How to Memorize a Speech in One Night

We've all been there - your teacher assigned you a project last week and it's due tomorrow. Or you have a meeting tomorrow with your boss, his boss, and the president of the company, and you need to have your presentation memorized. Whatever the situation, sometimes we just have to memorize a lot of information, and fast. When time is of the essence, certain techniques work better than others. Here's a couple of good ways to memorize your presentation/speech:


  1. Image titled Memorize a Speech in One Night Step 1
    Type up what you need to memorize, whether it's a speech, presentation, or something else.
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    Record what you need to memorize. Do this preferably on a computer, and record it both in its entirety and in segments about 1 minute long.
  3. Image titled Memorize a Speech in One Night Step 3
    Listen to each segment in order of the presentation throughout the night. You can do this while working on simple tasks, such as making posters or a PowerPoint visual aid to assist in the delivery of the speech
    • Palm cards will help split the speech into smaller, more manageable sections of text. Read it three times, then look away and try to recite it without checking until it's done.
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    Once you have one segment memorized completely, move onto the next one.
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    Once you have memorized all segments and are done with the visual aids, practice delivering them as you would with your audience, allowing yourself to get used to using them together. Act like the audience is there, try to make your voice loud and clear and maybe this will drive you into learning the speech faster.
  6. Image titled Memorize a Speech in One Night Step 6
    When you go to sleep, set your computer to play the recording in its entirety on repeat, so that it will play through the night. This helps keep what you have memorized from slipping from your mind during the night. Do this only if you need to.
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    Wake up about 15 to 30 minutes early to go through your presentation a few times.
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    Transfer the recorded segments of your presentation to your iPod/mp3 player and listen to segments you might have trouble with throughout the day leading up to when you must present your presentation or segments that you might think you need to work on.
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    Relax and give your presentation naturally and successfully. Remember to use hand motions and to interact with the audience.


  • Read the speech over and over out loud until you can say it without reading.
  • Get a good night's sleep the night before your presentation. It helps your memory.
  • In the morning wake up and read your speech several times as your mind is fresher and absorbs more information.
  • Read it over a lot of times, part by part. When you have memorized one part, do the next one. After that stick it together.
  • To memorize it more, read it 5 to 10 times. This can help you memorize some of the lines in it.
  • Spend some extra time on transitions. Often times people will forget the order in which to deliver the memorized segments.
  • Read a sentence out loud, then in your head, then memorized. After each sentence, put everything you've done together to test it out.
  • Record the entire speech, and play it on a loop as background noise for your entire day if possible. Like songs or commercials, your brain soaks up things best with constant repetition.
  • Say the presentation to yourself quickly. If you can say it quickly without stuttering or forgetting any parts, you have it completely memorized
  • Try writing it down over and over then try from memory.
  • Time yourself and see if you need to add or take out parts.
  • Read each sentence ten times. Then put it all together.
  • Read the script while you listen to yourself perform it. Then try to say it at the same time as the recording.
  • Don't try to wing it at the time.
  • Read the paragraphs in your head to avoid a sore throat. When you have it just about memorized in your head, start saying it out loud.
  • Write the speech while listening to the recorded segments.
  • If it's not too late, break it up into 7 parts and memorize one part each night.
  • It's helps to repeat the entire speech etc by memory every time you memorize a new segment to make sure you don't forget the rest of the speech. Try repeating this step each time until you get the whole thing correct before moving onto the next segment.
  • Mark in emphasis with a pencil and add imagery to sections in your head. Copy troublesome sections out by hand a couple of times. There's a neurological connection which helps you memorize by doing this.
  • Use cue cards to write keys words on while practicing your speech.
  • You don't have to memorize it word for word. Knowing the basic points you need to hit and the topic, you can slightly change it each time, as long as you transmit all the information needed and get the point out.
  • Read it loud until you think you are perfect in that.
  • Write down some segments of your speech on index cards and read from that over and over.


  • Trying to memorize a lot of things at once gives some people a headache.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • MP3 player/phone
  • Paper with your speech on it (preferably one paragraph per page)

Article Info

Categories: Public Speaking