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Last Updated on August 8, 2019

How to Be More Knowledgeable

How to Be More Knowledgeable

Learning new skills at any age reaps a huge amount of benefits including raising self-esteem, increasing our sense of accomplishment and personal growth, as well as keeping those brain cells active and well-used.

We can all struggle to find the motivation to carry on learning no matter what the subject is but there are several different ways that can help us along the way. So how exactly can we learn effectively and become more knowledgeable as a result?

Motivation, the Sweet Spot and the Information Gap

To learn something effectively, we need to be present in the sweet spot. This is the magical space where we are neither sitting in our comfort zone nor forcing ourselves so much that we become demotivated.

Motivation is paramount in keeping us on track when learning new things and the sweet spot is the key to keeping this motivation going. Lingering too long on information we already know can lead to boredom and going too far into unknown territory can cause us to lose that much-needed motivation very quickly. It’s important that you keep a good balance and take small but challenging steps to keep you moving forward.

By doing this you need to be aware of the information gap. This is crucial when keeping up the motivation to gain more knowledge; we should always start with a subject in which we have basic understanding but where we still need an advancement of information to fill the gap. This way we can better connect our knowledge to what we’ve previously learned.

Remember, curiosity is one of the greatest motivations for learning, but this can be easily killed off if the level at which we are learning is too difficult. Maintaining a good pace and remembering that small steps achieve big goals will keep demotivation to a minimum.

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Not Everyone Learns in the Same Way

The important thing to remember is that we are all different when it comes to learning new information and skills. Intelligence is commonly thought of as our intellectual potential which can be measured with IQ tests, but in fact, research has shown there is a large spectrum of intelligence that differs from person to person and cannot be limited to conventional tests; this means that people have the potential to excel with different cognitive abilities and therefore, learn effectively in completely different ways.

Understanding your learning technique and utilizing it will allow you to become more knowledgeable on the subject you’re learning. Once discovered, make this your main source of learning, making sure you throw in some alternative ways for optimal results.

With this in mind, here are the most effective ways for retaining information and gaining the skills that you’ve learned.

Memory Tactics

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    Memorizing information can come more easily to some than others. If you struggle with retaining key points and more complicated topics then improving your focus is one way of dealing with this.

    Neuroscientific studies have shown that listening to certain type of music not only increases productivity but helps to focus the mind and retain information. Websites such as focus@will aim to keep you in the state of flow and concentration allowing your brain to utilize its memory function.

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    Cramming too much information into a short space of time can be tempting but ultimately, this is laziness in disguise. When we cram, we don’t think carefully about the meaning of what we’re learning; in other words, it’s all about quality not quantity.

    Make sure you structure your time well. Structured study sessions over a period of time allows you to process the information more adequately and research has found that the brain takes in more of this information through small regular sessions than one long, marathon.

    Relatable Learning

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      Relating and applying what you’ve learned to already-known situations is an effective way to understand new information. By doing this, you allow your brain to see connections through experience and previous knowledge, cementing this in the mind and allowing it to stick.

      If you try to apply it to the relevance in your own life or how it relates to things you find interesting and important, then this will help with focus and motivation in the long run.

      Learning Through Practice

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        This is one of the most popular methods of learning and one that I find the most effective. Lifting words from a page can be good in doses, but often our brain needs to experience the theories to fully understand the connections.

        A good example of this is when we learn a new language. The most effective way is the immersion technique where you are in a situation where you’re forced to speak the language and the brain is pushed to reach in and find translations as well as picking up on subtleties of speech, intonation, and assumption through gestures. Putting your mind through this trains it to find connections fast and efficiently much more than sitting down with a book.

        Explain What You’ve Learned to Someone Else

        people-woman-coffee-meeting

          Another great method is to attempt to explain the new information to someone else. Doing this reinforces what you’ve learned in your mind, allows you to pinpoint any gaps in information or points you haven’t fully understood, and helps you translate the information you’ve gained into your own words and in a way that others can understand.

          This is an effective way to test whether or not your techniques are working for you. Start a blog, create a presentation or participate in discussions on the subject to solidify your knowledge.

          Try Different Methods of Learning

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            As I pointed out earlier, finding a particular way of learning that resonates with you is your first port of call. However, don’t limit yourself to just one method. The brain needs stimulation and even if one method is very effective, you can run the risk of getting bored and it’s in this space that motivation can wane.

            Once you find your most effective method, then utilize it but try to also mix it up by reading, watching related video clips, practical sessions, and explaining to others; being visual and verbal are both important factors when learning effectively and becoming more knowledgeable in your chosen subject and creates a good balance.

            Always remember that becoming an efficient learner takes time and practice as new habits need to be formed and established. Be patient with yourself and focus on one method at a time to allow yourself to find out what suits you. Motivation is key so do what you can to keep this up; focus on the small, steady and effective steps to get you to the next level.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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            Jenny Marchal

            A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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            Last Updated on February 19, 2020

            How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way

            How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way

            Did you know that 75% of the population suffers from glossophobia? That scary sounding word is one of the most common phobia’s in the world, fear of public speaking.

            I’ll bet even as you are reading this, you are getting nervous thinking about giving a speech.

            I have got good news for you. In this article, I will share with you a step by step method on how to memorize a speech the smart way. Once you have this method down, your confidence in yourself to deliver a successful speech will increase substantially. Read on to feel well prepared the next time you have to memorize and deliver a speech.

            Common Mistakes of Memorizing a Speech

            Before we get to the actual process of how to memorize a speech the smart way, let’s look at the two most common mistakes many of us tend to make while preparing for a speech.

            Complete Memorization

            In an attempt to ensure they remember every detail, many people aim to completely memorize their speech. They practice it over and over until they have every single word burned into their brain.

