Off Book

Professional stage actors spend weeks in rehearsal learning their lines, blocking stage movement, and considering the nuances of their characters. Everyone is relieved when they are off book, or know their lines cold. It is only then that they are free to experiment, and open up the expressiveness of the script.

You may not have weeks to prep your speech or presentation, especially if others are involved. But you can leverage applied acting technique to get you off book sooner and allow your creativity to flow.

First, construct a compelling opening. Then, assemble an outline with three main buckets to organize your content. Give yourself an acronym for the buckets, like S (success we’ve had) O (obstacles in our path) and D (determination will see us through). Then memorize SOD. It’s your guide.

In the margins, write a short phrase (Donna/Mattel) to spark your memory for a specific story, and your theme, e.g. “Nothing will hold us back” to weave throughout the presentation. Craft your closing remarks.

Then rehearse in a space similar to where you’ll be presenting, adding appropriate movement, and before long, you’ll be off book.

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