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Tossing the Prepared Remarks

Today I went to hear Husband Bob give a 2-hr presentation on clinical hypnosis at the UNC School of Social Work.  He'd worked really hard on what he was going to say and had been calling it his "valedictory speech."  Not that he's retiring; he continues his psychotherapy practice three days a week (and more.)

But this was the moment he'd chosen to offer what he'd learned about using hypnosis in 45 or so years of practice.. 

So he prepared and prepared and had far too much material to possibly cover even if he talked at dizzyingly high speed.

Then last night he decided that what he had planned was dry and would not engage people.  He tossed it. 

Instead he sat onstage in a big rocking chair and talked off the cuff, weaving ideas into stories.  And it went so well. I was re-impressed.

Probably the preparation helped to make that happen.  Even so, it takes some chutzpah to throw out the plan and simply talk to an audience for two straight hours. 


A footnote:  I learned something I hadn't realized before: that Bob thinks of one part of the clinical hypnotic process in the same way — same concept, same metaphors — that I do the creative process.   We both see our respective disciplines as a process of dissolving tight connections within a problem or situation and setting the basic pieces free to combine in new ways.   I think of it as "greasing the elements" so that they slip and slide. 

If you've ever done Word Jumbles and set the letters loose in your mind's eye to take a new order, then you know what I mean.

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Categories: enhancing creativity

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  • March 26, 2013 at 5:10 am Reply

    So sorry I had to miss Bob's talk.  He's what the Sioux called a "true human."  One who cares and shares in equal proportion.  Was his talk videotaped>

    • March 26, 2013 at 6:51 am Reply

      That’s lovely, Temple. I’ll pass it on. And yes, his talk was videotaped.

  • March 26, 2013 at 5:31 am Reply

    Wonderful!  I have to give a talk in a couple of weeks and will definitely keep this in mind.

  • […]    to read her post or to follow her new novel, Cobalt Blue.                                                                                                                              I was pleased with how the talk turned out, and I’ll use that informal format for any talks I give in the future.  Not as well organized or complete as the conscious mind would prefer, however infinitely more natural and comfortable for me, as well as more personal, engaging [and I hope], entertaining for the audience.  You can see a listing of the  Clinical Lecture Series with supporting materials and videos of each talk at  the UNC School of Social Work’s website .  I’ll post here when they post the video of my talk, and maybe add that video here as well.  Dr Bob […]

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