The human brain is a fantastic hard drive that can store vast amounts of information. However, most people don't really understand how to efficiently use this fantastic organ effectively. All that you need to know to improve your memory dramatically in just a few minutes is that your mind thinks in pictures. When presenters make the mistake of writing out their speeches word-for-word, the next will try to memorize the presentation word-for-word as well. We look at the words on the paper, and we get overwhelmed. You see, our minds don't remember the written words. We remember the images that those words create in our minds. So, to memorize the key points of a speech, just create a mental image for each point.
For instance, let's say I was giving the following presentation...
Our Plan to Increase Profit Next Quarter.
- Cut Costs by Buying Materials in Bulk.
- Decrease Rework by Improving Communication with Our Customers.
- Reach Out to Our Existing Satisfied Customers for Additional Orders.
All I would have to do to remember the main concepts is to create a mental image for each bullet point. For the first bullet point, I could create the image of a price-tag being cut with a pair of scissors. This will help me remember to speak about cutting costs. For the second point, I could picture a golfer who slices his shot and then secretly pulls a ball out of his pocket and drops it on the fairway. The Mulligan golfer will help me remember to speak about reducing rework. For the final point, I could picture an employee with arms stretching 20 feet to shake hands with a customer. This will help me remember to speak about reaching out to happy customers.
To improve the chance of memorizing each item, add some type of action going from one image to the next. For instance, I start with the giant scissors cutting the price-tag. The pieces of the price-tag fall with a thud on either side of the startled golfer in mid-swing. As a result, his shot goes way off course. The disgruntled golfer looks around nervously and drops a new ball where his previous ball had laid. As he swings a second time, the ball slices around one of our employees. She has super-stretchy arms that are over 20 feet long. With her right hand, she reaches out to shake hands with a happy customer.
This technique works well even if you have to deliver a large number of bullet points. Just add a new image for each new bullet point.