Arthur Bornstein (Founder, The Bornstein School for Memory Training) gives expert video advice on: How can I improve my ability to remember a long speech?; What is the "Roman Room" method for remembering speeches? and more...
What is the "Loci" method of remembering speeches?
The Loci system is where you find locations in a room and associate your cues from that speech in different locations. Because your familiar with that room, so you put whatever part of the speech you feel is important to remember you connect it to something within that room. It could be the bookcase, the couch, the coffee table. And in your mind you have a picture of the room because you're very familiar with it and all you have to do is go back to the picture and whatever is connected to the bookcase, the couch, the coffe table, will come back.
How can the Loci method help me remember a speech without notes?
As you're recalling the speech, you go to the room in your mind. You finish with the first room, you go to the second room. And more of the speech is coming back because of the connections in the second room. You have a third room, you have more of the elements, you just walk around the room in your imagination and all of those important elements are coming back. You have the notes in your mind because they're connected to different things in the room, and it's a matter of picturing, association, no notes.
What is the "Linking Thought" method of remembering speeches?
As an example, here's a page of material that says "Lincoln's failures" and it starts of by saying, "When Abraham Lincoln was a young man, he ran for the legislature in Illinois, and was badly swamped." So you wanna get the cue, you know it's about Abraham Lincoln. Legislature sounds like "legs" and Abraham Lincoln had long legs. So you extract the cue "legs". He next entered business; failed- and spent seventeen years of his life paying up the debts of a worthless partner. So you wanna get a picture of Abraham Lincoln entering business and there is a sign over the door that says "entering business". Then it says he fell in love with a beautiful young woman; he became engaged- and then she died. So you wanna see Abraham Lincoln with a beautiful young woman and then you think of the three cues. Legs for what? Legislature. Business? He next entered business and then failed, and then fell in love, beautiful young woman, you gotta picture that in mind. So you go from one cue to the other, and those statements come back without the use of notes.
What is the "Roman Room" method for remembering speeches?
The Roman Room method, and also the Chinese, used palaces where they had 50 rooms, and they had probably 1000, cues or 1,000 elements in the room, and the Romans used it. They were great orators, and they had speeches that would go on for hours and hours. All they were doing was picturing their rooms. They went to the next room and kept on talking. Whatever elements they had in the room brought back the speech. They were very clever because they didn't have too many visual cues or words in front of them, they just saw the room and then they could talk for hours.