Do you have a great memory for what you hear, read or see?
If you do, you’re the exception because the rest of us poor souls
lose more than 51% of what we hear, read and see within 24 hours.
Each passing day another 10-15% of the original memory fades.

Just picture “in-one-ear-and-out-the-other” and you got it nailed.
The Gallup Poll indicates career skills without daily repetition verge on the cusp
of extinction. Research proves only the CEO knows the company mission statement and annual organizational goals.

What am I getting at?

If you want your team, staff or students to have long-term memory of what you are spreading, illustrate the key points with a short story.
Story-telling is an antidote to memory loss and learning amnesia.

How to Tell a Winning Story

a) Stress destroys rapport. Keep your story short, conversational and colloquial (informal).

b) No more than one or two people in the key scene described.

c) One-idea to each story to make it memorable

d) Even if it’s a true story – tell it as-if it is occurring now. Speak in the
present-tense so folks can form mental visualizations and associations of the principle you are illustrating.

e) The language of the brain is in pictures – exaggerate for effect. Your use of slipping on a banana-peel humor, and involving their 5 senses improves long-term recall.

f) The brain is a super memory device. It searches its files for similar
experiences to the story you are telling. The secret word is Association; we link new ideas to old, long-term memory.

Our brain predicts the next step in our thinking about your story.

g) Create a slogan that summarizes the principle of your story.
‘Go-Lizard’ is one we use to remind students and executives
to widen their sight by using their Peripheral Vision.

Here are the first two paragraphs from Thomas Paine’s article the Crisis, written just before the Battle of Trenton in 1776. Does it tell a story?

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and
the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of his
country, but he that stands now deserves the love and thanks of man
and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation
with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. ‘Tis dearness only that
gives everything its value…”

Sure, Paine writes with vocabulary you and I would never consider, but
he has only one key idea – stay and fight. The Battle of Trenton was the
first American victory by General Washington and was the turning point
of a United States separate from Britain.

Hermann Ebbinghaus

German psychologist and professor at the University of Berlin in 1885,
Ebbinghaus started scientific research on memory. He coined the expressions,
‘the learning curve and the forgetting curve’ we still use.

In 1936 engineer Theodore P. Wright adapted the term learning curve to
describe labor production in the aircraft industry. Short learning curve was
good, while a long learning curve indicated the existence of complex skills.

The original Ebbinghaus research has been confirmed over the next 100
years. Some people are able to imagine (see internal pictures and form
associations) quickly, while most have weak memories.

We universally believe we have learned and remember what we hear, see and
read, but when tested the reverse is true. What we have is a vague recognition, not
recall. If we see, hear or read it in the future, we think, “Oh yeah, I know that.”

Knowing is not doing; without memory there is no useful skill.

What Works to Improve Memory

If you are motivated to learn something – place it into long-term memory for
later retrieval, normal folks require a system not a hope and a dream.

Any system is better than random learning. Specific Guidance has been used by
about 2 million and can double long-term recall. We recommend one called
FistNoting that is simple to learn and use from day one.
If you are motivated for personal growth and perhaps promotions in school
and career, ask us about the FistNoting memory retrieval system. It consists
of seven (7) vital questions to ask about what you are reading, listening to and
presenting to your team.

Questioning is an instinctual (reflexive), evolutionary brain activity. We are
taught to answer questions by our parents, teachers and the media. A question
cannot be ignored by us – it is more than a habit, it is based on human curiosity.

There are multiple brain structures involved in responding to questions. MRIs
show activation of the Prefrontal cortex and Temporal lobe when we are confronted
with a question.

Specifically, Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas and the Angular Gyrus are triggered by
questions. All three brain structure are deeply involved in learning, thinking
and memory. Ask yourself a question (internal monologue) or read or hear one,
and you are cued to respond. It’s an instinct.

The FistNoting Method

The secret of FistNoting is intentionally responding to a set of 7 questions. It is not
enough to answer verbally, you must manually write short, simple answers. It can
be handwritten by pen or word processor, both enlist your kinesthetic sense (touch)
in addition to hearing (subvocalization) and seeing the answers.

Using these three major senses of perception consolidate memories from short to
long-term memory. Just speaking the answers to these 7 questions is not enough.
The final secret is periodic repetition after initial learning. Go back and read your
answer a week, month and year later to reinforce recall.


If you are ready for personal growth, a short learning curve and double
your present memory, ask us how. Would it held your school experience
and career to read and remember three (3) books, articles and reports in
the time your peers and competitors can hardly finish one? Ask us how.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who
hustle.” A. Lincoln.

See ya,

copyright © 2008

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's;
original business partner of Evelyn Wood, graduated 2 million,
including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents.