Six tips for creating a speech you can remember without memorizing:
- Jot down the basic outline of your presentation on index cards, one per idea or topic.
- Compose your speech out loud. Don’t write it down first. As you find elements that work for you, you can make a note on an index card.
- Practice in small chunks. In the shower, in the car, while you’re waiting in line.
- Whenever you are worried or anxious about the presentation, stop what you’re doing and go practice. Out loud. Even five minutes makes a difference.
- Spend some focused time crafting your introduction, transitions, and closing.
- Rehearse out of order. Decide, “right now I’m only focusing on the third point,” and get that one down. Then jump to the introduction, or the first point. This will give you facility within your content.
The idea here is that you have created this speech organically, using words and sentence structure that comes naturally to you. You have practiced out loud, capturing what works, and you have a record on your index cards of the ideas and points that you want to remember.