Thursday 23 May 2019 10:30 am

Memory tricks and tips to help you win at business

Even in the age of Google, remembering certain things can give you a huge advantage in business. In fact, your ability to remember can become one of your most valuable assets.

The bottom line is this: people want to do business with smart people, and we view people who have a razor-sharp memory as being the smartest.

How great would it be to quickly and easily remember business-related facts and figures, speeches and presentations without notes, foreign language vocabulary, key points from meetings, material for certification exams, and the names of people that you meet? This is well within your reach.

Here are some principles to show you how to improve your memory.

First, visualise

Take whatever it is that you are trying to remember and turn it into a simple image or series of images.

Involve your other senses

Beyond visualisation, try to involve as many additional senses as you can while attempting to commit a piece of information to memory.

The more senses you involve, the more of your brain you’ll be using. This will also build more connections in your mind to the information, so it will be much easier to remember.

Use your imagination

Next, use your creativity and imagination to make what you are seeing and experiencing in your mind crazy, unusual, and extraordinary.

This is important so that you can take advantage of the psychological aspect of your memory – it’s much easier to remember things that are out of the ordinary in some way.

Time for a memory exercise

Let’s put these three principles that I’ve just described into practice, and use them to commit to memory the following random list of words: cloud, bicycle, elephant, watermelon, cat, egg, rabbit, mud, bird, whistle.

To memorise this word list, try to visualise the “story” that I describe. Just see it happening to the best of your ability, almost like a cartoon or movie playing in your head.

You see a giant cloud. Falling out of the cloud is a bicycle. The bicycle lands and crashes into an elephant. On the elephant’s back you notice a large watermelon. The watermelon explodes and a cat runs out of it. This cat runs straight into an egg.

The egg cracks open and a rabbit hops out. This rabbit jumps into a huge puddle of mud. The mud splatters all over a gigantic bird. The bird starts to fly away, and you notice that it’s blowing a whistle.

Read through the story just one more time while visualising everything described. Now, go ahead and recite all of the random words from memory by simply going through the story in your mind and recalling each major object that you encounter.

Practice makes perfect

One handy memory trick to use in conjunction with these tips is to review important information just before you go to sleep. You’ll wake up the next morning knowing it much better than you did the day before.

Your memory is your secret weapon – invest a little time developing your memory skills, and you may soon be enjoying more success in your career.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.