Public speaking is a key life skill to learn and will help not only your personal development but also your career prospects. While you might not think this to be true, making a speech to an audience happens much more often than you realize.
Many job interviews now, for example, will involve making a presentation to interviewers, while making speeches at events like funerals or weddings may also come your way.
Central to all public speaking is the speech itself. What you say is, after all, critical in getting your message across in the right way. Although coming up with a speech can be daunting at times, it is remembering what to say when the pressure is on which scares us the most.
To add to this pressure, you will not always have lots of time to learn your speech by heart.
If time is short or you just don't fancy spending hours going over a speech, the best thing is to find ways to memorize it quickly. The tips below will come in handy for this and help you learn any speech up to 10x faster.
Memorizing a speech faster begins with how you formulate the speech itself. So many people make the classic mistake still of writing out a formal speech verbatim, as you would an essay or story. This does not help you learn the text quickly though or sound natural when delivering your speech.
It is much better to simply outline key ideas for your speech when writing it out. Many top-level speakers will just make a bullet point list of what they need to talk about for example.
If you need specific stats or examples as well, try to simply note them concisely by the relevant bullet point. This type of speech is much faster to memorize and also gives you room to improvise.
As well as how you write your speech out to then learn, the mental process you use to remember it is crucial. In short, the human mind tends to remember images better than words. You should therefore improve your ability to learn a speech quickly by attaching images to the key ideas in your dialogue.
If you plan to start off a business speech by discussing how to increase profits, you might attach the mental image of a dollar bill to this for example. It then makes sense to do the same with the other parts of your speech. You should find that, when speaking for real, bringing the images to mind helps you to remember what to say.
In addition to using images to help memorize a speech faster, you can also try the 'Memory Palace' approach. You may have heard of this before because it is a method used by famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
In essence, it sees you attach the bullet points/mental images in your speech to objects in the real world. The most common way is attaching each point/image to a piece of furniture in the room as you learn a speech.
When you then come to recite it back, you use the visual aid of looking at a certain piece of furniture to remind you what to say next and where you are up to.
Once you have your outline and mental techniques in place to remember your speech, you should practice it as much as possible. It is fine to start off with the written outline in front of you but you should try to make the speech from memory after a few goes.
It can also be handy to practice the speech in front of someone else (even if it is just your partner) because this gets you used to rehearsing it with people watching. Although you might not always have lots of time to practice, it will help you learn it faster.
Although this has nothing to do with the practicalities of writing your speech, it can help you memorize it faster. But why is this? The fact is that our minds are able to retain information much better when rested and hydrated. On the other hand, you will find it a much tougher task to memorize a speech quickly if you are tired or dehydrated.
It is therefore wise to get enough rest when learning your speech and also drink plenty of water. Doing this will allow your mind to focus fully on remembering what to say and help you get the speech firmly lodged in your memory faster.
One great tip for committing a speech to memory faster is to relax. If you are overly stressed or tense about remembering it, it can actually make it tougher to recall. Sometimes the harder we try to force something, the further away it slips.
Try to relax and remain in a state of positive mindfulness. You should find this helps the information to stick in your brain better and be easier to recall. A clear, quiet and relaxed mind means there is no internal noise stopping you from recalling any information.
If you need to give a speech in public for whatever reason, you need to learn it and be confident of what you will say when the pressure is on. No one wants to spend long hours, late nights and weekends doing this though.
In addition, you might not have much time to learn a speech anyway! With this in mind, the above tips to memorize any speech up to 10x faster are very useful.
Not only do they make committing any speech to memory a breeze but they also enable you to get fully prepared for your public speaking engagement.