Thousands of years ago, the ancient Greeks discovered powerful strategies for boosting memory. One of their most powerful discoveries was the use of mnemonics. Properly used, mnemonics can give you a photographic memory for facts and details while reading or speed reading. This article will teach you the details on this technique.
The Greeks discovered that your brain retains information quickly and efficiently if a pattern is created that encodes the details of the information you need to learn. Mnemonics is based upon this discovery. You probably used mnemonics in school. For example, many people learned the names of the Great Lakes by using the mnemonic, “Homes.” The letters in the word, “Homes,” are a mnemonic. First, let me decode this, and then explain how you can implement this strategy into your learning strategy.
The letter “H” stands for Huron. The letter “O” represents Ontario. The letter “M” comes from Michigan. The letter “E” is associated with Erie. Finally, the letter “S” is for the largest lake of all, Superior. Now you could try to rote memorize the names of these five lakes, or you could use this simple mnemonic to associate a stimulus that helps you recall all of them more efficiently. Let’s see how mnemonics actually work.
Mnemonics are words, phrases, sentences, or syllables that encode a list of information. The first letter of the words in a sentence, or the letters within a word are each associated with the key phrases or terms you need to remember. Let’s see how to use this while speed reading.
When I was learning about the nine attributes of living systems, I read a Biology book using speed reading. The nine characteristics included:
(1) specific organization,
(8) adaptation, and
Imagine trying to memorize all nine of these concepts while speed reading. It simply won’t work. Let’s see what I did instead.
I create a mnemonic using the first letter of each of the nine characteristics. Here is the mnemonic I created: SMM IGR SAC. This nonsense syllable associates the first letter of each characteristic into a pattern that I was able to learn and retain for over 40 years in less than 3 minutes. That is the power of mnemonics properly used while speed reading. Try it, and I know you are going to love the memory power it releases in your life.