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Old 06-22-2003, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Advice: Memorization of a Menu Presentation

This nice restrurant that I will be working for requires me to give a presentation to every table that I serve. It must be verbatim. It's about 4.5 pages of text.

Any advice on how to memorize this?

I made an audio cd of the script, and I've been listening to it. and I've been saying it over and over. Any further advice is welcome.
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
start a paragraph at a time and build your way up... easiest way for me.
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
Loser
 
I'd start with the names of the meals first.
Then get the basic course that it's made of
Then finally all the little enhancements they have added.
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Keep memorizing, even after you are pretty sure you have it nailed. The first few times you recite it the pressure will be a lot higher.

I have never had a restaurant employee recite 4 1/2 pages to me. That's a lot of information!
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Old 06-23-2003, 11:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think rogue's got it right, once you have the meals down, all the details will start to fall in place. Out of curiosity, how nice of a restaurant is this? I've worked in a few fancier places and never had to do that.
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Old 06-23-2003, 01:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The classic "enhance your memory" trick is to memorize a series of objects or places until you can recite them in order: "Mirror, carrot, bathroom, kitten, overcoat, table, television".

Then associate the various elements of the presentation with those objects. "Hello my name is...." associates with "Mirror", "allow me to run you through the menu tonight" associates with "carrot", etc.

It's easier to remember the objects and associations than the whole script of the presentation.

Also, once you can run through the whole thing, or significant chunks of it, start doing it every chance you get. Run through it in the shower, driving your car, etc. Deliver it to your empty kitchen table as if it was a table you're waiting on. Then, if you really want to feel comfortable, fill the table with your friends, and deliver it three or four times to them.
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Old 06-23-2003, 11:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One thing I've found, is that people tend to memorize things in one specific order. In theatre, in rote memorization, in the way they drive to someone's house. The idea is not to just deliver that speech to each table. As a waiter myself, at Pappas Seafood House, I have to give a solid "full presentation," but I try to alter the presentation a little for each table. The key to that is knowing not only the entire presentation itself, but each element (regardless of its overall position) in and of itself. So what you need to do is memorize it in chunks to begin with. Then memorize the order of the chunks, assigning each chunk either a number, letter or object. Once you can get through the complete presentation without verbal pauses, mental lapses, or mistakes, move on. Then take the objects out of order and memorize them. The problem with memorizing things in only one order lies in the fact that if you get distracted or wander off script, you lose your place completely. The best presentation is one that can smoothly and flawlessly return to its track without batting an eyelash.
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Old 06-24-2003, 05:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Do you work at Mortons of Chicago by chance?
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by shaq=ignorance
Do you work at Mortons of Chicago by chance?
* gives shaq=ignorance a cigar*

Yup, orientation started today. I know more of the presentation than any of the other trainees.
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I used to work there myself, so I know how lame the presentation can be. After awhile though you can say the menu in your sleep, and likely will because you are going to say it so many dang times per night. Just think of the entire process as a learning curve, as soon as you master the orientation material there will be nothing else to learn.
I liked working for Mortons when I first started, but after a few years, the corporate feel of the job really started to grind, example...DSG cards, district managers visiting every other week.
How is business, I heard Motons is taking a huge hit because the downward trend in the national economy. Last I heard, there were only a few establishments that were making decent money. HMMM.....go figure, people don't want to spend over 100 dollard per person to eat a steak dinner.

Anyway, good luck with your menu and your new position, and remember to sell the Silver Oak wine, all the yuppies love that stuff.
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Old 06-30-2003, 11:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by shaq=ignorance
Do you work at Mortons of Chicago by chance?
That was my guess. Definitely the only restaurant with a 10 minute presentation. I must say it works up the appetite...
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Start by reading the last page first and have fun with it. You can read aloud using different voices or find parts that you think remind you of something else just have fun(I know this sounds stupid but you dont remember useless boring shit do you?)
By starting on the last page you are making it so that you will remember the beginning and the end well which will allow you to get used filling in the cracks
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Old 06-30-2003, 08:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Where I work I have to have a 45 minute presention memorized for tours. I usually use objects located around the room and associate them with key words. Once I have a key word I can do the rest of the talking. Being a tour guide in a 5 diamond bed and breakfast can be very tedious, because there's some super rich people that come through there, and they want everything to be perfect.
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Old 07-01-2003, 10:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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so the patrons are expected to listen to the waiter go on for 4.5 pages?

I'm pretty sure I'd tune that out pretty quick.
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Old 07-01-2003, 10:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bubbagumpshrimp
so the patrons are expected to listen to the waiter go on for 4.5 pages?

I'm pretty sure I'd tune that out pretty quick.
wow.... super ADD.

anyways... my addition is to sing it.. turn it into a song or tune...
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Old 07-02-2003, 03:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Try a mnemonic, a phrase based on letters from the menu.

incidentally, 4.5 pages that's about 800 words or so? dear god.
I think I too would lose interest It's not ADD. It's boredom threshold.
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Old 07-03-2003, 02:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Pick a house that you are familiar with and associate each section to a part of the house. So all you have to do is take a tour of your mental house.

But 4 and half pages is a lot to listen to before you get to eat!
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Old 07-04-2003, 05:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Are they to cheap to print up-to-date menus?
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Old 07-05-2003, 02:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Memorize a few items, then keep adding little by little the rest of them. I find the more I repeat things or hear them over and over again, the more apt I am to remember.

I think the audio tape thing is a great idea. Record all that you have to say and keep listening and mouth the words as you listen to it. Even if you have to listen to it while you sleep, could help pay off.
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: VA
Well, they have this meat cart they push around, so using the actual meats (or representations of the meats) while memorizing would be very useful, since that's what they do anyway, bounce from the prime rib to salmon to lobster...
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