Most of us recognize faces. For instance, did you ever hear anyone say, “Oh, I know your name, but I don’t recognize your face”? It’s the names we have problem with. Since we do usually recognize faces, the thing to do is apply a system wherein the face tells us the name. That is basically what a good memory method accomplishes, if it is applied correctly.
The first problem is the name. Well, that one is simply solved – simply apply the â€œSubstitute Wordâ€ system of memory. You won’t need it for many names that previously have meaning – names like Hayes, Howe, Carpenter, Fox, Paige, Coyne, Paynter, Gold, or Knott instantly create pictures in your mind.
Other names may not have meaning, but will still remind you of something tangible. For example, the names Hudson, Jordan, and Shannon will possibly make you think of a river, and the name Ruth might make you think of baseball. The huge majority of names, however, have no meaning at all. They are conglomerations of sound, just like a word in a foreign language. That’s where the Substitute Word system comes in.
You should be aware of the fact that most people don’t really forget names before we give you some examples. They just don’t remember them in the first place – often, they don’t really hear them in the first place. Just think back and remember the many times you’ve been introduced to someone, when all you heard was a murmur. There’s no way on earth to remember a murmur!
People for some reason, are generally embarrassed to simply say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear your name.” There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Since a person’s name is one of his most prized possessions, it’s flattering to make even the slightest fuss over it. Asking him to repeat it illustrates that you’re interested enough in him to want to be sure you get his name right.
Then there are those who don’t worry asking the person to say again his name because they feel that they’ll possibly never meet him again, so what difference does it make? Of course, they often do meet that person again – which is why half the world seems to address the other half as Darling, Buddy, Fella’, Mac, Champ, Honey, or Sweetheart.
Not because “Honey” is so special to them, but because they don’t know who they’re talking to! Which is probably all right, because the chances are that â€œHoneyâ€ and â€œBuddyâ€ donâ€™t know who theyâ€™re talking to, either?
Anyway, there are three steps involved if you would like to remember names and faces; the first step takes care of the name, the second takes care of the face, and the third locks the two of them together. What you have to do is correlate the name to the face in some ridiculous way.
Probably the worst mistake you can make is to try to memorize a speech word for word. First of all, it isn’t really essential. The assumption is that if you’ve been asked to deliver a speech on a specific subject, you know something about that subject.
Secondly, memorizing the speech word for word will make it sound that way when you deliver itâ€”memorized. And, finally, when you memorize a speech word for word, you’re taking the possibility of shuffling over one word you can’t remember.
Reading a speech doesn’t work either, because you want to hold the group’s attention, and reading to them is likely to put them to sleep. Even if you infrequently look up at your audience as you read, it won’t help much.
Talking the speech in your own words, thought for thought is the best way to deliver a speech. A speech is a sequence of thoughts; if the thoughts are out of sequence, the speech won’t make much sense.
First, write out or type your speech, including all the things you want to say about all the thoughts you think are significant. Read it over to get the gist of it. Now for that “other idea”: Select a Key Word from each thought that will remind you of the entire thought.
This is easier to do than it might seem. There is rarely a thought, whether it is to be spoken in one sentence or two paragraphs, which cannot be brought to mind by one word or phrase. It is these Key Words (or Key Thoughts) that you Link – at which point you have the speech memorized thought for thought.