The fear of drying up when presenting is a recurring theme for anyone who has to give a presentation. Or, of course, anyone who has to speak in public or at a conference.
Some presenters have actually experienced it…but most presenters just sense that it could happen to them.
Beyond good solid preparation, there are eight simple techniques you can follow to boost your memory and be ready for your next presentation.
Familiar. Speak about a subject on which you are fully familiar. When you have experience of a subject you won’t forget facts, figures or all-important stories.
Exercise. Some exercise before your next speech or presentation should give your cognitive powers a real boost.
Explain it to someone else. When you want to explain something in your presentation try first to explain it or tell it to a colleague. If you can run through the sequence you’ll have it clear in your mind and you won’t be drying up when presenting. Perhaps the movie director Michael Bay could have used this method instead of autocue practice.
Vivid images. When you associate the points in your presentation with vivid mental images you’ll find you can recall them more easily. Absurd, horrible or funny vivid images go a long way to help you remember your material. Don’t forget that your presentation design choices will have an impact for you, the presenter.
Use your hands. Yes, it’s true. Gesticulating with your hands can boost your memory helping you to grasp an elusive fact or point. That’s the view of cognitive psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow following a series of experiments. It’s worth a try!
Sing it. Now this one might just leave you cold. But there’s plenty of research to suggest that there’s some truth in it. Your brain will pick upon the patterns within a song, poem or verse committing them to memory. Learning by rote used to follow a similar principle. Now is the office ready for a collective burst of song?
Hands up. Researchers in the Netherlands reckon that people recall good memories when they raise their hands. And their research suggested that people recalled bad memories when they lowered their hands. True or false? Hands up if you reckon it’s…
There’s no denying there are simple and bizarre techniques to help you give your memory a boost before your next presentation.
But if you thought some of these were strange, consider this final point.
Chew gum. There’s plenty of evidence that chewing gum boosts your powers of recall. And there’s more than a suggestion that drinking tea, coffee, grape juice or red wine also works wonders for your cognitive powers. I’m not that taken with the idea of caffeine or alcohol stimulants. I sense that they cause other problems…best left until after the event.
Here are 8 ways you can stop yourself drying up when you have to give a presentation.
These eight pointers should give you some more help when you are getting ready for your next presentation. They should help you familiarise your material and boost your powers of recall…and still leave you time to practise. And as for drying up when presenting? Sorted.
“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”
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