tips and strategies
By Frank Felberbaum
© IMAGE POINT FR / SHUTTERSTOCK
crisp thoughts and sharp
images tied together by
ing is a skill just like read-
ing, thinking and talk-
ing, but it is unique in that all of these other
abilities are based on memory. In fact, you can
enhance and accelerate all of your other busi-
ness and social skills simply by improving
;e following memory techniques, tips
and strategies are highly e;ective, time-tested,
easy to use and proven to work. You will be
pleasantly surprised by how well they work.
Concentration is key
Concentration is the ;rst threshold to a
trained and active memory. In order to focus
on speci;c types of information (names, facts,
numbers), you need a sustained level of
engagement. ;is focus will help you operate at
your top performance level. ;e primary reason we get distracted and lose our ability to pay
attention is the separation of the use of our eyes
and mind. When they are not working together
as a team, we cannot concentrate at all.
An excellent technique to raise your span
of concentration is to exercise with a simple
design called a mandala, which originated
centuries ago. Mandalas, which have been
used in art and architecture, always include a
circular central area. Each morning and a;er-noon, simply focus on this area for two minutes, keeping your eyes and mind directed to
In numerous memory workshops con-
ducted over five years, my participants
reported increases in concentration level by
approximately 25 percent a;er practicing this
focus exercise. It works because it quiets the
inner noise in your mind, centers your atten-
tion, reduces the input of all your senses to a
single point and enables you to reconnect
your eyes and your mind.
You can ;nd mandalas on the internet, in
many books and even on calendars.
Names and faces
We have all been in situations when we
draw a blank and just can’t recall the name of
a friend, acquaintance or business associate.
Most of us easily remember or recognize the
faces of people we’ve met, but o;en we have
great di;culty connecting the correct name
with that face. ;e reason is that we remember
what we see better than what we hear.
;e following technique will enable you
to process and recall the name and face of
anyone you will ever meet:
• Observe and analyze the face.
• Concentrate and choose a strong
or unique feature.
• Listen to and focus on the surname.
• Find a visual meaning or image
based on the sound of the name.
• Attach the name imagery to the
facial feature in a vivid story.
• You now can connect the ;rst name
plus added key information to person.
The Casablanca technique
Let’s say you are trying to recall the name
of a business associate, an old friend from
school or even the name of a company you
did business with in the past. It’s on the tip of
your tongue, but you can’t quite retrieve it.
What can you do?
My favorite method is to round up “the
usual suspects.” I simply draw a circle on a
piece of paper or the computer screen with a
question mark in the middle. ;en I draw
lines radiating out from the center with a
series of questions on each line, like:
• Where did we meet?
• Who else was there?
• What were they wearing?
• Did they have outstanding or striking
• What was the purpose of the meeting?
;is method of thinking around the lost
or missing information is similar to what you
do when looking for a misplaced item at your
home or o;ce.
The memory palace technique
Would you like to give a speech or presentation without notes? Once you have prepared your talk, organize it into ;ve to 10 key
points for each part of your presentation.
;en arrive early at the venue where you will
be speaking. Stand at the podium and choose
;ve to 10 objects in the room that you can see
easily, then visually connect each of your key
points to an object, working from le; to right
and from ceiling to ;oor.
For example, connect the ;rst point to the
picture on the wall, the second point to the
clock, the third point to the drapes on the window and so on until you have covered your
entire speech. When you get up to speak, all
you need to do is look at each object you chose
and the key points will jump into your mind.
Memory is a process. If you control that
process, you can control your memory. C
Frank Felberbaum is president of Memory
Training Systems and author of ;e Business
of Memory (Rodale Books, 2005; not available at Costco).
for your health