There is a phenomenon that occurs to those with an immense fear of public speaking.
It is called a “white out” and it refers to when your mind goes completely blank in the middle of a speech. You can’t remember jack. It’s like your thoughts instantly evaporate and all that’s left is an empty white canvas, with you a sitting duck.
This occurs because the nervousness causes a tremendous amount of strain on our minds which takes up our mental resources, and this includes the resources needed to remember a speech. Memorizing a speech word-for-word is a good way to make this happen. Well, that is when combined with the fear of public speaking.
But worry not, for the there are memory techniques available that can help you remember your speech with ease.
First off, the Method of Loci, more commonly known as the Memory Palace, was constructed just for you to remember your speech points. It’s the same fundamental technique used by participants in the World Memory Championships in order to remember all sorts of things such as card decks, two-digit numbers, alphabet, number sequences, etc.
Let’s get right to it:
There is a great TED Talk by Joshua Foer that describes the history of memorization techniques and how you can implement them.
Foer describes that we remember things easier when associated with spatial awareness. Let’s take your house as an example. With this structure you are able to create a story.
Perhaps at your front door there is a waiter holding a menu. This could be used to remember your opening about a dining experience gone wrong at a restaurant. Then in your living room sits an elephant wearing Mickey Mouse ears, a hint to remind you of an experience at Disneyland.
Picture a room that you are familiar with. Now picture in the middle of the room a huge red phone with neon green buttons. Maybe there was an important call that changed your life—there’s your cue. And continue on and on through as many rooms as you need to add memory clues.
Here is a simple summary of the process:
There is also a second video with Lewis Howes and Jim Kwik that I recommend which goes over another technique to remember your speech points. It’s a derivative of the Memory Palace although instead of using your “palace” and its many rooms, you use your body parts instead. It’s an equally effective way to remember multiple points, and if you follow along with the steps in the video, you’ll see why.
Check it out below:
Give these methods a test run in your mind. It could be for anything that you want to remember and is not limited to remembering speeches. You’ll never have to write your grocery list down on paper again!
The best part about being able to remember your speeches with ease is that it takes some of the pressure off, which when left alone would otherwise heighten public speaking anxiety.
Alleviate some of that worry by using these techniques to prepare for your next speech.
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About this guy...
Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life and it can change yours, too. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.