A Talk on Memory Palaces

Yesterday, at the District 53 Toastmasters Spring Conference (part of Toastmasters International), I delivered a talk on the Palace of Memory technique. These were my working notes and my slideshows.

First, I delivered a 10-15 minute talk on what the Palace of Memory technique is, and how it works.  I’m sorry that there’s no audio — with the setup  I had, I couldn’t simultaneously run the projector and record my own audio track:

Then I showed this three-minute film on how even an imaginary architecture can be used to memorize a list or learn a body of material through chunking it into smaller elements, and assigning visual images to them, such as learning the names of the presidents in order.

Finally, I showed this slideshow on a loop — it consists of two run-throughs of US Presidential portraits in order, one with names and one without.

We had time at the end for about 8 questions, which ranged from the value of using artificial memory-training techniques to stave off dementia, to how to be a better rememberer of people’s names.

I also provided Memory Tools with four public domain examples of things that are easily memorized using Palace of Memory techniques — the list of the US Presidents, the list of the kings and queens of England, a John Keats poem, a Shakespeare poem, and Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.  I completely forgot to mention them in my talk, but sometimes it’s hard to squeeze everything into forty-five minutes, even if it’s on your agenda.

I think next time I should give a talk on Commonplace Books.  Hmm.

Please let me know if any of the links or videos fail to work, or if you find this helpful for growing your own memory skills, by posting a comment below.  Also, if you find this valuable, consider leaving me a tip through PayPal, on the upper right.


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