You may have heard the statistic more people in the world fear public speaking more than death. People are scared to get up and talk in front of an audience. What if they forget? What if they stuff it all up? How would they be seen by the audience and by their peers? Just the thought of these things can drive people to a greater fear than death. I still find it extraordinary when I run speaking workshops in organizations that so many people are afraid of what others will think of them.

Using memory techniques can help you destroy the burden of public humiliation. Not only that, but it will help you to create a talk that’s engaging, memorable and most importantly communicate a message that doesn’t suck. Below is one strategy to help you remember your speech and be confident delivering your message.

How to remember a speech

Method 1 – Linking You can connect each major point of your presentation with a story using visualization, association and imagination (VAI technique). For example if your talk is about organizational vision, you may do the following:

  1. Introduction
  2. What our organization is about
  3. What our organization has been doing
  4. Our successes
  5. Our vision
  6. How we intend to get there
  7. Your contribution
  8. Questions
  9. Thank you

Now obviously there would be a load of information and detail for the topics above. This is where you would need to prepare your speech in advance and know the topic you are talking about. Once you have a good understanding, all you need to do next is memorize the key points in your talk. You can do this by creating a story using visualization, association and imagination.

You can imagine introducing yourself by bowing down so low you actually fall. This little drama will help you remember ‘Introduction’. You get up from the fall and walk into your organization and meet new staff that have joined your organization. You are then too excited to tell them about your organization as they are new. They ask you a question on what the organization does and you tell them the organization has been helping people achieve great health. Then imagine the new staff cheer with glee saying ‘great success!’, acknowledging the fine work done. In fact, one of the new staff leapt so high with excitement that her glasses fell and shattered. Now she couldn’t see and had no vision. You ask her how she intended to get to her car without her glasses. She said she didn’t know and you kindly offeryour contribution of taking her to her car. She’s at her car now and you’ve gone off. She then questions herself saying “Hang on, I’m in my car but I still can’t see!”. Her friend pops out from the corner and says, “Here you go, I’ve just fixed your glasses, they are good as new”. Thank you says the lady.

All you need to do now is to go through the story a few times making them visual as possible then recall the story. The key points memorized will help you remember.

Let me know how you go and feel free to share if you think it will help others.

(Excerpt from the book The Yellow Elephant)

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