I had run a poll on communication fears.
The verdict is out. Forgetting the speech got the most votes. So, I am sharing my method for memorizing a speech.
Steve Job's presentation is a dopamine hit for a communication junkie like me & millions all over the world who used to go great lengths to get this hit. It was a common sight to see people spending the night in freezing temperatures to ensure the best seat at one of his speeches.
Steve Jobs may have changed the way the world communicates but even he did it the traditional way when it came to preparing his keynotes.
Ken Kocienda, a former Apple employee shares that Jobs started practicing weeks or even a month ahead of a product launch.
That my friend is the hard truth. There's no substitution for practice and rehearsal.
I had to give a Keynote speech at the United Nations. It was an hour-long speech but I did not want to stand behind the podium and I did not want to refer to my notes.
I am sharing the method that I used to prepare for my keynote at the UN.
However, Before I share my method, I want to mention that you don't have to memorise the whole speech. You can if you want to. However, I suggest that you memorise the beginning and end of your speech. Powerful delivery during the Introduction will hook the audience and set the stage for your entire speech. The conclusion is equally important as it is your last chance to persuade and impress the audience with your ideas. It also impacts how the audience feels about your presentation.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
So, let's sharpen that axe.
1. Create a message map. Break the speech into the main headline and three/four key supporting points.
2. Break down every supporting point into further subpoints. Support the subpoints with relevant data points, activities, and stories.
3. Create natural transitions from one section to another. Breaking the speech into parts makes it easy to remember the flow of the speech.
4. Once you have crafted the outline of your speech, write down the complete speech. Yes, you heard me... write it down. Science backs my advice. Writing by hand forces your brain to process information in a more detailed way that helps retain the information in your memory.
5 Now start rehearsing. Practice a couple of times from beginning to end. Then practice starting from a random point and complete your speech from there.
6. Practice with movements and voice modulation. Keep in mind that movement helps commit more words to memory. If you learn it by heart without any movement and voice modulation it will be difficult later to remember the speech while moving on the stage and adding voice modulation.
7. Record your speech and listen to it while doing other activities.
If you forget some points don't get nervous. Have some go-to lines which you can use. For example, " Let me refer to my notes" or have a sip of water.
I had a moment during my keynote when I got emotional and had tears. Now, this was not part of my speech.
So, I said, "This was not part of my speech. Pls give me a moment".
I had a sip of water and continued. Having a sip of water gave me time to compose myself.
In case you are curious about how many times I referred to my notes. The answer is zero.
How did my speech go? I am guessing it went well as I got a standing ovation.
Ruchi Singh is an International keynote speaker, Communication Mentor for Leaders, International Best Selling Author, Talk Show Host & Award-winning Former HR professional. She has been a Keynote speaker at the United Nations. Other than Antarctica, Ruchi's work has touched lives on all the continents of our world. Learn more at ruchisinghtalks.com You can also connect with her on YouTube: RuchiSinghTalks, LinkedIn: Ruchi Singh, Instagram: RuchiSinghTalks and Twitter: RuchiSinghTalks