For most people when they learn a speech or presentation they learn it as they expect to say it, i. e. beginning at the start and reading through it to the end. This is definitely a good way to learn a speech but there is one big problem with this method. You usually end up knowing the first half of the speech better than the second half. This is because when we make a mistakes we typically go back to the beginning of the speech and start again. The other problem with learning it in such a linear way is that if you go blank in the middle of the actual presentation, it can be difficult to work out what to say next.
The way to solve this is called “Chunking” and it involves breaking your speech or presentation into smaller chunks of text. The trick is learn each chunk of text individually i.e. as if each is a mini-speech and you don’t even have to learn them in any particular order, the key is to ensure that you know each chunk equally well before learning all the chunks together.
There are a number of advantages to this method:
- Your delivery is consistent – you know every part of your presentation equally well thus you can present each chunk with passion and confidence.
- End with impact – Audiences don’t really remember most of what you say but they usually remember what you say last so it’s important to end stongly and with impact. By learning your speech in chunks then you know your ending as well as your opening, this gives you the extra confidence to punch home your message with a strong authoritive conclusion.
- Going blank – if for some reason you do go blank in the middle of your presentation then it’s not a disaster, because you won’t have to go back to the start, there’s no need to panic, all you need to do is calmly move on to the next chunk and continue the presentation.
If you enjoyed this post then why not try more of our presentation tips:
- 3 Steps to Writing a Great Speech
- The Key to Reducing Your Presenting Nerves
- How to Recover From Going Blank During a Presentation
Image: Daniel Novta