How to present with no slides, no notes!

by Susan Varty, Managing Partner

P.S. Ask me questions, enhance your writing and communication skills at our conference, Write Up North, in October just north of Toronto, Ontario. You can also sign up for our mailing list.

My father introduced me to this memory technique while I was at university. It has also served me well as an entrepreneur to deliver public talks and presentations without visual aids or notes – a definite “wow factor” these days! The technique is by Harold Taylor, from his book, Managing Your Memory. I shared this recently with a client and thought everyone may benefit from it!

First, number the sections of your speech or presentation outline. Usually, you want to say items in order – so let’s say there are six sections. Visualize the following symbols for each section:

1 = Magic Wand

2 = Swan

3 = Pitchfork (or trident)

4 = Chair

5 = Star

6 = Dice (or an elephant trunk curled like the number six)

Now visualize each item above interacting with something selected from each section of your talk (a main point or set of points). For example, imagine you are waving the wand at a truck (item 1) to introduce how you got started in the transportation industry.

Now, imagine the swan (item 2) on stage and holding up a sign with your favourite quotation to kick off your theme. The stranger the image, the better.

Repeat this process for every symbol and section. Draw your symbols on a piece of paper (repeatedly if needed) and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

This is also how you memorize a list of things in order (backwards and forwards) because the images represent numbers. You can use any images you want as long as they remind you of the number.

Please let me know if you try it out!

photo credit: afagen: Gray matter

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