Did you know that the fear of speaking is the most common phobia in the United States, even ahead of the fear of death? That’s right — at a funeral, most people would rather be in the casket than have to give the eulogy. Yikes.
If you are among the many, we are here to help you dissolve this fear. This article is all about how to memorize a speech faster, smoother, and more effectively so that you awe the audience with your soaring confidence and impeccable delivery.
Oh, but we won’t stop at teaching you how to memorize a speech… We will be giving you other awesome memory techniques, such as how to memorize lines, how to memorize the periodic table, and even how to remember your dreams.
We are equipping you to be a memory wizard!
How Can I Memorize A Script Quickly?
1. Don’t write out your speech
Word by word, that is. Here are just a few problems with writing out your speech word-for-word:
- You are more likely to stumble upon your words.
- You risk sounding like a robot.
- It’s a zillion times more difficult to remember.
- Think you nailed it by remembering every word? Nobody knows the difference.
So, here’s the idea: Instead of writing your speech out word-for-word, just write an outline of what you want to say.
This way, you only need to memorize the key points you want to get across to your audience. This frees up the mind and allows for more charisma, emotion, and flow. Your outline only has to be 1-2 word points for every topic you’d like to cover. Keep it simple, you just need enough direction to keep your thoughts on a steady stream.
2. Visualize and create a Memory Palace
Now that you have a basic outline of your speech, assign each point a mental image. For instance, if you want to talk about your company’s profit, you may create a mental image of a bag of money (or a dollar sign). Do this for every point, and don’t be shy — you can make these as weird and quirky as you wish (nobody’s going to know about them).
After this, you can create a “Memory Palace.” A Memory Palace is an ancient memory technique that leverages our brain’s impressive spatial memory to help us memorize lists (or an outline, in this case). The basic idea is to use your imagination to place these mental images in a room that you are very familiar with. So, for instance, you can imagine walking into your bedroom and seeing a giant bag of money on your bed, then place other mental images throughout the room as you would scan it.
You can learn more about this impressive memory technique and how to memorize a speech using it here.
Need we say more? Practice, practice, practice.
Practicing will really help to build your confidence. Also, don’t worry if your speech is different every time — as long as you are getting all of the main points across, it’s perfect.
4. Remind yourself of your expertise
Whatever you are giving a speech on, you are an expert. Don’t let fear get in the way of remembering this. Remind yourself of your brilliance, and let your knowledge and wisdom flow out of you.
Relax, do a dance, laugh. You’ve got this.
Other Awesome Memory Hacks
While we’re riding the memory train, here are a few more quick, awesome memory hacks to use when learning how to memorize lines, how to memorize the periodic table, and even how to remember your dreams. Okay, let’s go!
How to memorize lines
Need to memorize your lines for a production? Here are a few quick, simple tips to help.
- Read the script and fully understand it’s meaning
- Try writing out your lines
- Move around, gesture, and convey emotion as you memorize them
- Visualize your lines and the messages they convey
- Memorize one chunk at a time
- Record yourself
- Repeat your lines (over and over)
- Relax and give yourself many mental breaks
How to memorize the periodic table
For most chemistry classes, in grade school and college, you are required to tediously memorize the periodic table of elements. Or, perhaps you wish to have them memorized for fun! Either way, here are some tips to make the memorization process far less tedious.
- Create images for all the elements (for example, someone waving “Hi!” for Hydrogen)
- Use the Memory Palace technique
- Use flashcards
- Break it down and learn sections at a time (for instance, learn the noble gases first, then the halogens, etc.)
- Check out this catchy song from AsapScience
How to remember your dreams
Do you ever ask yourself, “Why can’t I remember my dreams?” If so, you are not alone! Here are some tips you can start implementing right now.
- Be sure to get enough good-quality sleep (8+ hours)
- Set the intention to remember your dreams
- Keep your alarm clock close to your bed (getting up to turn it off disrupts your thought process and dream recall)
- As soon as you wake up (before you even move) think about what you were just dreaming
- Keep a dream journal
- Keep a note by your bed that asks “What did you dream?”
- Avoid alcohol or medication (even the green kind) before bed
- Try these dream herbs and supplements to help boost your dream recall
What Is The Fastest Way To Memorize A Paragraph?
There are several ways to remember paragraphs fast. The fastest and most efficient one is the old Hindu method that is used for remembering long religious texts.
Naturally, you would have to go step by step, so you should read the first paragraph, repeat it several times, and once you’re sure that you’ve remembered it, go onto the next one.
Now, repeat the first and the second line together. Keep repeating until you are sure that you have memorized them and then go onto the third line.
Repeat the process again, first to the third line, and when you are done, move forward.
This chain way of memorizing long texts is one of the fastest and most effective ones.
How Do You Memorize A Speech Without Notes?
There are situations in life when you will have to make a speech, but you will not be allowed to use notes. And you probably shouldn’t. A speech without notes seems much more professional and natural.
As David Thomas says:
The worst thing you can do to remember a speech is to sit down and try to memorise a pile of cue cards.
But, how do you memorize a speech and succeed in conducting a good one?
Of course, there are some techniques that can help. Our favorite is the Journey method.
The Journey Method
- Separate your speech into smaller bits and find strong keywords that will represent each part and that you will easily memorize. There should be no more than 10-20 words, depending on the length of your speech.
- Give each trigger word a specific position in a place you are familiar with. For example, your bedroom can have the first word for the first point in the script, your bathroom can have the second, kitchen third, and so on. This way, each time you are in that room, you will remember a certain part of the speech and its main points.
- Give a picture to each room. Imagine something silly or interesting in each room that will remind you of the trigger word that you have previously chosen.
- Form a route through the place and go through your speech’s main points every time you step into the room and remember those mind images connected to the trigger words.
Should You Memorize A Speech?
In most of the cases, remembering just key points of a speech would be quite enough. The point is to be able to represent the ideas from a speech once you’ve understood it completely.
When you know where you’re going with your speech, you just need the main idea and all the rest will follow. It will seem much more natural that way and the listeners will enjoy more.
Photo: Christina Mänd Lakhiani on the stage at Mindvalley’s Afest, Sardinia
Do you have any other tips on how to memorize a speech (or anything, for that matter)? How about tips on how to remember your dreams? Share with us in the comment below!