Recording your speech: a great way to aid recall

Recording your speech: a great way to aid recall

We are not sure exactly when people first began recording themselves rehearsing speeches. My guess is that audio recording started soon after the commercial introduction of reel-to-reel tape recorders in the late 1940s, and video would have been used from the 1960s and 1970s with the advent of portable video cameras. Whatever the case, the recent proliferation of smartphones and other personal recording devices has enabled the practice to become a standard technique for many public speakers.

Recording yourself while practicing your speech offers a unique opportunity to enhance your performance and memory recall. While rehearsing in front of a mirror may help you monitor your gestures and expressions, a recording gives you the ability to play back your performance, allowing you to pay closer attention to your pace, intonation, and clarity of delivery.

Audio recordings in particular, give you a means to hear your speech spoken multiple times, with minimal effort. The whole process aids you in remembering your speech. When you record and listen to your own speech, you're activating different cognitive processes – speaking, listening, and self-analysis. This multi-sensory engagement facilitates a deeper imprinting of the speech content on your memory, making it easier to recall when you're on the stage.

Where you choose to playback your speech recording can greatly impact the effectiveness of your practice sessions. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  1. In Transit: During your commute, use your time by listening to your speech recording. It's a great way to maximize productivity during an otherwise unproductive period. By immersing yourself in the content, you can make progress even while on the go.
  1. At Home: Finding moments of tranquility and concentration is essential for effective practice. Consider playing your speech recording while doing household chores or during a quiet moment at home. The familiar environment can help you relax and focus on the nuances of your delivery.
  1. During Exercise: For those who lead an active lifestyle, incorporating your speech practice into exercise routines can be beneficial. Whether jogging, cycling or at the gym, listening to your speech can add an intellectual element to your physical routine. Engaging your mind while working out can enhance your overall performance.
  1. Before Bed: Research suggests that reviewing material before sleep can enhance memory recall. Take advantage of this phenomenon by listening to your speech recording before bedtime. The information will be fresh in your mind, and your brain can work on solidifying the connections overnight.

Recording yourself while practicing a speech and then playing it back is a great way to remember it. It's just one of many ideas we've discussed in this blog series, but we think every speaker should try it at least once. Even if you end up choosing other ways to remember your speech, watching, and listening to yourself can teach you a lot. So next time you are getting ready to speak, why not record it? You might find it not only helps your memory but your delivery too.

This blog is part of a series on speech memorization techniques. To see the other blogs in the series (and a lot of cute foxes) click here

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