Memorizing a speech can be one of the most intimidating parts about public speaking yet it is one of the most important parts of a good speech.
Memorizing helps build confidence while performing and helps you accurately deliver content and citations. While there is no doubt that it can be difficult, there are a multitude of techniques that make the process a lot easier.
Memorizing the whole thing at once is almost impossible. Break it down by section and practice them individually.
When you play it back, practice speaking along with it. Do this as you walk to class or drive home. It will get stuck in your head, just like a song that’s always on the radio!
Once you’ve made some progress in memorization, ask a family member, friend, or classmate to watch your speech while looking at your draft to ensure you are accurate.
This prevents developing a specific rhythm that can throw you off if you miss a beat. That allows you to more fully remember the content, rather than just the order you want to say it in.
There is no substitute for practice!
The human brain never forgets anything, with the exception of the effects of injury or disease. There are only three reasons you are having trouble recalling information:
1. You failed to store the information in the first place.
2. You are unable to retrieve the stored information.
3. You didn’t store the information in a way that it can be easily recalled.
Regardless of the reason, the most important factors to overcoming your mental blocks are intention, motivation, and interest.
As long as you’re willing to put in conscious effort, you will be fine!
Willamette University (n.d.). Memorization Techniques. Office of Academic Support.