Skip to main content

How to Memorize a Speech

Learn how to memorize a speech in this Howcast video about memory techniques featuring memory expert Barry Reitman.


My name is Barry Reitman. I'm the author of "Secrets, Tips and Tricks of a Powerful Memory" and I'd like to talk about how to remember a speech that you're going to give. I'll start with a general premise that most speeches, unless it's something very really unusual are best off delivered in what sounds like an off the cuff manner. You know your stuff but you are not just reading the speech. You want to sound like you mean it and you can do that only if you know your material.

So, number one, know your material using any study method that you find good. Number two, I'm going to give you an example of something. What if you could have 10 3 by 5 index cards invisible to everyone but you, and as you're making the speech for each key point, you read the key word for that speech. If it's about the Constitution of The United States and the first Ten Amendments, the first word might be a speech to a religious organization because it's freedom of speech and freedom of religion. All I would need to see is someone making a speech in a church. If number two on that list, second amendment is right to bear arms, I might see a rifle on my 3 by 5 card. I might see an arm; just an arm by itself with no body attached. It doesn't matter. Either one will remind me where I'm going.

So if I could have a 3 by 5 card for each major part of my speech, the rest is pretty easy if I know my stuff. Now I'm going to suggest that you take any of the several methods for numbered lists that are in this video series, be they the rhyming method of one two buckle my shoes, three four close the door, or the alphabet method where you're substituting alphabetical letters A, B, C and you're putting in Ape, Bear, Chimpanzee because you can picture those, or you're using the loci system where you're picturing places in your home. Whatever you are most comfortable with, now take a picture for the key word in the top 5 or 10, 15 things in your speech and connect them. Tie them to your personal memory system. The memory system that you like best for numbered list, and there's your stack of 3 by 5 index cards, and no one can see them but you.

Popular Categories