Singer and bands drag themselves above the plethora of also-rans by rehearsal: constant practice of every intro, outro, lick, riff, harmony, pause, feel against a backdrop of light and shade. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock’n’roll.
Tourist in NY: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Taxi Driver: Practice, practice, practice
^Emulate singers and bands – practice every nuance of your presentation.
Songs can transfix us in time – first love, being with friends, travelling overseas. They are a strong and powerful influence. One technique songwriters use is to incorporate musical and lyrical hooks.
Musical hooks are generally called “riffs”, a repeated musical phrase that form the essence of a song. Think of the major riffs from:
- Queen – We Will rock you : just drums
- AC/DC – Long Way to the Top: ronka ronka guitar chords
- Guns’n’Roses –Sweet Child of Mine: Rolling Stones Magazine’s best guitar riff of all times
- The Knack – My Sharona: drums and bass
Because they’re repeated so often they become embedded in our minds. Repetition is important to the success of a song.
Similarly with lyrical hooks – repeated words you can’t get out of your mind from the beautiful to the banal:
- And I will always love you
- Simply the best, better than all the rest
- I get knocked down, I get up again
- I shot the sheriff (note the alliteration)
^Use hooks like repeated phrases or questions in your presentation to keep your audience engaged.
Most popular songs are relatively simple: simple in their message, simple in their communication and simple in their structure. Also each word is precious. The words in a song are required to convey complex emotions (or not) in a very short space. Don’t use superfluous words and keep your presentation structure simple. Don’t confuse your audience.
^Keep it Simple
A successful song not only has a subject, but also an angle or a theme. For instance the brilliant Dolly Parton Song “I Will Always Love You”, made famous by Whitney Houston has as its subject breaking up, the theme being the title of the song. Imagine the song without the theme lines. It would tell the story, but not be anywhere near as powerful.
^Consider a theme for your presentation to bring it to life.
- Find hooks to engage your audience
- Use repetition
- Keep it Simple
- Develop a theme