Improving Your Memory (Mark Channon)


At South by Southwest, one of the first workshops I attended was about improving our memory. Remarkably, I still remember all of the points and the exercises. The presenter, Mark Channon, did such a great job. I thought I would share his process.

Here’s a quick description of Mark from the SXSW website:

“Mark Channon lives in London and is the author of How to Remember Anything. He trained as an actor before becoming one of the first 8 people in the world to become a Grand Master of Memory in the 1995 World Memory Championships and creator of BBC’s gameshow Memory Masters. He has worked as a trainer and coach for over 15 years, running seminars for organizations such as Rothschild, Lincoln National and the BBC in Memory, Mind Mapping, and Creativity.”

Here are some of his principles:

1. Creative memorization requires getting into a relaxed and focused state.

2. Use imagination & association.
Ex. Corova is Russian for cow. Imagine a car going over a cow “car over”. Say it outloud while imagining it.

3. Chain method – memorizing a sequence of 15 words by using visual cues in your mind.
Ex. You can memorize 15 random ideas by visualizing them and connecting them together with a story.

Big Ben, fur coat, springboard, honey, dinosaur, baseball bat & cap, Ferrari, Tom cruise, cigar, bald man, chocolate bar, snake, & drums.

Imagine Big Ben (the clock) wearing a fur coat while jumping on a springboard. He jumps into a big bowl of honey, but he comes out as a dinosaur wearing a baseball cap and carrying a baseball bat. He climbs out of the bowl of honey and starts hitting a Ferrari with Tom Cruise in it. Tom is smoking a cigar. At that exact moment, a bald man walks up while eating a gooey chocolate bar. On that chocolate bar is a snake playing the drums.

4. Names

  • Prime your brain.
  • Listen.
  • Use creative memorization & create a picture. Best ones connect
  • name to his or her face with an item that reminds you of the name.
  • Repeat the name back.

5. Networks

  • Attach items to your body going from toes to head.
  • Attach items in a room moving around it sequentially.

Remember any other methods for improving your memory?

Showing 2 comments
  • David Marland

    …and drinking Budweiser

    • Eric Bryant

      Very funny, David! He never mentioned that as an option. 🙂

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