Reprocessing Content for Better Speech Memorization

Reprocessing Content for Better Speech Memorization

The ability to remember your speech is critical to being able to deliver it smoothly. Mastering your content allows you to connect with your audience rather than simply reciting lines at them. One effective technique to bolster your memory is to reprocess your speech from one format into another.

Reprocessing involves changing your speech from its original form into other formats. This could be from a full written address to bullet points, from bullet points to flashcards, or even to a mind map.

When you reprocess your content, you actively engage with it, which aids in memory consolidation. You are also creating various visual and cognitive 'anchors' that can prompt your memory when delivering your speech. These anchors can trigger a chain of thought that can help you recall large speech segments.

There are many different formats you can reprocess your speech into:

  1. Bullet Points: Break down your full speech into concise points. This helps to distill your content into its fundamental components, making it easier to remember.
  2. Flashcards: Write key points or sections on flashcards. Flashcards are portable and handy for quick revisions.
  3. Mind Maps: Create a visual diagram that represents your speech. Start with the main topic in the center, then branch out to subtopics and individual points. This helps you visualize the structure of your address and how the ideas are interconnected.
  4. Audio Recording: Record yourself delivering the speech. Listening to it repeatedly can reinforce the content in your memory.
  5. Post-It Notes: We've mentioned this in a previous blog, but it's worth repeating. Write key points on Post-It Notes and stick them around your home or office for constant exposure.

Reprocessing is my own preferred technique for remembering a speech. I usually start by writing ideas on a mind map, a scrap of paper, or even a very rough PowerPoint presentation. I then write it out word-for-word on my laptop, taking care to identify the parts that I really need to remember word-for-word (typically punchlines or quotations). The speech usually evolves at this stage, as I restructure it for clarity and edit it down for time. I might even save several versions of the speech to give myself a choice. Then when I am happy with the chosen draft of the speech, I print it. My next step is usually to go through the speech from the printed paper and convert it into a mind map (or sometimes into an indented bullet list).

In the hours before the speech, I will invariably repeat the process of reprocessing the speech from paper into a scribbled bullet list or mind map (sometimes both). Somewhere on that bullet list/mind map, I will write out the full phrases that must be learned word-for-word, until I know them. This process usually works for me. The process of converting the speech from one format into another is where I actually learn it.  

So, before you deliver your upcoming speech, consider reprocessing your content. Whether it's a bullet point list, a stack of flashcards, a detailed mind map, or a voice recording, find the best methods for you and use them to your advantage. Here's to unforgettable speeches delivered with ease and confidence!

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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