I once attended a seminar presented by acknowledged memory expert, Ron White. Ron opened the seminar by having the roughly 250 people in attendance stand up from their seats. He then asked everyone to take off the nametags they were issued when they entered the seminar and put them away for a moment.
Ron then went around the room and addressed each person—individually—BY NAME and asked them to take a seat!
How did Ron know the names of 250 people in attendance that he had never before met? He learned them all in a 45-minute span while walking around the room, reading name tags, prior to the seminar’s start. And to be honest, he probably didn’t need that long.
Ron is two-time national memory champion winning the USA Memory Championship in 2009 and 2010. He holds the record for being the fastest to memorize a deck of shuffled cards in only 1 minute and 27 seconds. Among his other many amazing accomplishments is memorizing the first seven chapters of the book of Proverbs for the Christian Business Expo in 1996.
His secret is similar to what Dale Carnegie talks about in his book, “How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” where he talks about the “natural laws of remembering” being impression, repetition, and association.
The basis for this method involves associating pictures with names and numbers that you can easily recall. For example, for the number “ten,” associate a picture of something that sounds like “ten,” such as “hen” or “pen.” Then suppose that the tenth item recalled to you is a windmill. To associate the name, do not think of the word “ten” at all. Instead, envision a bizarre image in your mind (the more bizarre, the better!) of a giant hen sitting on a windmill, or a windmill pumping ink to fill the pen.
When you’re asked what was the tenth object called, don’t think of “ten,” but rather, ask yourself where the hen was sitting or picture ink spewing out of the top of the windmill and flowing into the top of the pen. Who could forget an image like that?
The study of memory is a fascinating subject and one that will serve you well if you spend some time reading up on the techniques for developing it. Do it now…before you forget!
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