            In many ways, this is understandable because most of us are naturally frightened of having to give a speech. When the time comes, we want to be completely and totally prepared and not make any mistakes.

            While this makes a lot of sense, it also comes with its own negative side. The downside to having your speech memorized word for word is that you sound like a robot when delivering the speech. You become so focused on remembering every single part that you lose the ability to inflect your speech to varying degrees, and free form the talk a bit when the situation warrants.

            Lack of Preparation

            The other side of the coin to complete memorization is people who don’t prepare enough. Because they don’t want to come off sounding like a robot, they decide they will mostly “wing it”.

            Sometimes they will write a few main points down on a piece of paper to remind themselves. They figure once they get going, the details will somehow fill themselves in under the big talking points while they are doing the talking.

            The problem is that unless this is a topic you know inside and out and have spoken on it many times, you’ll wind up missing key points. It’s almost a given that as soon as you are done with your speech, you’ll remember many things you should have brought up while talking.

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            There’s a good balance to be had between over and under preparing. Let’s now look at how to memorize a speech the smart way.

            How to Memorize a Speech (Step-by-Step Guide)

            1. Write Out Your Speech

            The first step in the process is to simply write out your speech.

            Many people like to write out the entire speech. Other people are more inclined to write their speech outline style. Whichever way your brain works best is the way you should write your speech.

            Personally, I like to break things down into the primary points I want to make, and then back up each major point with several details. Because my mind works this way, I tend to write out speeches, and articles for that matter, by doing an outline.

            Once I have the outline completed, I will then fill in several bullet points to back up each big topic.

            For instance, if I was going to give a speech on how to get in better shape my outline would look something like this:

            Benefits of being in shape

            • Point #1
            • Point #2
            • Point #3

            Exercise

            • Point #1
            • Point #2
            • Point #3

            Diet

            • Point #1
            • Point #2
            • Point #3

            Rest and hydration

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            • Point #1
            • Point #2
            • Point #3

            ConclusionNo need for points here, just a few sentences wrapping things up.

            As you might imagine, this step typically is the hardest because it’s not only the first step but it also involves the initial creation of the speech.

            2. Rehearse Your Speech

            Now that you’ve written your speech, or outline, it’s time to start saying it out loud. It’s completely fine to simply read what you’ve written line by line at this point. What you are working on doing is getting the outline and getting a feel for the speech.

            If you’ve written the entire speech out, you’ll be editing it while you are rehearsing it. Many times as we say things out loud, we realize that what we wrote needs to be changed and altered. This is how we work towards having a well rounded and smooth speech. Feel free to change things as needed while you are rehearsing your speech.

            If you are like me and you’ve written the outline, this is where some of the supporting bullet points will begin to come out. Normally, I will have written several bullet points under each main topic. But as I say it out loud, I will begin to fill in more and more details. I might scratch certain bullet points and add others. I might think of something new at this stage while I am listening to myself and want to add it.

            The key to remember here is that you laying the foundation for your awesome speech. At this point, it’s a work in progress, you are getting the key pieces in place.

            3. Memorize the Bigger Parts

            As you are rehearsing your speech, you want to focus on memorizing the bigger parts, or the main points.

            Going back to my example of how to get in better shape, I’d want to ensure I have memorized my primary points. These include the benefits of being in shape, exercise, diet, rest and hydration, and the conclusion. These are the main points I want to make and I will then fill in further details. I’ve got to ensure I know these very well first and foremost.

            By practicing your major points, you are building the framework for your speech. After you have this solid outline in place, you’ll continue by adding in the details to round things out.

            4. Fill In the Details

            Now that you have the big chunks memorized, it’s time to work on memorizing the details. These detail points will provide support and context for your major points. You can work on this all at once or break it down to the details that support each major point.

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            For example, the details I might have under the “exercise” big point might include such things as cardio, weights, how many times a week to exercise, how long to actually exercise, and several examples of actual exercises. In this example, I have 5 detail points to memorize to support my major point of “exercise”.

            It’s a good idea to test yourself regularly as you are rehearsing your speech. Ask yourself:

            What are the 5 detail points I want to talk about that support my 3rd main point?

            You need to be able to fire those off quickly. Until you can do this, you won’t be able to associate each of the details with the main point.

            You have to be able to have them grouped together in your mind so that it comes out naturally in your speech. So that when you think of main point #2, you automatically think of the 4 supporting details associated with it.

            Keep working at this stage until you can run through your speech completely several times and remember all of your big points and the supporting details.

            Once you can do that with relative ease, it will be time for the final step, working on your delivery.

            5. Work on Your Delivery

            You’ve got the bulk of the work done now. You’ve written your speech and rehearsed enough times to have not only your main points memorized but also your supporting details. In short, you should have your speech almost done.

            There’s one more step in how to memorize a speech the smart way. The final component is to work on how you deliver your speech.

            For the most part, you can go give your speech now. After all, you have it memorized. If you want to ensure you do it right, you’ll want to hone how you are delivering your speech.

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            You work on your delivery by rehearsing and running through it a number of times and making tweaks along the way. These tweaks or changes may be are’s where you’d want to pause for effect.

            If you’ve found you have used one word 5 times in one paragraph, you might want to swap it out for a similar word a few times to keep it fresh.

            Sometimes while working on this part, I’ve thought of a great story that’s happened to me that I can incorporate to make my point even better.

            When you work on your delivery, you are basically giving your speech a personality as well.

            The Bottom Line

            And there you have it, a step by step approach on how to memorize a speech the smart way.

            The next time you are asked to give a speech don’t let glossophobia rear its familiar head. Instead, remember this easy to use guide to help craft a powerful speech.

            Using the method shown here will help you deliver your next speech with increased confidence.

            More Tips about Public Speaking

            Featured photo credit: Anna Sullivan via unsplash.com

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