How to Give A Good Speech – Without Notes

Memorise - Memory Power

Did you know there are more Americans less afraid of spiders than giving a speech? It’s true. The mere thought of standing before a group of people looking at you and hanging on your every word makes even the most powerful and brightest people start to sweat and get butterflies in their stomachs. I do it all the time, and it still makes me a little queezy, but nothing like what it used to. Personally I got really good at giving a speech because I use memory training to memorize my key points.

What makes a good speaker? Not necessarily what he has to say, but the way he says it. Right now some poor schmuck is grabbing his microphone as if it was a prized treasure and reading his speech directly from his notes. Even if what he had to say was the most important message ever, how boring is that? As we start to doze off his message is lost. Obviously he/she is insecure and the notes are a crutch.

We are not all great orators, but we can learn to give a speech without relying on notes. When you are just reading from your notes you are not engaging your brain. It is on automatic pilot. What happens if you drop the notes or the wind picks them up? You are going to be lost. You want to be able to take a step back, put your hands behind your head and say, “I can do this speech blindfolded!”


It doesn’t hurt to have some notes (notecards with main points) with you, but you need to become so confident in what you have to say that you won’t need to look at them. As you grow in self-confidence you will find you never even remembered they were there. NEVER MEMORIZE YOUR SPEECH WORD FOR WORD! How boring would that be to listen to?!

The key is to be well-prepared, in advance, and practice, practice, practice!!!!   If you are not prepared, and have not practiced, no matter how many notes you have you won’t be able to pull off a good speech. So, what do you need to do?

  1. Plan what you want to say and outline it. Write down everything, including your jokes, antidotes and examples.
  2. Read out loud what you have written and then edit if to make it interesting and to fit into the time you have been given.
  3. Once you have it the way you want it, read it again and again OUT LOUD (at least 5 times). Each time you read it lift your eyes more and more away from the page. Before you go on to the next paragraph try to remember what comes next.
  4. After you think you have it down and practiced, write down the main “brainpoints” on a notecard in the order you have written them originally. Make sure to note the places that have been giving you trouble and you have been stumbling around trying to remember.
  5. Take these key points and turn them into images for the brain to remember. For example, if you want to talk about time management then you visualize a clock and place this on your first piece of furniture in your home. Then if you want to talk about money on your next point you visualize money on the next piece of furniture in your home. If you are thinking to yourself right now? What the heck is he talking about pieces of furniture in my home then you need to understand more about how to build a memory palace.
  6.  Practice everywhere — in the car on the way to work, in the shower, when you’re walking the dog, etc. If you forget something half-way through that is alright, that’s what practice is for. Just remember what part gave you trouble and go back over it.

This is Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion , memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker. Giving speeches without notes builds your confidence, you are able to make eye contact, and what you have to say is more credible. When you can gain confidence you will be making those speeches with ease.   As an additional aid I have a CD available on Public Speaking that can help you, as well as CDs on building your memory.

 Memory Training


BrainAthlete — How to Give a Speech:

Word Buff — How To Memorize A Speech A Speech:

Ezine Articles: by Joan Curtis:

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