Key Areas For Memory Improvement
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Remembering Jokes, Speeches, & Stories

Jokes
Most jokes have a key word as in “have you heard the joke about the…” or “let me tell you the one about the…”. Since you can use or create a keyword for any joke you are able to use the link or peg system to remember them.

With the link system you can create a special ‘Joke Link’ by associating the key words. When you hear a new joke you would like to remember just pick a key word for the joke and associate it to the last key word image in your joke link.

The peg system works in a similar way. Once you have mastered a series of peg words you associate the peg word with the key word representing the joke. This system has the advantage of being able to recall the jokes in any order.

If a joke is long and complex you can even use another series of links to help you remember the sequence and punch line of that specific joke.

As always, use encoding and elaboration techniques to create vivid associations between the links.

Speeches and Stories
In ancient times the great orators often delivered long speeches without the aid of notes or scripts. They knew then what is still true today. The best way to deliver a speech is in your own words.

Does this mean you should memorize a speech word for word? Absolutely not because such a delivery will often be devoid of feeling not to mention boring. In almost every situation where you will be asked to make a speech, give a presentation, or tell a story it will be on a subject that you have some knowledge about. It is not necessary to memorize the material word for word.

The first step is to prepare your speech, presentation, or story by creating an outline of the material you want to cover and the sequence in which you will deliver it. The detail you use will depend on how knowledgeable and comfortable you are with the subject.

Once completed you select a key word to represent the main points or thoughts contained in the material. You have a number of memory techniques that you can use to do this. The ancients often used the LOCI methods of the Roman Room and Familiar Path to associate their key words or thoughts. The Link System and any of the Peg techniques can also be used because you are essentially associating a list of key words in sequence.

As you deliver your speech, presentation, or story you merely need to recall these key words in sequence to trigger the information you want to convey. That information will be delivered in your own words and you will be smooth, confident, and effective.

Here are a few other tips for anyone who is uncomfortable with public speaking:
  • To avoid nervousness you must be confident that you know your material so study and rehearse it using audio or video recorders. This will help you eliminate any ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’, while observing your delivery helps you adjust your body language so that you can develop the image you want to project.
  • Have your opening line prepared which will start the flow. Also use good posture and make direct eye contact with members of the audience just like in a normal conversation.
  • Hold the audience’s attention by using words and phrases that create vivid mental images. Paint pictures with your words. Speak clearly and loud enough to be heard by everyone. A few pauses will help to hold attention and provide a needed break for both speaker and audience.
  • Avoid common pitfalls such as accepting an invitation to speak when you haven’t had enough time to prepare, using off-color material (chances are you will offend someone in the audience), or trying to bluff your way through a question.
  • Be enthusiastic and show conviction in what you are saying. It is contagious and adds to your credibility.
  • Finally, relax and remember that you are speaking to other people who are just like you. They don’t demand perfection and are quite content to listen to a ‘real’ person who believes in what they are saying.

Quick Review:
  • For jokes choose a key word to represent the joke and create a joke link to remember them.
  • Create an outline for the speech, story, or presentation and choose a key word to represent each main point.
  • The LOCI, Link, or Peg systems can all be used to recall the key words in sequence.
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