Commandments For A Good Monologue

1. The 15-second rule

Your monologue should tell the audience the ‘who, why, what, when, and where’ of the story 15 seconds in. A typical monologue is 1-2 minutes long. The earlier you reveal the context of the story, the easier it will be for the audience to follow you and focus on your delivery. 

2. Unleash your vulnerabilities

Address the person that you fear the most. Your work must cost you something, because people want to watch you risk. Risk comes when you are willing to reveal things to strangers that you find hard to show even your closest friends.

3. Stay in the moment

It is easy to anticipate your next line or get paralysed by nerves. You must stay in the moment and bring the moment to the audience. What obstacles are you trying to overcome as the character? What are you doing? Stay focused by asking yourself these questions as you prepare for your monologue.

4. Dress like your character

Your job is to convince the audience that you are the character. Dressing the part helps you to do this.

5. Edit if you need to

To own the monologue, don’t be afraid to make changes to make it the best it can be. Make it clear who you are speaking to. Bring it into the moment. If it helps, add a name to the start of your monologue (e.g. “Jane, I have to tell you that…”). This helps you and the audiences identify who the monologue is directed to from the get-go.  

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