I posted earlier about the best way to memorize your speech. That post has proved pretty popular, so I’m following that up today with another posts about memorization.
In the previous post I talked about not trying to memorize your script word-for-word and only having three main points in your presentation.
If you are knowledgeable about your subject area, and you can remember your three key points, you can avoid the stess of trying to rote memorize what you have to say.
But what happens if you can’t remember your three main points?
What happens if you forget those three main ideas as soon as you step on stage and see all those inquiring eyes looking back at you?
Here’s an easy way to memorize the main points of your speech. It uses a memory technique from one of the world’s top memory experts. The guy’s name is Harry Lorayne.
Years ago, Harry Lorayne was interviewed on the Tonight Show about his memorization techniques. As a way of example, he remembered the name’s of every Tonight Show audience member and later called the name out to each of them. Time magazine has called him the Yoda of memory training.
A mnemonic is a device that will help you remember anything.
Usually, when we want to memorize something we run it over and over in our minds hoping that the repetition will embed the concept, idea, or lines in our memory.
Trouble is, repetition only works when it is spaced out.
Trying to remember something by repeating it in a short block of time (like an hour) doesn’t work. For example, in one of my speeches I remember everything word-for-word, including timing, and how I should move, because I have done the speech at least once a month for four years. I have repeated the speech, but in a spaced manner.
What if you don’t have the benefit of time?
A mnemonic allows you to quickly remember something without the need for repetition. It involves associating what you want to remember with an idea that is easy to recall. Often this takes the form of something visual, like a map or a person doing something.
You are in-charge of the sales and marketing department. You have been asked by your boss to deliver a speech to all sales representatives about the new marketing plans.
You have outlined your speech into these three main points:
1. The firm’s terrible sales results over the last three years
2. The new marketing and sales processes which will be implemented from next month
3. The sales forecasts for the coming year
Step 1 – Associate each point with an image
Use a simple image to make remembering each point easy.
The speech is about your firm, so think of a person in your company who’s memorable. Let’s imagine your boss.
Point 1 is about the terrible sales results over the last three years. Imagine your boss holding a one dollar bill, looking at a financial report, and crying. Make the image crazy by making your boss cry like a bad actor.
Point 2 is about the new marketing and sales process. This time imagine your boss reading a report and a light bulb appearing above his head. He has a smile on his face now.
Point 3 is about the sales forecasts for the coming year. This one’s easy. Just picture your boss laughing and rolling around in piles of cash.
Step 2 – Draw connections between the images
At this stage you will likely be able to recall each point of your speech clearly. To add more memorization “glue” you can also draw connections between each of the images.
Imagine your boss holding the report and one dollar bill and crying. He walks away with his head down and trips over a new report. When he picks it up a light bulb appears above his head. He smiles, drops the report and takes a running dive into a pile of cash.
That’s it! Using the above mnemonic processes you can quickly and easily commit the points of your speech to memory.
Let me know how you go in the comments below.