With only a handful of exceptions, like those with true eidetic or superior autobiographical memory, experts are born with normal brains, just like you and me. If you want to enhance your memory, and improve your quality of life by getting better grades, or remembering important clients names, you will need to learn the memory techniques that will help you do that.
What do memory experts know that you donâ€™t? Or, better yet, what do memory experts do that you donâ€™t? Having an excellent memory is a learned behavior, and obviously they have learned how to do it. If they can, so can you.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The simplest way to remember and convert short-term to long-term memory is to repeat what you hear out loud, and if thatâ€™s not possible, at least in your mind.
When you meet a new person, repeat their name back to them. It shows them you are interested in getting it right, and it reinforces it in your mind as well. Then, during the conversation, address them by name every opportunity you can. Example: â€œHello Cathy, is that Cathy with a K or a C? Itâ€™s nice to meet you Cathyâ€¦. What do you think about that idea Cathy?â€ People like to hear their name repeated, and it not only mates a good first impression, they will remember you as well.
When trying to remember a speech or a presentation, go over the material as often as you can. Repeat it in front of a mirror, while you are sitting in the car in a traffic jam, on your lunch hour, before you go to bed, and immediately before you have to make the presentation. The more you practice the more confident you will be, and the less necessary you will find notes to be.
The best way to remember something is to make it into a story â€“ and the funnier the better. This method is known as â€œmnemonics.â€ You create an image, then make a â€œmovieâ€ or a moving story putting all the things you want to remember in one story. For example, if you are trying to locate an address: 408 Forrest Avenue. The directions may say to take a left on King Drive and a right at Castle Point. Imagine a one-legged king hopping on his left leg as he leaved the castle and heads right for the forest. Numbers markers on the trees in the forest are 4 â€“ 0 â€“ 8.
When trying to remember a list of things, especially when the list is long, it is best to break it down into smaller sections or management numbers. The human brain is usually capable of remembering 7-9 items at one time, and not more. By breaking this down into manageable amounts, it is easier to remember. For instance: if you are trying to remember your shopping list, break the items down into categories â€“ like fruit, meat, vegetables, dairy, etc. If you have more than 7 items in each category, break the categories down even further â€“ like canned goods and fresh vegetables.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life. His CDs and memory products are also available online at BrainAthlete.com.
AARP – Secrets of Memory Geniuses: Tips to improve your memory: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-12-2011/how-to-improve-memory.html