How to become a World Memory Champion in ten steps

by Liat Clark

As you throw back another egg nog, mulled wine or other variety of sickly Christmas cheer, save a thought for the brain cells that take a hit with each swig. Your memory might not fare so well the morning after, but thanks to these tips from England‘s eight-time World Memory Champion and author of How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week Dominic O’Brien, there are a few things you can do to improve it in the future — or at least, give the impression you remember the night’s events. This man can recall a binary list of 2,385 digits, so pay close attention.

1. The Link Method

To remember a list of words or shopping items make a link between each of the objects. For instance, with Torch, Grapes, Ring, Sherry, imagine shining a Torch on a bunch of Grapes. Inside one of the Grapes you see a Ring sparkling with diamonds. As you squeeze the grape, the ring falls into a glass of Sherry.

2. Acronyms

Use extended acronyms to remember a series of data by creating a fun sentence. For example “My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets” gives you the order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

3. Mental Pictures

Turn data such as facts and figures into pictures. Arctic or Antarctic? If you think of looking up at an arch and down at an ant you’ll never confuse the two again.

4. The Journey Method

To remember a list of information, choose a familiar route or journey, maybe around your house, to picture each item on the list.

To remember a sequence of numbers — say, 1024337864 — you could also choose a route around your house, to picture each number pair. By picturing David Cameron at my front door, an alarm clock in the hall and two blackbirds flying up the staircase, I can remember these three pairs of numbers easily: 10, 24, 33.

To add more pairs of numbers, just extend the journey: in my bedroom I hear an old 78 record and in the bathroom Paul McCartney is in the shower singing “when I’m 64”.

5. Remembering to spell correctly

Accidentally or Accidently? Turn tricky words into scenes to help you remember correct spellings. Picture an accident in an alley… accidentally…



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