Among many interesting video shorts and infographics, I came across the Hungry Beast channel on YouTube who posted a video on how individuals can train their memory. One memory champion describes the way he memorizes a deck of cards. He assigns 52 images for each number on the card and associates the suit on each card to one of 52 places in his house. He runs the images through his head like a story, and the more horrific the story gets, the easier it is to remember.
I found this strategy to be vaguely familiar and extremely valuable.
I had always struggled with retaining information and data. This was especially true when I was being challenged to regurgitate this information during examinations throughout my educational career. I would make immaculate study guides with little neat tables of color-coded information. I was not hesitant to share my study tools with other classmates because I felt like I was onto something and I wanted to share. I consistently received Bs and Cs on my work even though I was confident I put in the A-effort. Somehow my classmates who used my study guides were receiving those As instead. DOH! What was I doing wrong?
I had a breakthrough during my last year of college when it came to studying (Yes, what a bummer it took so long to Click). I found a way to use my creative quick doodles to help me memorize marketing terminology and trends that would need to be recorded word-for-word on examinations. I created stacks of notecards that contained word definitions on one side and image definitions on the other side. I was finally seeing the high scores I knew I could obtain.
You should try this exercise! Here are a few quick life examples in which memorization and preparation can boost your confidence and help you share what you already know.
- Elevator pitch – In 1-2 minutes, can you describe who you are, what you do, and why you are the best candidate? This sounds simple, but can you do this while remaining calm and delivering a consistent message? Remember: your goal is to Get Talked About after you leave the room
- Grocery lists – I dare you to try drawing your list instead of writing it out. When you forget it at home or in the car, I bet you can remember all your items by recalling your doodles (and don’t worry if you suck at drawing – its all relative).
- Birthdays – I’m a sucker for forgetting birthdays. Try doodling something that reminds you of that person, whether it be something that signifies their home, work, favorite activity, etc., draw an icon that represents the month, and an icon for the day.
I will post my doodles in the next blog with some more examples on how to apply this memorization tip to your daily life. In the meantime, test it out for yourself! My theory is if you make yourself laugh while doodling, the easier it is to recall what you have memorized.