Have you seen the Progressive Insurance commercial where insurance agents come across a client of five years and still can’t get her name right? Well, how successful do you think a business would be if this were their normal customer service? How successful do you think a salesman or executive would be? Not so much.

What do you think of a feature speaker who is reading off his/notes because they can’t remember, or didn’t try to remember, the speech in front of them? Perhaps it’s not that they can’t or were lazy, perhaps it was because he or she was shy and terrified to speak in public. With some memory improvement techniques and public speaking training their self-confidence would increase immensely, and looking at their speech will be a thing of the past.

Successful people have good memories.  They know the names of their clients (as well as their staff). They are organized and able to make decisions. Successful people are leaders, and leaders have learned the best ways on how to remember — whether it came naturally as a good listener or if they took memory training classes, it doesn’t matter. Although our society measures success by income and possessions, money does not always mean success. If you were an insurance agency owner, and had the agents above on your team, what are the odds these men will get promoted, much less make good incomes from commission? I’d wager the odds are against them.

Memory training seminars and classes could make the difference between a job and a career move. A good memory builds confidence, and with just a little training in memory techniques most people will learn the skills they need to become successful.

Memory involves four important functions:

  • Focus
  • Listening skills
  • Placing information into long-term memory
  • Recall

Building your memory bank involves listening skills and focus. Your short-term memory must then find a way to move the memory along to long-term memory so you are able to retrieve it when needed.

  1. It’s important when trying to remember something to get it right first. Starting out with bad information makes the right one harder to remember. It’s almost like the wrong information gets stuck in your head. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat his or her name, or repeat what he or she was saying. A person’s name is their prized possession, and having you ask for them to say it again shows you are genuinely interested in getting it right.
  2. Don’t get distracted – focus. If you are trying to remember a person, look at them directly and study their features. Try to associate something familiar with their face, like a nose shaped like a banana.   Listen to what they have to say and ask questions. Look them directly in the eyes so they know you have their attention. When you develop a personal rapport with them you are more apt to remember more about them later.
  3. Associate with what you already know. For example: If you want to learn a person’s name – such as a woman named Ruth Nile, associate the word “Ruth” with baseball (Babe Ruth), and the word “Nile” as the river in Egypt. Then picture in your mind Babe Ruth floating down the Nile.
  4. Practice chunking. Most people don’t remember more than 7-9 items at a time, but if they break it down into smaller chunks, it is a lot easier to remember (a phone number for example: the number 5557864532 is a lot harder to remember than 555-786-4532). The number was broken down into three chunks of 3 numbers, 3 numbers and 4 numbers (3-3-4).
  5. Sign up for a memory-training course. A little more education is good for the brain. Memory training will give you tools that will help make a speech without notes, or remember the names of all your clients (and prospective ones). It can help you to organize your life so you don’t forget the little things that can turn into big things, and you will build confidence because you are prepared to knock ‘em dead!

As a memory expert I have seen first-hand how much a good memory can build confidence and make a person successful. I have built a career around just that, and seen hundreds of people change their lives because they improved their memory.

from the desk of Ron White

 

Sources:

Ask.com – 10 Ways Psychology Can Improve Your  Life: http://psychology.about.com/od/psychology101/tp/applying-psychology.htm

The PhantomWriters.com — Good Memory Equals Greater Success: http://thephantomwriters.com/free_content/db/j/good-memory-equals-success.shtml

The Memory Book, by Harry Lorayne & Jerry Lucas