Congratulations – you’ve been invited to speak for 30 minutes. Remember – don’t use any notes! If you got this offer could you do it?
As though standing in front of a group of people was not scary enough, now you have to find a way to shove 30 minutes (that’s 1,800 seconds) worth of information into your head – and recall it under pressure. Given that we all talk at about 150 words/min, you’re looking at memorizing 4,500 words. Good luck!
I recently had an opportunity to deliver a 45-minute keynote as part of a training session kick-off for a group of IT Mangers. I decided that in order to boost my creditability with this hard-nosed group, I needed to stay in eye contact with them and not be looking at my notes. This meant memorization.
Now let me make a confession – I hate it when people memorize their speeches. When they do this, they have a tendency to deliver them in an automatic robot-like manner that has virtually no emotion because they are trying so hard to remember what they want to say next. I was determined to avoid this!
Here’s what I did to get ready for this speech:
- I wrote the speech out word-for-word. This allowed me to create a 6,750 word speech (45 minutes) so that I would exactly fill my time slot.
- I then “tuned” the words trying to drop in as many memorable phrases as possible. This is the real advantage of writing your speech out completely.
- I then memorized the speech.
… and that’s what you really want to about. But, I’m out of space for now so I’ll share all of the secrets about how I memorized this speech with you next time.
Have you ever had to give a speech without using notes. How long was the speech? How did you memorize what you had to say? How did it go? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.