Years ago, I found myself in a car park outside the BBC’s Television Centre, in front of a large broadcast camera, reporting on a story about a flood. It was fake news because I was actually taking part in a practical exercise for a rare BBC trainee scheme, to become a television news reporter. Up until that point, I’d been a junior radio producer, with an inkling I’d like to do more showing off in front of the camera, but had no real plan.
And I was terrible. I just couldn’t remember what to say because of the pressure. I goofed it and it wasn’t until a good few years later that I got onto TV and got good at it.
But that day I learnt a trick the news reporters use to help them remember their stuff. You can use it whenever you’re feeling the pressure and might forget what to say. It could be that you’ve got few points to make in a meeting, or three or four chunks of topic areas you need to cover off in a talk.
So, instead of hoping your brain will order things for you and retain the mass of information, use your fingers as your aide memoir, like bullet points. Establish the order of what you’re going to say, and attaching a bit of content to each finger. Then, press your thumb against each finger as you say each thing, moving through from your digit finger to your pinkie. It’s also, of itself, quite a calming thing to do.
Don’t forget, you can quickly and easily prepare your thoughts using my FACE planning tool, and then overlay your prep onto your fingers.