language shun the period like we would run away screaming from encountering Jason wearing his hockey mask and a sharp, dripping knife in a dark alley. Why Italians consider mega compound sentences to be great literature completely befuddles me, but (and I know you will find this hard to believe) from the beginning to this article to the end of this paragraph is exactly 508 words, and if I had been writing them in Italian, this would be my very first period.

Try remembering an hour long speech made up of nothing but 500+ word sentences and see well how you do!

Continued In Public Speaking: Quick Tips to Fix Forgetfulness - Part 2

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