5 Techniques to Improve Memory Recall
A Dale Carnegie Memory Primer to Improve Memory Recall
Here’s an essential piece you’ll need to improve your communication process. In my travels, I’ve discovered many participants believed that they have poor memories when in fact, they haven’t prepared information for easy recall. You can be a hero to these people and help them improve memory recall with a little up front work. Prepare your information so you can deliver it easily and your audience can assimilate and recall it effortlessly. If your audience can access your information, they can quickly turn that information into usable knowledge, making you their hero.
In the Dale Carnegie program, we help participants develop their ability to use the information they gather in their life experiences and turn that information into usable knowledge. We do this by helping them learn several techniques based on how their minds handle information.
Here are some basic concepts that scientists and psychologist have discovered about our memory and you can use to improve your own memory recall:
Improve Memory Recall by Focusing on The End of an Event
We easily remember the most recent ideas and events. So if someone recited a list of items for you to remember, you would find it easier to remember the last items, or the most recent items, on that list.
Improve Memory Recall by Focusing on the Start of an Event
We tend to remember ideas and events at or near the start of a session. Again, if someone recited a list of items for you to remember, you would find it easier to remember the first few items on the list. Now, you may have heard public speaking experts say the most important parts of a speech are the beginning and the ending. Now you know why.
Improve Memory Recall by Focusing on the Unusual
We tend to remember things and events that are outlandish, exaggerated, or that stand out from their surrounding environment. Sticking with the recited list concept, you will easily recall items that appear to be exceptionally different from the others on that list.
Improve Memory Recall by Focusing on Real World Items
We tend to easily remember things that physically exist and we can visualize. You may have found abstract concepts are more difficult to remember than physical objects. For instance, you’ll find it easier to remember the word “flag” over the word “freedom” in our example word list.
Improve Memory Recall by Focusing on Vibrant Imagery
We tend to remember vivid, vibrant images over dull, static ones. Contrary to conventional thinking, the more specific the image, the easier it is for you to remember.
Improve Memory Recall by Using Emotional Anchors
We tend to easily remember emotionally charged images over those that have no emotional component. If you have an item on your list that evokes strong emotion from your past, you’ll find that item easier to remember over something that you feel indifferent about.
Throughout the Dale Carnegie program, we build on the above concepts, developing processes for remembering names, enhancing our human relations, delivering presentations, and communicating effectively with our peers.
Here are 5 ways you can use these concepts right now:
When preparing your information for memorization and recall, use images instead of words. For instance, when going grocery shopping, many people will attempt to remember the words on a list. Visualizing the items instead will improve memory recall of the items you want to remember. We cover this extensively in the Dale Carnegie Course and will touch on this in the Breakthrough to Your Success seminar.
When dealing with abstract concepts, here’s one simple way to improve memory recall. Create a relationship, or an association, between the concept and something you can easily remember. Again, we use this “linking” technique extensively in the Dale Carnegie Course for remembering names.
Here’s a logistical tactic you can leverage. When creating your study sessions or speaking sessions, break the periods into 10 to 15 minute segments. Doing so will create multiple starting and ending points. You’ll remember from the concepts above, the beginning and ending parts of a session are easier to recall. So, maximize this effect by creating as many of these memorization points as possible.
When remembering a person’s name, exaggerate a specific observation about that person and link it to their name. In the Dale Carnegie program we use the ACME formula, providing a handy cheat sheet for name memorization techniques.
When creating a PowerPoint presentation, limit your use of dull lists, dry words, and bullet points. Instead, make it memorable by using colorful and vivid graphics.
What techniques do you currently use to remember name, faces, and events? Post a reply and let us know the memory tactics and learning strategies you use in your daily professional lives.
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