What exactly is prompterizing? Let's take an example piece of text to sample memorize:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
The 278 word speech is not a particularly long oration, but it will work for our demonstration purposes. Our goal is to create a method that will force our brain to practice recalling the speech–even before we have it fully memorized. So first of all we need to get it into our mind so our brain has it–even if we can’t recall it. Here are a few methods that will work:
There are other methods as well, just do something to get a general familiarity with the piece. Now we need to come up with a method to give our brain, just enough information to recall the original text without simply reading the original.
F s a s y a o f b f o t c, a n n, c i L, a d t t p t a m a c e. N w a e i a g c w, t w t n, o a n s c a s d, c l e. W a m o a g b-f o t w. W h c t d a p o t f, a a f r p f t w h g t l t t n m l. I i a f a p t w s d t. B, i a l s, w c n d — w c n c — w c n h — t g. T b m, l a d, w s h, h c i, f a o p p t a o d. T w w l n, n l r w w s h, b i c n f w t d h. I i f u t l, r, t b d h t t u w w t w f h h t f s n a. I i r f u t b h d t t g t r b u — t f t h d w t i d t t c f w t g t l f m o d — t w h h r t t d s n h d i v — t t n, u G, s h a n b o f — a t g o t p, b t p, f t p, s n p f t e.
What we’ve done is taken the first letter of each word. Now try to recite the speech while looking at the text above. You’ll probably get part way into it and get confused. Backup a few letters and look beyond the letter you are struggling with to see if you can figure it out. Remember you are trying to help your brain find the right connections. If you have to consult the original, make note of what confused you and start over.
I have found this method to be much more productive for memorizing verbatim text than just about anything else. I used it extensively in school when I was trying to find how to memorize Scripture quickly. It will help improve your memory by giving you a way to practice. However, keep in mind that it is simply one method. When you need to memorize something, think about how to help your brain practice recalling the information–not merely reading it over and over again. Your goal is to quickly get the information into your short term memory so you can start practicing the recall process and move the information into long term memory.