Better Public Speaking With The Help Of Mnemonic Devices
Anyone who has ever had to deliver a speech or lecture knows how difficult public speaking is—you need to glance at your notes at the right time, maintain eye contact with your audience, and hold their attention. Th is isn’t easy, so it’s impressive when you hear a lecturer who speaks without reading from a script. I’m sure that, with the help of route markers and the experience you’ve gained, it will no longer be a problem for you to deliver a speech without notes.
In ancient Rome, mnemonics was part of every public speaker’s training in rhetoric. Based on information from manuscripts of the time, these techniques seem to have been well known, and the knowledge of them was probably widely distributed. For example, some speakers used the individual pillars of the hall in which they were speaking as markers to remember the key points of their lecture.
How does this work? It is no different from memorizing words. Of course, you first need to work out the contents of your speech so you can pick out key points. Next, you store these points along a route. As you’re speaking, you follow the route in your mind and, step-by-step, find your way to each consecutive point. It’s important to be thoroughly familiar with the content of your speech so you can string sentences together in a smooth flow. This is also important in any lecture delivered with the aid of notes or cue cards. Unfortunately, memory training can’t provide the content of your speech for you!
Let’s consider how the route method can be used with the ten reasons given for memory training. We’ll look only at the ten main reasons, although the numerous subpoints can also be covered with the aid of a longer route.
Symbols are of great importance with abstract sentences such as these. Remember that these images are only links created for the purpose of recalling memories by association. If you find this kind of memorization too odd, consider that you’ll be more familiar with the subject matter of your actual speech whether you succeed in recalling everything or not. Despite how skeptical you may be, read this example carefully and allow the images to take shape in your mind. You might be surprised at how much you remember by the end of the section. As you practice this method over time, you’ll build a greater “store” of images, making memorization much easier.
1. A good memory is an essential requirement for knowledge and education.
To store this sentence in your memory, imagine a person with an oversized head (symbol for a good memory) sitting on the couch turning the pages of a thick encyclopedia to acquire knowledge. Then imagine this person writing everything on a chalkboard that sits next to him or her and symbolizes education.
2. You can give your imagination wings.
One striking symbol for the imagination is Pegasus, the winged horse from Greek mythology. Imagine Pegasus rising from the coffee table to fly to freedom through the open window.
3. You will develop your creativity.
Imagine that you have vacuumed your carpet and created a new pattern on it.
4. Training strengthens your perceptions, social skills, and expressivity.
Here are three key points in one statement. I would normally recommend that you put the three words on three different route points,but since an armchair is the fourth route point, you could use its special shape (the back and two arms) in your image or have three different people you know well sitting on it. One person sits on the back, she has heightened sensory perceptions and flinches every time a single grain of dust falls to the floor. Another person is sitting on the chair’s seat, he is able to talk to several people at once because of his advanced social skills. The third person is sitting on the floor, leaning back against the armchair; she thinks she’s an actor and is constantly working on her range of facial expressions.
5. You set guidelines for collaborative and flexible thinking.
Slip into the role of a model train collector. You have assembled your train set in your living room, and all the tracks join together under the magazine rack and you get to set the route and landmarks that guide them. If you need to visualize this more clearly, you can add blinking railway signals along the track for “thinking.”
6. You develop a sense of time and good time-management skills.
Your floor lamp is very sensitive and needs you to switch it off and on once or twice an hour. To keep track of when you need to do this, you develop a good sense of time and cancel the course on time management you were to attend.
7. You increase your motivation, self-confidence, and self-awareness and learn to take responsibility for your actions.
You are standing in front of your bookshelves. You’re motivated to take on the challenge of reading all the books you haven’t read yet, and then you’re bubbling over with self-confidence and selfawareness.
8. You improve your concentration.
Imagine yourself looking out the window and staring with such concentration that the glass cracks.
9. You think faster and improve your intellectual capacity.
Allow a lightbulb (symbol for thinking) to fly faster and faster around the dining table. It starts to blink faster and faster as it goes.
Watch this short training video for more techniques
10. You deal with stress more effectively.
You’re watering your plant when you’re suddenly pelted with a lot of little notes. Written on these notes are tasks you haven’t completed yet. However, you remain calm and continue watering until you are sure the soil is moist enough.
You’ll have noticed that these images are very symbolic. Where lengthy, complicated key points are concerned, it’s not always easy to find suitable images, but trust your brain.
If you want to remember a longer speech, I recommend that you use a whole apartment or house for your route. For example, link your introduction with the front door and choose a new room for all the main points. Then attach the subpoints to markers within the respective rooms. Th is will make things clearer and give you a better overview. Before using this technique for an important business meeting, however, it’s a good idea to try it out with a small and trusted group of friends as your audience.
Feel free to ask your questions in the comments sections below and i will make sure to answer your questions.