Double Trouble

Double Trouble Alligators

We’re always up for Chris Rock, so we caught his new standup comedy special, “Selective Outrage.” Rock’s material, which was insightful and humorous, began to wane as something reared its ugly head—repetition. Rock said a line, paused, then said it again. Sometimes he repeated a line up to seven times!

At first, we thought it was a technique to buy time. Repetition can be a tool to recall one’s next line or section without being obvious. And then we thought Rock was using repetition for its intended purpose—to emphasize a point. But no such luck. After Rock repeatedly repeated lines from his monologue, it was just plain irritating. Like any technique, if overused, it becomes ineffective. And instead of featuring a line to make it stand out—everything you say has equal (or no) importance.

In a presentation or pitch, feel free to repeat a slogan, theme, or tagline, but sparingly, and with variation. Listen to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony for—da-da-da-DAH! And notice how he weaves that theme as the central musical idea throughout. Do the same when speaking and you’ll be memorable. And you won’t have to focus on Will Smith’s slap.

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