Life-Changing Strategies for Public Speaking - How to NOT Forget Your Notes
4 Minute Read. To watch the video version on LinkedIn click here.
Have you ever prepared for a presentation or a speech and end up forgetting them when you get in front of your audience?
There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours jotting down notes, studying them and blanking out on the big day!
We have all been there!
In this article, I shall share how it doesn’t have to be that way for you anymore.
So, firstly, it's important to keep in mind the actual neurology of our minds.
How it works is when you get fearful, what normally happens is your amygdala lights up and your fight or flight response kicks in.
When the amygdala is in full action other parts of your brain, including your frontal cortex, begin to shut down.
So, literally, parts of your brain shut down…
Therefore, you forgetting your notes is actually a very natural phenomenon because the parts of your brain that usually help you remember, begin to shut down.
So, what can you do about this? It’s actually quite simple.
In this blog, I am going to share three Big Strategies including a Golden Strategy at the end on how to NOT forget your notes when public speaking.
These strategies have helped me a lot over the years and allowed me to speak in front of thousands of people, without ever blanking out.
I've helped hundreds of students around the world to be able to use the celebratory anchor strategy to ultimately not allow their fight and flight response to take over and, therefore, forget their notes.
A Celebration Anchor is where you hold onto the feeling of the celebration that will come after you finish that presentation, that speech, that interview- whatever it is.
How this works is when you realize that you are going into fear, overwhelm, or frustration- whatever else it is, instantly anchor the feeling of what it feels like when you have achieved that something - the celebration afterwards - before you get on stage or in front of your audience.
Take deep breaths and allow yourself to connect to the feeling of what happens after you give that speech.
For example, whenever I do a big speech contest, especially impromptu (where I don't know what the speech topic is going to be before I get on stage), I take deep breaths, allow myself to connect to the feeling of running over to my partner after I do my speech, getting a big hug, and feeling a huge sense of relief.
So, think about how you can set up your Celebration Anchor and anchor the feeling of the applause, of the congratulations, all the high fives from your colleagues, that feeling of "YES!”
Then, to really heighten this anchor, after completing that speech or presentation, make sure you truly anchor your celebrations to help you next time around.
In the early years, when fire was created, people didn't only gather around the fire to cook food or keep themselves warm, they gathered around to tell stories.
Our minds, from very early on in tribal societies, have been made to remember stories.
So, if you have to remember a big presentation, a speech, a panel interview with lots of questions, practice your different stories.
Have stories ready to go in what I call a “Story Inventory”, and use storytelling not only as an engagement strategy but to remember big parts of your speech.
This will not only help you remember your speech, but it will also draw your audience in, excite them with curiosity and engage them throughout your delivery.
This strategy has helped me over the years, even today.
A strategy that many people don’t think about is that you can create a visual structure for yourself for remembering your presentation.
We have grown up in a very visually enhanced world (with television, big billboards, advertisements everywhere), and so many of us have visual learning styles.
Why not use your learning style to your advantage?
For example, make the titles all in blue, the subtitles all in orange, and the key call to actions that you're adding inside of your presentations are red (or any other colour you prefer).
When you have different colours, this makes it a lot easier to recall specific parts of your presentation or speech.
In my case, I make sure that when I'm doing my presentations and setting them out, I have the big bold headings in one colour, I have the subpoints in a different colour, and I lay it out so that when I'm thinking about my presentation that I'm about to do, I think, "Okay, the first ones are those big blue titles, alright I've got them in my mind, and then the call to actions, can't forget those."
And I have it all nicely organized in my mind.
So, think about how you can use colour-coding as a way to structure your speech and help enhance your memory.
Golden Bonus Strategy
Now, I promised a Golden Strategy as a takeaway bonus.
My golden takeaway for you to NOT forget your notes is, to use acronyms!
Using an acronym is when you use BEN, and B.E.N. all stands for a different word.
You can use acronyms even if it's not necessarily a word, you can just use the first letters of a particular sequence of topics you want to share as your own formula, as your own secret recipe, your own sauce.
Create your own formulas and use them on social media, in your presentations, speeches, interviews, on panels, and even at networking events.
For example, I have my VSC Formula, which is my Values, Storytelling, and my Contribution Mindset formula for public speaking.
I also have my voice-activation formula, V.O.I.C.E, which is a proven system to help you go from fearful, overwhelmed, unclear and sucking at public speaking, to full of confidence and self-belief as a master of communication, where people are begging for more.
I'm grateful for those acronyms, which makes it easier to remember all the things that I teach and how I can help you as well.
I trust that these four big ideas have served you.
If I can be of any more service, feel free to reach out to me at www.jodydontje.com/connect or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm here to serve.
Remember, every day you have a choice.
You can choose to be ordinary, or as Denise Burchard explains, “YOU CAN CHOOSE TO BE EXTRAORDINARY”.
So, go out there and choose to be EXTRAORDINARY.
Be Brave. Be Vulnerable. Be Kind.
To watch the Video Version on LinkedIn, Click Here.