Tracy Lipp is originally from Los Angeles, California. Tracy grew up around the entertainment industry and made a living playing guitar. He met a Finnish girl in 1999 which caused a pivot in his professional career. He moved to Helsinki, Finland and got a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing. He has multiple gold and platinum records as a songwriter and a Finnish Grammy (EMMA) for song of the year.
How professional songwriters write a song
Professional songwriters developed a method using visualization in which a song is like a small movie. In the first verse you set the scenes, you describe where things are, who is there, what is happening, etc. The pre-chorus moves to the chorus with a statement. Then the chorus sums up the first verse with a hook line, easy to remember, and usually conversational. The second verse moves the story forward. The second pre-chorus has usually the same lyrics, sometimes not. Then the chorus comes: same words but with a new twist as the story has changed in the second verse. A great example is Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a prayer“.
Tracy’s experience and thoughts on public speaking
Tracy uses improvisation in his talks, especially when unexpected things happens (e.g. a prop not working). Improvisation is something he learned by performing as a musician. When Tracy sees a talk, he likes to hear phrasing: when you pause, for how long, the cadence, etc. That is how great speakers do. Actors and stand up comedians are good at it (e.g. Borat class on telling jokes).
What Speakers Can Learn from Songwriters
1. You need a great hook line, like successful songs have.
2. Start with a great hook, to grab the audience. Craft the beginning a lot.
3. Craft the closer too. The best closers don’t even sound crafted.
4. Get the audience into “flow for listening.”
“An amateur practices until he can get it right. A professional practices until he can’t get it wrong.” —Anonymous
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Routine to Shine
Find a way to get into flow (the zone) daily. To start, just for 20-30 seconds.
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