Two-time USA Memory Champion and memory keynote speaker Ron White shares his thoughts on this simple memory technique.

‘Mnemonics’ is an often-used term for other word association memory techniques – like the ‘method of loci’ system. It isn’t difficult and can actually be fun. There is no pressure to perform, so it takes the stress out of learning.

Much like taking pictures with a camera or using a camcorder, mnemonics has you develop images to describe the information you are trying to remember. You create an image that is personal to you so, because after all you are going to be the one to remember it. Studies have shown that when emotions are involved people are better able to remember anything because they can associate it with something personal in their lives.

Some people can go a bit further and add action and motion to their visual image. It goes a bit further than your basic picture image by putting together a story, or making it into a poem. With this ‘movie’ technique it is important to have motion because it allows you to move from one item to the next. The goofier the movie is, the better you will remember. Humor is an emotion, and once again, we tend to remember things that strike an emotional note.

When the loci memory technique is used it is most effective when there are several items, or a list of items, that need to be remembered. Primarily, you need to set up a familiar place to store your information. Many people use a house (or sometimes called a palace) where they store information in different rooms in the house. Others use one room and place the items they are trying to remember on pieces of furniture or distinct objects. The place doesn’t make any difference as long as the person trying to file memories is able to recall them when needed.

Let’s take for example the following scenario: You have decided to make your ‘memory palace’ an outdoor scene – a large open field, a pond, a willow tree and benches in the park. The items you will use are hot air balloons, chocolate cookies, cell phones and picnic baskets. In order to associate these items you will need to visualize, so set into your mind the image of hundreds of hot air balloons drifting down onto the open field as you are driving to the park. You get out of your car and come to the pond, where you take out the chocolate cookies to feed the fish. You look up and see hundreds of cell phones hanging from the “weeping willow” tree. You want to take all this in so you find a bench to sit down at when you are approached by a picnic basket trying to sell you the food inside.

This is a silly scene, but each time you visit the park you will remember this scene and immediately associate the location with the items you are trying to remember.

That is mnemonics is all about – associating items in order to lock them into your memory. With this association you can recall the items at any time, and they don’t have to be in order. You can visit the pond first and then see the hot air balloons, or sit on the bench and look up to see the cell phones.

The point is, the more fun and bizarre you make it the easier it is to remember – and what fun you will have learning a memory technique that works and makes you laugh.



Memory Improvements Technique – A Simple Technique to Help You Remember Anything: