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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:13 pm
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Location: Purcellville, VA
Hey guys. I have two and a half weeks before the first tournament to memorize my informative speech. I'm used to memorizing scripts for plays, but I've never memorized a speech before and would love to get some advice. How do y'all usually memorize your speeches? Do you have any general tips? And no, "start earlier" is not a helpful tip. Thanks! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Hey! :)

While I'm certainly not the beat all-end all super speaker, I have found a couple things helpful.

Read it (no matter how memorized you think you have it, read it word for word) before bed every night. Aloud. It also works if you record yourself reading it aloud and listen to it before bed every night. I don't know why exactly, but this has worked miracles for me :)

Practice it throughout the day. I would suggest reading it for the first few days. Just read it aloud. But after a little bit, trying your best to go off of memory. You'll be surprised how much you have memorized already. :)

Practice it in front of a mirror or people. This should come later, after you've gotten it (pretty much) memorized. That way you can shake any bad physical delivery habits and such. (Although... I don't really know you. You could already have perfected physical delivery. ;) But I'm just giving advice I would've liked to hear starting out)

There's lots more tips and tricks that really experienced speech givers could give ya. But, as someone who is learning to memorize on a time crunch as well, this is what's worked for me. :) I know you'll do great!


Reagan Bass/Justin Moffatt '12-'16


PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Seriously practice it onscript over and over and over again. A couple hours should suffice. Then stop using the script and identify your weak spots. Then you can focus on those parts that you're having trouble with. You'll find surprisingly that you remember most of the speech even after just a few hours. It won't be perfect, but the majority of it you will be able to remember.

Always have the script nearby at this point. Because you will mess up quite a bit, and it's best to identify your mistakes quickly and focus on fixing them. It's just a process of consistently weaning yourself off the script, and it's extremely doable, especially after a couple hours of practicing onscript.

Some speeches I'd actually finish memorizing at the tournament. That's how fast you can do it if you're focused.

Joe Hughey

Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less traveled
And that has made all the difference

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:53 pm 
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Just read your speech out loud one or twice before you go into the room. The words stick in your mind really well and help you to fake like you've got it memorized. :) But make sure you DO memorize all quotes and source citations word-for-word.

Alternatively, when I was pressed for time, I memorized my platforms the same way I memorized my extemp speeches. What you do is separate the entire speech into three main points, and then separate each of those main points into three subpoints. Memorize the tags for your main points and subpoints (this is easier than it sounds, since your subpoints typically follow a pattern or storyline.) Your subpoints don't have to be strictly segregated, you don't have to announce them and they don't have to be tagged- they should be used more of marking points for your speech.

In a platform, such a setup gives you about a minute for each of your subpoints. If you want to memorize, that means that you only have a minute's worth of speaking for each subpoint, which can help to break memorization into little pieces. if you don't want to memorize strictly, it's easy to ad-lib a minute at a time, and the bullet pointing keeps you on track. Regardless, only having a minute per subpoint helps to keep your speech on time before you have the ability to time it just perfectly right every time. Just make sure that you DO memorize all direct quotes and source citations word for word, since they are very important.

Grain of salt: I'm a limited prepper at heart and only one of my platforms really ever did well. I don't recommend using these tactics as complete replacement for genuine practice and memorization, but they work really well when you're pressed for time.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Two and a half weeks is plenty of time to memorize a speech. I'm usually still memorizing the day before/of. So don't worry. :)

If I have more than a week of time, I just practice a couple times every day. After a few days, I have it pretty much down. You'll probably start to mentally divide your speech up into certain segments, and this will make it easier to remember what comes where. If I'm really pressed for time, I start at the beginning and memorize a paragraph at a time. I read a few sentences and then say them out loud until they're memorized. I keep doing this through the entire paragraph. I take a small break in between each paragraph.

Practicing before bed is good, but not too close to bed. Your brain literally doesn't remember anything from the last few minutes before you fall asleep. (That's why you can never remember falling asleep).

Brenna Bakke, Veritas CA
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:19 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:39 am
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I'd also add that it's helpful to determine your learning style. I'm a kinesthetic learner and do best practicing my speech as if I'm in a round. I begin by read each paragraph over a few times (I'm also part visual) then I give the paragraph a few times. If you're visual read your speech over and over, and if you're auditory record it and listen to it over and over. If you have time try doing your speech from start to finish as many times as possible (I shoot for 20) before and/or during the tournament! This makes you way more comfortable with it, and you're WAY less likely to blank out. :)

Communist Officer told a Christian he was beating, "I am almighty, as you suppose your God to be. I can kill you." The Christian answered, "The power is all on my side. I can love you while you torture me to death."

-Jesus Freaks by Voice of the Martyrs (p. 186)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:20 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:01 am
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Two and a half weeks to memorize a lucky! I have a tournament in 10 days. I have to finish writing my IO (and make the boards) and write a Persuasive. I'm no memorizing expert, but here are some things I'll be doing to memorize my IO (I'll be lucky to have the Pers. written a day before the competition). Hope these thoughts help!

1) Write. This point isn't as much about memorizing as it is picking a topic. I choose topics for my platforms that I'm (rather) passionate about. That way, if I get hopelessly lost, I can just ad lib (which has happened--only once--because I resolved it would never happen again xD).

2) Read. The first thing I do is read through a section (I break things down like Blaire does--usually it's intro, first point, second point, etc. conclusion). After a few times, I throw the script somewhere (usually across the room so I'm more inclined not to go and pick it up) and pretend I'm giving a mini speech in a competition room. I find, usually to my surprise, that I have the entire paragraph(s) down.

3) Practice. Well, I suppose this is obvious. I'm not talking about practicing at home--I'm talking about practicing at tournaments (even if you think you've got the speech down perfectly). Last year, my mother wanted me to practice my platform before every single round (which was tough b/c I was ironmanning). I did it, tho, and it helped. A lot. I also carry script with me _everywhere_ at tournaments. I have practiced in the funniest places--in the bathroom while brushing my hair, eating lunch (a little difficult, but I managed not to appear uncouth xD), etc. My script is always left right outside the door of the competition room.

I'm sure you'll do fine, Marina! Fighting! (Fighting's a Korean encouragement word I use. ^_^)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:52 am 

Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 5:18 am
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Location: Charlotte, NC R8
I can totally relate, I usually am still memorizing speeches the day of script submission :?

The best thing I can say is give the speech without the script, even if you need it. Go as far as you possibly can without looking at it at all, when you can't think of what to say next try and figure it out(sometimes the figuring out helps ingrain it to memory, at least for me it does) If you can't think of it at all then you can look at the next sentence and restart from the last paragraph. Repeating this even just a few a times does wonders for memorizing. The main thing I have found is that if I just read the words off the script, I remember very little, I just read subconsciously. But for whatever reason, thinking about what comes next cements the words in memory.

Daniel Thetford - Region 8 NCFCA

2009-2010 - SITH Simon/Thetford - CCofSE
2010-2011 - SITH Simon/Thetford - CCofSE
2011-2012 - THTO Thetford/Torve - NCFCA
2012-2013 - THTO Thetford/Torve - NCFCA

"Judge people are like M&M's"

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