Imagine being able to remember your speech flawlessly. Even if your speech is 30 minutes long!
Imagine the process for remembering your speech was effortless.
I’ve posted before about memorizing your speech, but previous posts have related to business presentations where there is a fixed number of agenda points (often 3 or less).
What happens when you have a long speech which transitions between 10 or 20 key points or sub-headlines?
In this post I’ll show the effortless method to remember your speech.
A couple of warnings upfront:
Know your topic
This process can be used to successfully remember any speech and any level of detail (literally down to line-by-line).
I recommend that you use this method to remember the key points or sub headlines in your speech rather than line-by-line because your speech will sound more natural.
The more granular you take this method the more stilted your speech potentially becomes as you take a split-second to recall the next sentence.
Preparation is still required
While this process makes a breeze of remembering your speech, you still have work to do.
You still have to plan out what to say.
You still need to practice.
But the practice part becomes much easier when you can effortlessly remember your speech.
Let’s get started!
Have you ever heard of the Memory Palace? That’s what we’ll use to remember your speech.
The concept behind the memory palace is that we remember images much better than doing rote memorization.
It works by finding a “palace” which you know well, such as your home, the walk to work, your gym, etc.
We create a path through the palace in our minds and associate something about the rooms, or objects in the room, to parts of our speech.
Rather than a big long conceptual explanation, I’m just going to give you an example of my speech and how I remembered it.
Here is the layout of my speech (the key points, in order):
- My train-wreck, and first, presentation
- How people fear giving and listening to presentations
- My awful experience doing my first presentation
- My experience since watching my first presentation
- Bad presentations in the context of dating
- Good presentation point one: conversation
- Good presentation point two: interaction
- Good presentation point three: be yourself
- Strong relationships build a great presentation
Remember, I know my topic well, but on-stage I need to remember the above talking order. And I need to do it naturally, i.e. No notes, no prompts.
This is where the Memory Palace comes in.
First of all, here’s my palace:
This is the first house I owned and so I know it very well.
I need to assign each point to a room of the house and make a linear path through those rooms.
Here is the diagram again with numbers and short labels:
Now I imagine myself walking from point 1 to point 9 and associate something in the room to the point of the presentation.
1. My train-wreck, and first, presentation
I’m standing outside my house and witness a terrible train wreck at the railroad tracks in the distance.
I turn and walk in the front door. I turn left into the living room.
2. How people fear giving and listening to presentations
In the living room I see scared presenters standing near the fireplace. Sitting on the sofa, watching them, are a very bored audience.
I turn around and walk into the kitchen.
3. My awful experience doing my first presentation
In the kitchen I open the fridge to get something to eat and find the fridge empty. I panic! What should I do?
I walk out of the kitchen into the laundry.
4. My experience since watching my first presentation
I see the clothes being washed in the laundry and the dryer tumbling away with sheets inside. I’ve seen this thousands of times. Just like the number of presentations I’ve done since my first attempt.
I walk into the bathroom.
5. Bad presentations in the context of dating
I imagine a couple standing near the shower, at a makeshift bar, having a drink.
I imagine the typical first date. It’s going badly. The man just keeps talking. Talking “at” his date. Just like a bad presentation.
We need to do better presentations.
I walk into the master bedroom.
6. Good presentation point one: conversation
I remember the great conversation I had with my dad when I was a kid; when he owned the house and we were building the furniture after moving in.
I walk into the study.
7. Good presentation point two: interaction
This is my computer room. I think of all the great interactions I’ve had chatting online, Facebook, email, etc.
I walk into the spare bedroom.
8. Good presentation point three: be yourself
I remember myself as a kid, when this was my bedroom. As I kid that’s when you are the most “yourself.”
I walk into the dining room.
9. Strong relationships build a great presentation
I think of all the great dinner parties where I’ve built stronger relationships with my family and friends.
That’s it! That’s all there is to it!
Need to remember more detail?
You can go more granular if you need to remember more detail.
For example, when I walk into the living room I talk about how 75% of people fear public speaking.
I can remember this by imaging a painting of the number 75 hanging on the wall. Or the number “75” graffiti-ed across the television.
Give this memory method a try with your next speech!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.