You just called the TV repair shop and the voice on the other end of the line tells you “this is Don Smith”.  About 5 minutes later you tell your wife that “this guy” will be out to fix the TV in the morning.  You can’t think of his name although you know he mentioned it on the phone.

This happens all the time to just about any of us unless we have learned to concentrate and implant the name in our memory right at the time we hear it.  To do this you first must make a habit of repeating the name back to the person.  This action will remind you to store the name in your “Memory banks” each time you hear someone’s name, and, within a matter of a short time the “repeating” process can be discontinued.

When you meet someone in person use the same procedure, and in addition, visualize something different, unusual from the ordinary, or “ridiculous” about their appearance, position, or actions that “ties in” with their name.  You may have to put the descriptive information on one side of a card or piece of paper and the name on the other side for a while until it is imbedded in your memory permanently.  Look at it repeatedly; see the “picture” in your mind’s eye as you look at the name, or when you see the name visualize the “picture” you have assigned to the name.

Getting this system to work will require certain changes in your thinking and it may take several days or several weeks to become proficient.  After all, you have developed a “Bad Habit” over a period of many years and it is difficult to turn it around overnight.

This method also works with anything else worth remembering, not just names.  When you have occasion to remember something, jot it down and incorporate it into your list . . . No complicated formula . . . Just a system that works with a little concentration.

Another method that works for me is word association. I met a lovely lady named Ebony recently and had lots of trouble remembering her name until I associated her name with the Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson hit Ebony and Ivory. I have never missed remembering her name again! You can also associate the person’s name with someone you already know or someone famous.


As mentioned above a person may train their memory by associating names with specific illustrations.  This works just as well with written information. There are several key words or a key thought in each paragraph of printed matter that can be associated with an illogical or ridiculous illustration.  It is much easier to remember and recall ridiculous associations than it is to recall normal and uneventful relationships.

As you proceed through any text choose one or several Key words or key thoughts from each subject and relate the same to a ridiculous cartoon or illustration.  Actually “see” it in your minds eye as it relates to the key word or key thought. When you have occasion to remember a particular matter, the “picture” should automatically appear to you and the entire thought should be recalled.  Be sure to SEE the ridiculous picture associated with the printed matter you wish to recall.

As you proceed through a book, practice seeing a picture and relate it to the key words or the main thought of the written material.  This method of learning should improve your ability to retain what you read.  With sufficient “practice” using this method, many individuals will be able to develop a “Photo-Type” memory.

The Key to this memory system is to “see” the picture” in your “mind’s eye”.  After you have practiced and mastered the system and are able to get instant flashback recall you should be able to read most any text material and visualize ridiculous pictures to associate with the thoughts expressed in the printed materials.

We suggest you prove this system to yourself.  As you read the first several pages of information, “see” a picture related to the words or  thought.  It may be rather difficult to “see” at first but by constant effort and concentration amazing progress can be made.  When you have seen the picture, just go on reading the following subject matter and repeat the process.

Don’t be concerned that you will forget the prior subjects!  They should remain imprinted on your mind and recalled later, instantaneously and clearly.

After you have read several pages, recall the first few “mind-pictures”.  If you originally “saw” the picture as related to the key thought of the printed material, you should remember the basic information.

Try it!  It’s interesting!  After you have mastered this learning system, it should be easy to file various programs away in your memory and recall them as needed to progress in your search for success.


The same system mentioned on the previous page may be used to memorize a speech by linking a series of thoughts to a series of ridiculous pictures in sequence.

Proper preparation of your speech is half the battle.  Know your subject thoroughly then make an outline for the introduction, main body and conclusion.  Start your speech with something to startle your audience into complete attention such as a weird statement or funny happening.

In presenting the main body of your speech get the confidence of your audience by letting them know you know your subject very well.  Get your points across without argument.

In making your conclusion you can briefly sum up what you have just stated then end with a big bang;  recommending action your audience should take or suggesting they change their viewpoint on the subject etc.;  finalize with a joke that fits the circumstances, or powerful word pictures they will remember after they leave the meeting.

Make your outline in large print with plenty of space between lines so you will be able to look up without losing your place on the sheets.  Rely on your memory for the most important points, including the opening and closing lines.

Practice your speech with a tape recorder and in front of a mirror before the meeting.  Work out any apparent speaking problems or things that don’t sound just right.  Know what you are going to do with your hands and determine the better body movements to go with your personality.  Continually make eye contact back and forth across the room.

Take time to think before answering questions.  If you don’t have the answer, ask another question, refer it to someone else better qualified to answer, answer in general terms, or change the subject  (like politicians do) complimenting the person asking the “impossible” question, or by telling a “clean” joke.

David Parrish