So … you want to know how to remember things.
Excellent. You’re in the right place. I read every book on the topic I can find and am always looking to improve my own memory skills.
Today, I want to let you know about an interesting book I read while on the road the past two days. It’s called Boost Your Memory
by Darren Bridger.
I wouldn’t exactly urge anyone to rush over to Amazon and get it right now, but for those of you who are seriously into memorization and mastering how to remember things you forgot, it’s a worthy read for review. I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested in knowing how to remember things better.
One of the features of Boost Your Memory that I found interesting is the author’s take on memorizing names. In some ways, it’s the standard fare that Harry Lorayne and many others talk about. However, I’d never heard the technique “associated” with an acronym before.
The NAME acronym is actually quite powerful, so I wanted to give you a brief summary. This acronym is good for more than just memorizing names too.
How To Remember Things Easily
Starts With Noticing Them
Notice is the first word in the name acronym.
In this case, the author is talking about not only about how to remember things like names by noticing the person’s hair, eye color and other distinct features of the face. He’s also talking about noticing the sound the sound of the name as part of learning how to remembering things better.
Seriously. Notice how the names you want to remember sound. Even a seemingly pedestrian name like “Bill” becomes quite interesting if you think about it.
You can even go so far as to pretend in your mind that you’ve never heard the word before. Just as we want to pay close attention to the sound of the words we are memorizing using the Magnetic Memory Method, when we learn a person’s name, we want to swirl it around a bit.
It’s almost like testing wine. That’s kind of a weird way to think about learning someone’s name, but I’ve tried it out many times, and it actually does bring an interesting quality to the memorization process.
Ask And You Shall Remember
Ask is the second word in this powerful acronym that teaches you how to remember names or even how to remember things for a test.
In the case of names, Bridger is suggesting that we ask for the name to be repeated if we haven’t heard it the first time.
I’m sure you’ve had this experience:
You hear someone’s name, but don’t quite catch it. Instead of asking for it to be repeated, you let the name issue drop and hope it will come up again …
But It Never Does!
And so, as Bridger suggests, there’s no shame in asking for a name to be repeated. There truly isn’t.
But I would like to add to the act of asking a quick tip:
If you want to know how to remembering things better, start asking people about their names. Like this:
“That’s an interesting name. Where does it come from?”
These are perfect questions to ask a person. Questions like these will not only increase your rapport with the person, but also cause you to pay more attention to the name in the first place. Remember: a great deal of what knowing how to remembering things boils down to is noticing and paying attention to the target material.
There’s Nothing Like A Quick Mention
To Help Remember Things
Mention. The author uses the word “mention” for the purposes of his acronym, but usually tips on memorizing names tell us to repeat the name we’ve just heard.
Memory experts are actually divided on this point. Yes, it helps the name you want to remember sink into your memory. And yes, it tells the person that you’ve heard their name and that you care about knowing them. But it can still come off as rather corny.
Still, I spend a lot of time in places where the language is not my native tongue, and have found repeating the names of people I meet to be an essential habit. Pronunciations of names vary widely, and there are often subtle sounds that people will gladly correct for you once they’ve heard you mispronounce their name. It’s only polite to make sure you can pronounce a person’s name right.
Plus, pronunciation is one of the weakest points for me. I’m always working on improving it in my own memory improvement journey – largely due to being 80% deaf in my left ear. So even though it can be a bit corny to repeat the names of people you’ve just met, just do it. It’s worth it in the end.
The Simple Act Of Seeing In Your Mind Seals The Deal
Envision. Here Bridger finally shows us how to bring it all together.
Envisioning is simple. It’s the part of the mnemonic process where we take the visual characteristics of a face and associate the name of the person with some distinct feature.
To use Bridger’s teaching, which seems pulled straight out of Harry Lorayne
, let’s say I meet someone named Jacob and he has rather bird-like features. All I would need to do is imagine him having the face of a Blue Jay and then imagine him puffing on a corn cob pipe.
(Jay + Cob = Jacob). Simple stuff.
The only problem is …
I don’t like doing it this way. I find that it makes me look at the person strangely later as I’m going through the recall process. I prefer seeing the images I create either behind the person, on their shoulder or above their head. That way, when recalling their name, I’m not looking all screwy eyed at them.
The Missing Memory Step
Plus, there’s a missing step when it comes to truly knowing how to remember things. “Envisioning” is one thing. Having a place to find what you envisioned quite another.
That’s why I’ve had at times dedicated Memory Palaces just for names. So should I meet a person named Jacob and see him as a Blue Jay smoking a corn cob pipe, I don’t want to let the association just float around in the void. I want to Magnetize it somewhere. Later, when I want to recall his name, the association will come much faster than it would have otherwise.
Why? Because memory no longer needs to hunt for the association or “envisioned” information. When we associate without placing our associations somewhere, we often have an “uhhhhhhm” moment where we’re searching for the association we know that we’ve created.
Plus, without a Memory Palace, we have no means of performing Recall Rehearsal. We will find the imagery in our Memory Palace later, but still have to reverse-engineer it in order to get the target material.
If you want to know how to remember things, that’s the key: always locate your material somewhere and then use that Memory Palace to rehearse the information into long term memory.
Anyhow, that’s my two Magnetic cents on the matter. Memorizing names is a very good thing to do and readily achievable using the NAME system taught in Boost Your Memory.
I hope you have a chance to use this acronym and if you check out Bridger’s book, tell him I sent you.
Further Resources Remember Names At Events: Quick Start Guide
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