One of the most common reasons we experience presentation anxiety is the fear that we will forget what we have to say and risk losing credibility. A method many use to address this fear is to create PowerPoint slides as a memory aid. However, this is short-sighted because nothing erodes your credibility as a speaker faster than signaling to the audience that you are dependent on your slides.
Seasoned presenters are able to announce a slide before showing it. At a minimum, they know their material so well that all they need to do is briefly glance at the slide to know what's coming next. You can achieve this by doing simple memory boosting practices to remember your presentation material and, in turn, reduce your anxiety.
Here are nine tips to help you remember what you have to say.
1. Use the Palace Method
Research into brain science has proven that there is a very deep connection between the way we remember an event and the space in which it occurred. The brain system that is important for memory is also important for space; in other words, we remember things on the basis of spatial locations or "spatial scaffolds." This is an ancient memory technique, commonly referred to as The Palace Method or Mind Palace. To learn how to use the method, watch Joshua Foer's video, “To Remember Better, Build a Mansion in Your Mind", or read his book, Moonlighting with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.
2. Use mind maps
Mind maps are diagrams that allow you to lay out all of your presentation material in a visual shape rather than in list form.