When I first started out as a speaker I was really intimidated at the thought of trying to memorize my keynote speeches. After listening to numerous speakers tell me that I absolutely must be able to give my speeches verbatim with little or no variation it felt, I felt a little overwhelmed by it all.
But since I started teaching my “Memory Magic” program, I have developed some simple techniques for making it a breeze to memorize a speech. Fist thing is, I use picture images. I make some sort of an image for the major words in the sentences. For instance, take one of the stories from my memory program, it begins like this:
“In 2009 I was in my hometown for my 20th high school reunion”…
So I made a picture image of the numbers “2009” in giant letters like they have in Hollywood, next I pictured the restaurant “Hometown Country Buffet” with the words HOMETOWN in bold, and finally I pictured the 20th Century Fox logo. These images assured that I would not forget the major points of that line. Next I said the line over and over, probably 30 times or so. Next I add a line, the second line is:
“And I got talking with an old friend of mine named Haley”…
For this line I pictured a phone and Haley’s comet.
Now after I have the first line down and have said it 30 or so times, I add the second line in right after I say the first. Now I start over repeating the two lines without interruption another 30 times or so. As for the words in between the words that I have picture images for, well once you have done it enough times they just tend to fall into place.
Now at first having to bring up these picture images as you speak will feel a little bit awkward and will slow your speech down, but after you have said it a few dozen times you will find that the pace picks up and the pictures pop into your head without hesitation. Eventually you may just forget the picture images all together and have the speech so well memorized that it doesn’t matter any more.