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3 More Ways to Memorize Presentations Easily

November 3, 2014 / Blog, Presentation Science, Rick Enrico Blog, Tips & Tricks memorization, memorize presentations, presentation delivery, presentation preparation

In the past, we discussed a classic technique that you could use to memorize presentations. Heavily featured in the BBC show “Sherlock,” the memory palace technique allows you to use a mental image of any space or location to remember key points in your speech. It’s very effective, often used by memory athletes to memorize a random names or cards in under a few seconds.

Of course, the memory palace technique will take longer for newbies who are looking to memorize presentations. If you find it a bit challenging to focus on building your own mind space, there are other methods to help improve your memory and reduce your use of note cards. You’ll never have to worry about mental blocks with these 3 additional ways to memorize presentations.

1. Rehearse your presentation out loud

It’s not enough to just read your presentation again and again. If you really want to memorize presentations, you have to make time for a few rehearsals. According to a study published in 2010, memory can improve by more than 10 percent if information is spoken and repeated out loud.

So give yourself time to rehearse your presentation for more than just a few times. You can also make things easier by recording your sessions. Hearing yourself speak will help in internalizing your presentation. It will also help you pinpoint which parts might need more improvement.

2. Keep your rehearsals within the 20-20-20 rule

While repeated rehearsals are important, experts also recommend to keep sessions within the 20-20-20 rule. According to this rule, it will be easier to memorize presentations by reviewing your material for 20 minutes and then repeating the information twice for 20 minutes each. If you’re dealing with longer presentations, you can break up your speech into manageable parts and work piece by piece.

3. Make a mind map of your presentation

It will also help if you can visualize how your ideas and arguments relate to one another. Through a mind map, you can see the logical progression of your presentation. The shape or image you come up with will make it easier to remember how one point connects to the next, as opposed to simply having a list or outline as reference. To make sure your mind map works effectively,  use different colors for each “branch”. You can also add drawings that illustrate your points.

Other helpful tips:

  • Avoid distractions.  It will be hard to focus when you have to periodically answer emails and text messages. Always rid your practice sessions of any distraction. Step away from your computer and turn off notifications for your phone for a while. Keep your attention on the task at hand.
  • Make time for short breaks. Even as you work hard to deliver a great presentation, don’t forget to reward yourself with short breaks. Give yourself time to relax in between each rehearsal to keep your creativity flowing.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is also a crucial ingredient in memory improvement. According to several studies, there’s a strong relationship between sleep and memory. As an article on Psychology Today points out, “There is no longer any doubt. Sleep does improve the gelling or consolidation of memory for recently encoded information.” Make sure you get enough rest on the days leading up to your presentation.

As you know, preparing for a big presentation involves a lot of effort. Aside from perfecting your slides and content, you also need to make sure that you remember everything you have to say. Memorize presentations by setting time to rehearse and visualize your materials. You can breeze through your time on stage and never have to worry about your note cards again.


Featured Image: Brian Hillegas via Flickr