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This can often be the case of the confused and unsure speaker, who forgets his speech while he shivers with nervousness in front of his audience. An embarrassed silence follows. The speaker forgets his speech. The speaker falters. Both these things happen not because the speaker does not know his matter. He is called to speak on the subject because he knows it well. He falters because he has either forgotten what he should be saying, or what the points and words are that follow each other within the course of his talk. He is afraid that he will forget what he has to say. Very often, when the speech is memorised, the forgetting of a word throws the speaker off kilter. He is unable to substitute another word and carry on. In fact, he forgets the rest of the speech because of that one word.
You may say it is better to read the speech out. A speech that is read out will never have the impact of a direct one. Again, that which is read out might as well be read by the audience at leisure. Printed copies can be given to them and the matter dealt with in this way.
Another suggested alternative may be to not prepare the speech at all. However, this lack of preparation would show up, for the speaker may not bring in all the points that he may have wanted to talk on. You will often hear people say, after they have delivered an impromptu speech, that there are many points that they had not been able to highlight since they had not remembered them while making the speech.
One way to deal with this situation is to make a sequential list of the ideas or thoughts that you wish to talk about in your speech. In this way, you have not memorised anything by heart which you might forget and therefore fumble. At the same time, you are not completely unprepared. One glance at your list will show you the next idea that needs to be verbalized.
However, you may wish to speak without resorting to any kind of paper in hand. The method which works well to help you remember is the Link method. This helps you to link your thoughts and ideas in an orderly manner.
1. Write out the entire speech.
2. Read it over once or twice more to get the "gist" of it.
3. Start to list your KEY WORDS. You may highlight them, or write them down on a separate sheet of paper.
What are your keywords? In every sentence or paragraph there must be one word or phrase which will remind you of the entire thought. That one word or phrase is your Key Word.
4. After you have found the Key Word for the first thought, find one for the next thought, and so on. You will soon have a list of the keywords for the entire speech.
5. Make a link of these Key Words.
6. Associate them in an illogical and colourful way.
You may be giving a speech to mothers on how important games are for the overall development of their children.
Your speech may be featuring thoughts on the need for overall development of children, how the emphasis is laid unduly on studies, how children need time to play, how sports is important, how T.V. watching and computer games should be discouraged and playing outside be encouraged. You may highlight how sports help the development of the mind and the body and therefore enlightened parents should emphasize some physical sport for their child, like swimming, badminton, cricket, basketball, etc.
So your keywords could be: development, studies, playtime, sports, T.V. and computer games, parents, physical, cricket. Using these keywords, you would have to associate them with each other, one after the other, right upto the end of your speech. At the beginning, you may be using a greater number of keywords, but as you progress in learning and remembering your ideas, you may be able to drop and reduce them to the bare required minimum. You will now be able to deliver your speech with confidence, without thinking of which word will follow the one that went before it.
If you wish to memorize this speech word for word, you will use the same method.
Memorising an Article:
William Lyon Phelps' said, "I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget."
You may be reading an article of interest and there may be points that you wish to remember in that article. There are many readers who will not consciously make an effort to remember these points, even though they know that this information would help them later. However, if you wish to memorise these facts for future recall and use, you have to apply the same ââ‚¬Ëœlinkââ‚¬â„¢ method. You have to consciously choose the keywords in the article and link them, associate them in your mind in a funny way, and remember the article in this fashion.
Remembering Lyrics and Scripts:
Lyrics have to be remembered word for word, but the keyword and link method can work here as well, helping you to initially remember which line follows the one before. You will need to practice it more for thoroughness.
In the case of a play, to memorise your cues in a play, you can
associate the last word of the other actor's line to the first
word of your line. Even if your cue tells you that you must
perform an action, instead of speaking a line, you can still
Remembering Stories and Anecdotes:
"A good storyteller is a person who has a good memory and hopes other people haven't."
It may often happen that you have heard a story or a joke, but find that you cannot remember it when you wish to retell it. Take a word from the story or joke (perhaps the punch line) as the keyword to help you remember it. If there are several stories that you have heard and want to remember them all, you would have to make a list of the keywords pertaining to each story. Linking them to each other would help you remember the stories in sequence. An alternative here would be to use the Peg system.
To remember a story like this: A Flying Saucer landed in India. Out stepped a creature from outer spaceââ‚¬"brushed himself off with one of his many arms, looked around with the one large, central eye, and kept his antennae alert. He finally approached a petrol pump, walked over to the petrol pump, saluted, and demanded, "Take me to your President"!
Your key word could be: flying saucer or creature from outer space or petrol pump. Any one of these words would make you recall the story.