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6 Easy Ways to Remember Your Presentation Material

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6 Easy Ways to Remember Your Presentation Material

6 Easy Ways to Remember Your Presentation Material

A post from our Presentation Skills blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
When it comes to preparing for a presentation, one of the most challenging tasks you will have to face is remembering your material. After all, you can't keep looking at your notes all the time when you're speaking in front of an audience. However, constantly forgetting your lines can make you seem just as incompetent. So what can you do to avoid this problem?

Forget Your Presentation

The key is to be completely familiar with your material – this way, you'll be able to speak comfortably and confidently without forgetting the important points. To help you achieve just that, below are six easy ways to remember your presentation material.

1. Use mind maps to organize your ideas

Scattered, disjointed ideas are a lot more difficult to memorise, so organising your thoughts and having a proper structure in your presentation material is crucial for success. One of the best ways to organize these ideas is to use mind maps.

A mind map can either be a simple, hand-drawn diagram or, if you'd prefer something more complex, there are various templates and software available to help you build a digital mind map too. These are especially useful when you're trying to organize a large amount of thoughts and ideas, and a hand-drawn mind map just isn't feasible.

2. Rehearse out loud

Rehearsing your material out loud has several benefits. Not only does it help you recall the material at a later date, but it also helps you understand what your presentation sounds like. For example, if you're reading out loud and your presentation sounds stilted and awkward, you can alter it so that the language is more free-flowing and natural.

Even rehearsing your speech out loud five times before you're due to present it will be an enormous help, and will help you recall it much more easily. Reading out loud enables you to become familiar with your material, and that familiarity leads to confidence, something which is vital for an engaging and interesting presentation.

3. Focus

Even rehearsing your speech out loud five times before you're due to present it will be an enormous help, and will help you recall it much more easily. Reading out loud enables you to become familiar with your material, and that familiarity leads to confidence, something which is vital for an engaging and interesting presentation.

When you're rehearsing, make sure to keep all tempting distractions away from you. In fact, try to completely disconnect yourself from digital devices. Print out your material, silence your mobile phone and shut down your computer. Keep all distractions at bay before immersing yourself in the rehearsal. If you give your mind time and space to memorise the information, you'll be able to recall it more easily later on.

4. Record your presentation

This is a very simple and yet, very effective method to memorise your presentation material. In fact, Microsoft PowerPoint actually has a record narration feature that allows you to record your presentation along with each relevant slide. If you listen to your recording along with these slides, you're getting both visual and auditory information that go hand-in-hand and will find that your mind is better able to remember what it heard rather than what it read.

5. Listen to music

Not only does the right music have a way to calm and focus your mind, but several researchers and memory experts have recommended listening to music as a way to help you retain information.

Through their experiments, researchers have found that listening to steady music can activate certain sections of the brain. One psychologist subjected his students to Baroque music that played steadily at 60 beats per minute. He found that his students were able to learn a language at a fraction of the time it generally takes, and they were able to retain 92% of the material.

This can, obviously, apply to your presentation as well. However, make sure to spend some time with experimenting in order to pick the right music first. As a general rule, instrumental music always works better than songs because words would distract you. Pick music that you're comfortable with, and see if it allows you to focus better before using it.

6. Rehearse before bedtime

It's common knowledge that your day's memory is processed during your sleep, and many neuroscientists believe that REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is necessary for memory retention.

Rehearse Before Bed

In addition, the most recent memory before you sleep affects the REM. You might have noticed that when you go to sleep thinking very intensely about something, you're likely to dream about it. You can take advantage of this intense neural activity by rehearsing your material thoroughly and without interruption directly before going to bed. You'll notice that you're able to recall the material better the following morning.


Although memorising your speech might take some time and effort, being prepared will definitely pay off. If you're completely familiar with your presentation material, you'll be able to deliver it with confidence and make it much more engaging for your audience as well.


Do you know any other tricks for remembering your presentation material? Let us know in the comment section below!

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