Strategies for remembering your speech – Visual

Visual Strategies:

Last weekend I ran a workshop at the District 73 Toastmaster Convention. At the workshop I talked about strategies that you could use to help you remember your speech.

For every speech there are only two parts you need to memorise: your introduction and your conclusion. You want to memorise your introduction so you appear confident and professional, likewise you want to memorise your conclusion because people will remember what they heard last and this is where you have summarised what your speech is about. The bulk of your speech, you just want to remember key points.

  • Dot Points – dot points is one of the most common ways to remember your key points. Have some fun with your dot points, turn them upside down, exaggerate them, use different colours. Humans love colour and exaggeration so the more unusual the dot points the more likely the brain is going to remember them.
  • Acronym – Create an acronym for your key points (Family, Employment, Activities, Travel – your acronym would be F.E.A.T)
  • Sticky notes – these are great as they are colourful and the human eye loves colour. You can use a different colour for each point you want to talk about. If you’re not happy with the flow of your speech you can move them around until it sounds right or if you find a new story or quote you would like to use you can just add a new sticky note to your list. I like to keep the sticky notes inside a manila folder so that I can take it with me and look at it on a regular basis.

The mind thinks in pictures so using pictorial strategies will help you to remember your speech.

  • A mind map – is like a snap shot of your speech, use colour and exaggeration to aid retention. In the middle of your page write the title of your speech and then draw a box around it. From the box have 3 – 5 lines radiating out, like branches on a tree. The lines will be your key points, on each line write the key point that you would like to discuss or talk about. If you make each line a different colour, this will aid retention.
  • Storyboarding – is your speech laid out in pictures. Use photographs, cut out pictures from magazines or draw the pictures yourself, each picture should represent the point you would like to make in your speech.

Did you know “We remember 20% of what we hear, we remember 80% of what we hear and see, when images are vivid, we remember 95%”

Why not try a new way to remember your speech. Next week we will look at using auditory strategies and the sense of smell to help us remember our speech.

Keep speaking – Carrol


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