How to Memorize

Frances Millburg

Many distinguished persons find it difficult to memorize important material. If you are one of these people, you will find the following method made to order for you, giving results that will measure up to your own highest standards, and win praise for you from your co-workers and Chapter members.


Begin by reading aloud, slowly and distinctly, the full lecture you are to give, just as you will deliver it. Or read aloud that portion of your work up to the point where another person will speak.

DO NOT — under any circumstances — attempt to memorize any phrase, sentence, or paragraph. Simply read aloud to yourself, slowly with proper inflection and distinctness — at least 20 TIMES. But, we repeat, DO NOT try to memorize any portion of your ritualistic material. Simply read it aloud to yourself AGAIN AND AGAIN. You are doing this to establish the MEMORY of the SOUND of these words to your ear, and to help you recall your work even under trying circumstances, so that you will be poised and confident, no matter what may occur.


DO NOT — under any circumstances — read your work rapidly, or with a rising and falling voice. It is always best to keep your voice well modulated, allowing a pause to occur for emphasis, rather than a raised voice. Remember, as you read aloud to yourself, SO YOU WILL DELIVER YOUR LECTURE. It will be IMPOSSIBLE to change your manner of delivery after the work is once committed to memory, since under stress, you will return to the memory of the SOUND OF YOUR VOICE AND THE WORDS AS YOU FIRST READ THEM.


After you have read your work at least 20 times, you may, if you feel you are ready, test yourself. If you find you have forgotten a certain word or phrase, or the beginning of a paragraph, go back to the 3 or 4 words PRECEDING the words you have forgotten, and read through for 3 or 4 words past the bad spot. Do this at least 10 times, reading aloud slowly each time. Now see if you are not able to go through the work without a stumble!


Think you're about letter perfect now? Then here's the supreme final test of your memory of your work. Select a word in the middle of each paragraph and write each down on a pad. Put away your ritual now, and look at the first word. Can you begin with this first word and go on without going back to the very beginning? If you find you can't do this, then treat the word as a "BAD SPOT", following previous directions.

Take each word you have written down, and begin your work at that point, and then grade yourself.

When you are able to begin this way, you'll be superbly poised and serene, no matter what happens — even if someone drops a tray of dishes in the Chapter kitchen!

These instructions may seem easy, but you will measure up to the most exacting critic if you will follow directions fully, WITHOUT DEVIATION. This system is used by many successful actors and public speakers today.

Source: The Ninth Arch BBS