How would you react if I asked you to memorize something? If you are like most people you would cringe and sigh. Good short term and long term memory seem like magic to many people. A long time ago they decided that they cannot memorize things easily and they are left with what ever sticks in their mind after trying to learn something. Does it have to be like this? Definately not! Memorizing things has to do with understanding how the brain works, what people lack is technique not brain cells. There is a huge number of memorizing thechniques out there and I will share one very useful with you.
This technique is easy to learn and so powerful I cannot believe it is not taught in schools, that is why I call it a secret technique. It is based on repetition, we all know that repetition is the mother of all learning, no getting around that. What is great with this technique is that it keeps your attention and focus on the thing you haven’t learnt at the same time as you repeat and solidify what is already in your memory.
For me comitting things to memory used to be a real challenge. It actually became a real obstacle for me, putting of learning stuff and failing actually seemed like a good idea. Let me tell you, it’s not. A few years ago I was introduced to a completely new technique for me to more easily remember new music I was working on. As you can imagine this was a real problem solver for me.
So what is this secret technique? Start at the back!
Let’s say your are going to be giving a presentation to a big audience and you really want to make a good impression by speaking fluently and not having to go back to your que cards every two seconds. So maybe you start by figuring out exactly what you want to say word for word and then write it down, now you have a long manuscript that goes along your PowerPoint (or whatever you prefer to use) presentation and now comes the memorizing part.
If you start rehearsing the from slide 1 and then work from there will be repeating what you already know a lot of times before you get to parts you don’t remember yet. Every time you rehears you start of feeling good and knowing everything but at the end of every rehearsal you get the part you really need to focus on and a lot of the time you will stumble, check the manuscript and start over. The result? As I said earlier you will spend a lot of time memorizing what you already know.
Now, try the reverse instead. Let’s say you have 20 slides with manuscript, start with slide 20. You will probably be able to memorize that pretty quickly, when that is done, move to slide 19 alone, again that will probably go quite quickly, now put 19 and 20 together, that will be quite smooth. I guess you already see the pattern here, go to 18 alone, put 18,19, 20 together, go to 17 alone… You’re smart I don’t have to give the whole sequence.
Doing it this way will always have you working on what you don’t know first before putting it together with what you already remember for a nice refresh cycle. When you have memorized the whole thing you will be very confident with your memory and looking in your cue cards will only be for those rare occasions when you lose track due to some unforeseen event that really puts you off.
So here is your assignment, pick up something you need to memorize right now and use this technique. I would love to hear how it works out for you.
live consciously, memorization
[...] PS. If you need help on how to memorize a speech, song, or something else read this. [...]
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