How to Memorize a Business Presentation

Many presentation skills coaches agree that what you as a presenter should be asking is not how to memorize a business presentation, but rather how to remember the key ideas, so that instead of sounding scripted, you can sound natural and really connect with the audience.

Having said that, if you’re one of those who absolutely positively feel you have to memorize no matter what, then borrow a technique from the acting world and our friends at

If you want to know how to memorize a business presentation, borrow some techniques from the world of theater.

How to Memorize a Business Presentation

The Problem with Repetition

Most people memorize by repeating the words over and over again. What they don’t realize is that they’re not only memorizing the words, but the rhythm, cadence, and tone of voice too.

Don’t believe me? Think about the American Pledge of Allegiance. Where are the pauses?

I pledge allegiance (pause) to the flag (pause) of the United States of America. And to the republic (pause) for which it stands (pause) one nation, (pause) under God (pause), indivisible, (pause) with liberty and justice for all.

Amazing, isn’t it? We call it muscle memory and it’s lethal to good acting.

Why? Because when you’re acting in a scene, it has to seem like you’re living it for the first time, every time. But if you’re trapped behind your muscle memory, you’re not vocally free. And you’re not acting.

A Better Way to Memorize

You’ll memorize by rote.

Rote: n. A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension.

You’re going to repeat the words over and over (and over) in a monotone voice, without any inflection. Like a robot.

When you memorize this way, you eliminate the muscle memory associated with the lines. So when you play the scene, it’ll be different every time!

If you’re interested, here’s the entire post.

Presenting is very much like acting. You’re “on”; you have an objective to accomplish; and you have to sound natural to be believable.

So, memorize the words first, and then add in emphasis, pausing, and volume variations for maximum effect. When it comes time to present, you’ll sound confident, impactful, and polished. Now, that’s how to memorize a business presentation!

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