I just got done working on my mind map for Sunday's talk. I have had a number of people wonder what kind of things I use for "notes". What works for me... please no nasty comments from public speaking profs. What works for me is to write out my entire talk, word-for-word. I usually like to stay a week ahead of the game so we can work with creative elements and for my own peace of mind. So I will write my talk on a Tuesday for the NEXT Sunday. For me if I come in around 4,000 words then that works out to be about 33 minutes and leaves me enough time to have a prayer time and land it all in 35 minutes. Some weeks that looks more like 37 minutes but 4,000 words is what I TRY to stay under for my pace of speaking.
Then on Friday of the following week I insert all of the text into a "mind map" template in Publisher. The order of the text columns goes from:
The reason I lay it out like this is because our minds remember things in a clockwise manner. Bet you didn't know that! So by laying it out like this in Arial 10pt font it takes up 3 1/2 pages. I then take these pages and with highlighters mark up the key points and ideas and connect ones I need to connect. (Click on the picture to see it bigger)
So, I have written the talk a week before and now on a Friday I have highlighted it. Then I don't look at it again until Saturday night. The last thing I do before I go to bed is read over the entire message. Then lights out.
On Sunday morning I read over the whole message one more time and then I preach it to myself. REALLY, I go downstairs and preach, just like I was on stage! Finally, 15 minutes before the service I escape to my "green" room at the middle school. This is where I look over just the highlighted points before I go on stage. I also might look over the opening right before I hit the stage just to make sure I don't freeze up and go... "ahhhhh".
So: Write it, mind map it, read it, sleep, read it, practice it, quick glance, preach it.
The mind map, even though it looks kind of strange, REALLY helps you remember where you are and I can all but memorize the thing by doing just what I outlined above. No real mind tricks. Not a ton of prep. And I can get most of the talk memorized without having to look down and remember what comes next.
OH... this might help too. I took laminating sheets and cover the pages of my Bible. This way I can tape the mind map in there and re-use the same pages of the Bible each week. You know it makes you look more spiritual when all you bring up is the Bible and no notes... OH, I can read some of your minds right now :-)