by Marilyn Devonish of www.tranceformationsTM.com International Speaker, Presenter, PhotoReading™ Trainer and Accelerated Learning Coach.
First off, if you are not a student of Accelerated Learning or PhotoReading™ what follows assumes that you basically already know your subject. How to PhotoRead an entire book in 5 minutes may come in a future article, but for now we will start from the premise that your groundwork has at least been started.
Whether you have written the presentation yourself or not, the first thing to do is get acquainted with your subject matter and material. Some of the key things that can then accelerate and speed up that process include:
Set your Intention. I always advise my clients to, as coined by Stephen Covey, start with the end in mind. Get clarity on what you want the audience to take away from your presentation. What are the key messages or points that you want to impart? How best can you convey those messages? What is it essential that you cover in order to achieve that outcome?
If you begin your presentation preparation from this perspective, focused on outcomes, you dramatically increase your chances of positively impacting your audience because the key points and take-aways will be at the forefront of your mind. Regardless of whether you remember to say every single word in the order in which you had planned, if you’ve imparted the essentials, that is a large part of your job done.
Create a Story. If you have trouble remembering the order and sequence of your presentation use the Disney technique and storyboard your ideas. Walk yourself through the presentation and imagine what you’d like to say at each key juncture. What examples or case studies can you share which brings the presentation to life? The things that bring your presentation to life will more easily stay in your mind and help you remember everything else.
Imagineer It. See yourself delivering the presentation flawlessly and run it through your mind 3 or 4 times. Most athletes’ will tell you that mental preparation forms a large part of their training regime, and from a neurological point of view the mind responds equally well to your thoughts and imagination. You can do this in an accelerated timeframe, taking just 5 or 10 minutes to review the key points.
Incubate. From a PhotoReading™ point of view we use Incubation as a form of memory enhancement and Activation. What this means in basic terms is to set your Purpose then sleep on it. If time is not on your side, break your presentation preparation down into 5, 10, or 15 minute segments. After each segment, take a break from the material and do something completely different. Your learning and recall will be far more effective using this technique rather than ploughing through for 30 or 60 minutes without a break because it doesn’t take much to put your conscious mind into overload. If you don’t believe me, just try and remember 3 consecutive telephone numbers; after the first 8 or 9 digits your mind will start to drop information.
Prepare. What I mean by this is to get physically and mentally prepared before sitting down to learn your presentation. Relax your breathing in order to get a good flow of oxygen circulating around the body and to the brain.
Set your Purpose, this might be as simple as ‘remembering your presentation quickly and easily.’ There is also a process called Expanded Awareness or Peripheral Vision.
This automatically clicks you into relaxation mode and also ensures that left and right brain are working together which heightens your ability to remember and recall what you are learning. The majority of people automatically go into Tunnel Vision and concentration mode when trying to learn and memorise information which ironically has the opposite effect.
Plan. If you are using PowerPoint as a delivery medium I would suggest running through the entire presentation in full screen mode. This not only allows you to see any builds that have been inserted into the presentation, you can also plan what I call your Segment Transitions. Decide on a how you will transition from one topic to another, for instance, a picture or key word on one slide might serve as trigger for moving to the next.
Mind Your Language. Pay attention to your thoughts. If you are walking around hoping that you ‘don’t forget’ your presentation, the chances are that you will forget.
Instead, focus on remembering your presentation. Although it sounds like simple semantics, the former instructs your mind to do the very thing you are trying to avoid while that latter puts focus and attention on what you want to achieve.
Relax! If you have followed at least some of the tips above you should be in a much more relaxed state. Learning and memory is partially state dependant, so maintaining a state of relaxed alertness while delivering your presentation will ensure that you are able to remember everything that you have prepared, and deliver on the outcomes you have for your audience.
About The Author
Marilyn Devonish has been a Keynote Speaker, TV, and Radio Presenter for over 10 years. Previously terrified of public speaking and by her own admission having a memory like a sieve, she now speaks to audiences of over 1,000 people and delivers corporate multi-day training courses without the use of prompts or notes. She is a Certified PhotoReading™ Instructor, Accelerated Learning Coach, and Prince2 Project Manager.
She runs the website http://tranceformationstm.com/ and is passionate about coaching and training others in how to reach their full potential.