1. When learning or memorizing anything, it helps to break the information down into small, basic units. Our short term memory retains a relatively small amount at a time, so a large amount of information or a lengthy list is best broken down.
For instance, think about the way children learn the alphabet…the letters in the alphabet song are broken down into chunks of no more than one to four letters: (ab-cd) (ef-g) (hi-jk) (lmno-p) (qrs) (tuv) (w-x-y-z).
The same technique could be applied to something you want to memorize at work, such as the organization’s mission statement.
So, if this were your mission statement:
We are dedicated to providing insurance products that offer quality protection with value pricing. We wish to establish a successful partnership with clients, staff members, and insurance companies that respect the interests and goals of each party.
You may want to break it down into these small units:
• dedicated to providing insurance products
• offer quality protection with value pricing
• establish successful partnerships
• clients, staff members and insurance companies
• respect the interests and goals of each party
2. Create some kind of internal organization. It is much easier to remember something that is organized and has meaningful structure than something that is random or abstract. One way to organize is to look for a natural hierarchy in the material to be learned. Another way to organize would be to make up a story or narrative chain to relate events to one another.
If your license plate number is: 2DN1231
• You could assign the word “To” to the number 2
• You could see DN as an abbreviation of the name “Don” (especially if you have a friend or relative named Don)
• And, you could see “1231” as December 31st or New Year’s Eve.
Your narrative could then be: I’ll Give a Ride To Don on New Year’s Eve
3. Find some kind of external organization. Some relationship must be found between the new information you are trying to retain and information which has already been learned so that one fits the others.
You are about to do a brief presentation that will encompass:
• An introduction
• A topic overview (e.g. “Lead Generation: Well Worth The Time It Takes ”)
• Three different topic points (for example):
- Generating Leads through Social Networking
- Generating Leads through Advertising
- Generating Leads through Cold Calling
• Closing statements
You could think of the different elements of your presentation as different locations within your house.
• the front door = your introduction or opening remarks
• the entry (from which point you can see a number of rooms) = your overview
• the living room (where crowds gather) = social networking
• the family room (where the TV is located) = advertising
• the office (where you often make business calls) = cold calling
• the back door = your closing statements
Recall is accomplished by visualizing the location and discovering the speech element associated with that location.
Taken in part from the Leader’s Guide for the classic program “Memory” © 1980 CRM Learning, L.P.
Training Resource: Speaking Effectively… to 1 or 1000. Memory plays a big role when delivering a speech or presentation. This entertaining and effective program gives practical advice on how to deliver a compelling message to a group of any size.