Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What do I need to remember?

In the 21st century with the abundance of iPhones, Blackberries, laptop computers, mobile phones as well as beautiful Moleskine notebooks, you would think our memory skills are no longer required. There are many situations in life when we need to use our mental ability and not to rely on external storage systems.

Names and Faces
- Dealing with people is part of life - personal and business. When we meet people we need to be able to remember their name to use during the conversation and when we see them again. I meet so many people who say "I'm hopeless with remembering names!". I will show you how to master this important skill.

Vocabulary - The ability to understand and use words in conversation as well as recognising words when we read is the foundation of education. The more words we know, the better.

Security information - Our bank cards have a PIN (Personal Identification Number) and we are required to memorise the number and not write it down. How do you remember the numbers of several cards? Building access codes, Internet banking, etc.

Your passport number - Imagine you are travelling overseas and all your valuables are stolen including your paper notebook with your important details. You contact your embassy and you able to tell them your passport number because you have memorised it.

Speeches and Presentations - Delivering a speech from memory is an important skill. I am a member of a Toastmasters club and always deliver my speeches from memory. I don't actually memorise every word, but remember keywords and how the parts of the speech are linked. Usually I memorise the opening and closing sentences word-for-word as this gives great impact. I will blog later about speeches and talks.

Jokes and Stories - The Internet (email in particular) has killed the oral tradition of telling jokes. Revive the lost skill of oral storytelling and commit humour to memory then retell the story with your personal touch.

General Knowledge - I am currently working on the task of remembering all the countries and capitals of the world. This information gives me the framework for understanding current affairs and world events. Have you ever heard an unfamiliar country name in a news report and didn't know where it was? Could you visualise each country as the Olympic athlete teams march on to the arena with their flags? Once you have a framework of world knowledge in your memory, then you can associate more information.


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  2. Caveman, this is fantastic. I am interested to learn how different kinds of perception are translated into memory, for example visual memory and sound memory. My name memory is terrible, but my visual and sound memory is better than average (I always remember faces rapidly compared to other people around me but I can't remember names). Or strangely I memorise phone numbers by sound, sometimes in English (my home number) and sometimes in Turkish (my mobile number) but always I hear the sound first before realizing the number. Anyway fascinating topic. Thanks for this.