I don't often advocate memorizing content for presentations. However, there are times when you do need to memorize a portion of a presentation and very often presentation outlines need to be memorized. Following is a formula you can use to guarantee recall during your next keynote, workshop, class speech or professional presentation.
You will remember any written text if you follow this formula. The Memorization Station works because of repetition, input varieties and word anchors. I once memorized a 30-page sales presentation using this formula.
1. Your content should be as complete as possible a minimum of 21 days before your presentation. Complete doesn’t mean that you won’t make adjustments in the final three weeks, but this formula only truly works if you don’t make major adjustments mid-stream. The three week time period allows the material to make its way deeper into your memory.
2. Write your content out word for word at least once. You can type it for organization, editing and saving purposes, but actually write it out for memorization purposes. Next, read your content, word for word, out loud a minimum of 20 times start to finish. This step is really working on your brain strengthening the synapses created when you wrote it out. When you read a sheet of paper, your brain is taking a picture of that entire page and storing it in its entirety; even though you have to read it one word at a time.
3. Put your content into paragraphs. Number your paragraphs. Begin memorizing them one at a time. Do not go on to the next paragraph until the one before it is totally memorized and you can say it on command. Write out each paragraph on an index card and keep the one you are currently memorizing (and only that one) with you at all times. This step disciplines your brain to think about that piece of content as one piece of information. Therefore, if your content contains 10 paragraphs, your brain is essentially only needing to recall 10 unique elements during your presentation.
4. After you have thoroughly memorized your content, take an index card and number out only the first words of each paragraph. This one card should be all you need to study from this point on. Most people stumble in a presentation trying to recall their very first words and/or when they have to move from paragraph to paragraph (major thought shifts.)