Two time USA Memory Champion and memory speaker Ron White (also known as the memory guy or America’s memory expert) shares with you his technique for memorizing directions.
So there you are. You pull into a gas station to ask for directions. (That is if you are a woman or if you are a man who is being forced to stop and ask)
You ask a friendly face, ‘How do I get to the convention center?’
‘Oh sure, no problem’ is the reply. ‘Just go down 2 streets and take a right, then go to maple street and take a left, when you see the school turn right and take that road until it turns. It will dead end into Midway Road and then take a left and you will see it.’ ‘Thanks’ you reply and as soon as you leave the gas station you are thinking…’wait…did I go 1 or 2 streets? was it a right or left? was it the school I turned at or the fire station? Dang it!’ And then you have to stop and ask someone else 🙂
First of all, in order to memorize ANYTHING you need to understand the method of loci or the memory palace Once you learn that you can apply this memory training method to memorizing directions. I will proceed as if you already know this method or have researched it just now.
The first thing you need to do is decide what your picture will be for the word ‘RIGHT’ and the word ‘LEFT’. For me every right is a RAT and every left is LEAVES. You may come up with different memory training pictures for these words, however, those are mine.
Now, when someone says – ‘Go 2 streets and take a right.’ Then on my first file I see 2 streets covered with rats.
The direction was ‘Left on Maple street’ so on that file I would visualize maple syrup with leaves all in it.
The next direction was ‘At the school take a right.’ So on this file I would see rats all over the school.
Then ‘At Midway take a left.’ On this file I would see an aircraft carrier (battle of Midway in World War II) with leaves blowing all around it.
So then I pull out of the gas station and I have 4 files with information on them. I have a picture to tell me when to take a left and when to take a right. It should work like a charm. Now you may say, ‘Why not just write them down?’ Are you kidding me? Do you know how much the man had to swallow his pride just to STOP and ask for directions…you think he is going to write them down?! 🙂
In reality as a memory speaker I get this question in about 10% of my seminars – It used to be asked almost 50% of the time but now with GPS remembering directions is less of a need. and this is how you would do it. Use this simple memory technique to learn how to memorize directions but the method of loci above really has larger applications and you can learn how to memorize name, numbers, speeches, chapters of books, product knowledge and much much more.
Practice and hopefully one day I will give you directions and 10 seconds later you will still remember….