I sat today for over two hours spellbound!

My employer presented me with the opportunity to listen to one of the most amazing speakers I have heard for a very long time. I say amazing because Robyn Moore’s words, her delivery and her passion touched me in a way that gave me, to use her words (again), and you ‘ll find me doing that a lot in this post, a ‘Bugger Me!’ moment. A moment when I said to myself, Yes!, this is exactly what I’m about, or more specifically, what I want to be about!

Robyn loves words. As a creative, particularly in the theatrical sense, words are my stock in trade as well. I love the way they can evoke, emote and change a person, emotionally, spiritually and even physically, in a heartbeat. I love how words can lift you from the depths of despair, break you in a nanosecond, but most importantly, make you laugh until your mouth or stomach or sides or all of the above hurt.

But it is the way in which these words are delivered that really intrigues me. I’ve known many people that are given words to deliver or select their own words and their delivery of such words, both semantically and physically do not do the words justice. I see words as the musical notes on the page and the human body and our voice, the instrument through which these words are heard and felt.

Robyn’s message to us, specifically from a marketing perspective, listed three things to consider to ensure that our message to others, gets through. Those points were:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Make it memorable
  3. Evoke an emotional response

I thought about this for a moment. Even though this was presented from a ‘marketing’ perspective, it’s how theatrical creatives can always ensure their message (remember ‘the play’s the thing’, Shakespeare) gets across. We can even give our audiences, just like Robyn did for me, ‘Bugger Me!’ moments. We always have to remember that our audiences wish to be entertained, moved and even transformed.

As a performer I always ask myself, would I like to be in an audience watching me? Again, this has nothing to do with narcissist behaviour but rather, am I entertaining my audience? Am I putting in as much energy as I did the first time I performed this show, because I have to assume that this is the first time the audience has seen the show and my performance. I have to remember, The audience is waiting to hear the words, so I must make the words and the performance great!

I apply the same analogy to directing. I always endeavour to get the cast to do things that they may not want to do but ultimately do things that they never thought they could. I expect the same level of energy from their work as they see in mine. I try and enable my actors to have ‘Bugger Me!’ moments as well. I do this through getting commitment from the entire cast and crew. Getting them to declare their intentions, put any negative opinions aside and hold on for grim death over the entire journey. When we achieve this as a group, the creativity and innovation flows like a torrent. Exactly, as Robyn, said it would.

Robyn Moore, thank you for time, thank you for wisdom, but most importantly, bugger me, thank for your words.

I loved them.

Every single one.

Shane Mallory

Shane is a performer, emcee, host, communicator, creative, mentor and innovative theatre director. He lives in Ipswich, Queensland with his wife Natalie, who are almost 'empty nesters' providing a home for their two daughters' dog and two cats.


jodi · January 24, 2016 at 11:18 am

Hey Shane. An informative post particularly as I was unable to attend this session. It is fantastic when learning opportunities is applicable to both our professional and personal activities.

When I reflect upon the message that you have outlined I see an alignment to what I believe it takes to be an effective teacher.

1. Keep it simple = Break it down into small bite size chunks;
2. Make it memorable = Make it meaningful/relevant to the learner;
3. Evoke an emotional response = Portray your passion (because that’s why you became a teacher) and get the learner engaged.

Thanks and I look forward to reading more of your posts.


    shanemallory · January 27, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Jodi. Thanks so much for replying to my post and following my blog! I really feel like I’m on my way with your suggestions.

    Making things simple, memorable and emotional fit so many scenarios in our daily lives. Even though Robyn Moore based her advice on a marketing perspective you could align it to education and I was doing so in a performance context. There’s that magic word again, ‘context’!

    Here’s to more posts and hoping that our respective blogs become a platform for bigger and more memorable and emotional experiences.



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