Session 2 of the Dale Carnegie course focused on remembering. Specifically, we learned techniques for remembering names and lists of items.
For remembering names, we learned to create mental scenes that sound like the name. It’s important to make the scene vivid and ridiculous. The more outrageous and animated, the easier it is to remember. It’s also important to picture the person in the scene. This way, the person’s face will call up the ridiculous scene that sounds like the name.
It’s best to make the scenes ridiculous and silly. For example, if I met someone named Janice Madison, I might imagine her with her face bright yellow, screaming at her son. I would think of jaundice and that she’s mad at her son. Janice Madison would come to me quickly.
We also learned to use ‘peg’ words for remembering lists of items. Each number in the list gets a silly image where you can place the item you want to remember. For example, the seven image is an escalator rising to heaven. Imagine the seventh item in the list tumbling down that escalator. The four image is a revolving door. Imagine your fourth item stuck in that door, holding up traffic.
I have to confess, I don’t employ these techniques myself. I tried them, but I found that by the time I made up a scene, I could have the info written down. My limited brainpower is too precious to spend on remembering stuff I can write. I compensate by warning everybody I meet that I’ll forget their name. Later when I do, I say, “I told you so.” They always seem to take it well.
I also should admit I’ve seen impressive memory demonstrations where folks employing these techniques can remember dozens of items and names they’ve just encountered. So give it a try; it may work better for you than me.
To close the session, we each gave a short speech about an important, defining moment in our lives. Our instructor gave each of us some positive feedback. The class voted on the outstanding performance, and the winner got a prize.