Steel Trap Memory for Speeches

Probably the worst mistake you can make is to try to memorize a speech word for word. First of all, it isn’t really necessary. The assumption is that if you’ve been asked to deliver a speech on a particular subject, you know something about that subject. Secondly, memorizing the speech word for word will make it sound that way when you deliver it–memorized. And, finally, when you memorize a speech word for word, you’re taking the chance of fumbling over one word you can’t remember.

Reading a speech doesn’t work either, because you want to hold the group’s attention, and reading to them is likely to put them to sleep. Even if you occasionally look up at your audience as you read, it won’t help much.

The best way to deliver a speech is to talk it in your own words, thought for thought. A speech is a sequence of thoughts; if the thoughts are out of sequence, the speech won’t make much sense. First, write out or type your speech, including all the things you want to say about all the ideas you think are important. Read it over to get the gist of it. Now for that “other idea”: Select a Key Word from each thought that will remind you of the entire thought.

This is easier to do than it might seem. There is rarely a thought, whether it is to be expressed in one sentence or two paragraphs, that cannot be brought to mind by one word or phrase. It is these Key Words (or Key Thoughts) that you Link – at which point you have the speech memorized thought for thought.

Joseph Plazo is a killer success coach with a passion for sneaky NLP techniques and negotiation skills. He helps people find great jobs in the Philippines [].