Updated: Feb 28
How to organize and remember speech notes in your head using the Loci Method.
I’m currently taking the Recall Masterclass from Kwik Learning right now, and as part of the homework, I am to teach what I learned each class to other people. The class is taught by Jim Kwik, a renowned brain coach. Since I’m a blogger, I’d like to share my notes with all of you. I hope you can use the knowledge and practice the methods to improve your memory as well.
Class 5: Remembering Speeches and Presentations
Have you ever been blown away by a speaker’s level of confidence and competence? How can we deliver a speech confidently without any notes? On a related note, how can we remember so much information for an exam? This lesson will teach you how.
Best Way of Taking Notes
Applying the Loci Method
Key Point 1: Best Way of Taking Notes
We need to know the best way of taking notes because we need to memorize notes for speeches and tests.
The best way of taking notes is capturing the keywords and key ideas. These key ideas create pictures in your head, and a picture is worth a thousand words (a lot of comprehension).
The worst way of taking notes is to not take notes at all, and the second worst way is to copy down that the person said verbatim (because then you’re not really processing the information in your mind).
When trying to memorize a speech, first, we create a list of key ideas. Then we can use the Loci Method.
Key Point 2: The Loci Method
Origin Story of the Loci Method:
About 2500 years ago, Simonides was giving a poetry reading to a group of people. after he left the building, the building collapsed and killed all the people in that room. He had the responsibility of helping the family members identify their loved ones. Simonides was able to remember every single person based on where they were sitting around that room.
We naturally attach information to location. As hunter gatherers, human survival was dependent on our ability to remember locations, such as where the food was, where the good soil was, and where the danger was. Remembering location is built into our neurology.
Example of Using the Loci Method
The Loci Method is when you take key ideas and attach them to a location. To use the Loci Method, we need a location list story. Jim goes through his office as a location list. We remember the list as a story.
Parking lot: Imagine you just got out of the car, and you are in the parking lot.
Bridge: As you walk towards the tall, glass office building, there’s a small waterfall and a moat, and you cross over a bridge.
Elevator: You go into the office building and enter the elevator.
Hallway: You get out of the elevator and you walk into the hallway.
Closet: You open the door to the office, and you see a closet to your left.
Receptionist: You walk to the receptionist to ask about your appointment.
Fish tank: Behind the receptionist, you see a gigantic tropical fish tank.
Door to classroom: You walk up to the door of the classroom to take a class with Jim.
Whiteboard: You open the door, and then you see a gigantic whiteboard.
Bonsai Trees: You look to the side and you see lots of bonsai trees.
Practice closing your eyes and visualizing yourself going through this story with all these locations. Try to do it forwards and backwards.
Next, we attach each key idea to a location using PIE. If you don't remember PIE, review class 2.
Jim gives this list to memorize:
Killing ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts)
Positive peer group
This list is what he calls the 10 keys to activating your superhero brain.
To memorize that list, he takes us through the story and attaching each item to a location:
Imagine getting out of the car, and the parking lot is just filled with good diet.
Imagine crossing the bridge and killing ANTs while walking
Imagine getting into the elevator and then doing intense exercise like P90X in it. Your trainer is there yelling at you to go harder.
Imagine stepping into the hallway and seeing big bottles of brain nutrient pills coming at you. You jump over them like Donkey Kong.
Imagine opening the door, then opening the closet, and seeing all your positive smiley friends. That’s your positive peer group.
Imagine going up to the receptionist and seeing her diligently cleaning the environment diligently.
Imagine seeing the fish tank and seeing the fish wearing colorful pajamas and sleeping.
Imagine going to the classroom door, but it’s locked, so you put on a helmet for brain protection, then you tackle the door.
Imagine seeing that whiteboard, and seeing Jim write on the board “New Learnings”. It’s written in your favorite color with your favorite scented marker.
Imagine all the bonsai trees managing their stress by listening to calm music and getting massages.
Notice how visual the story is. You should be able to go through the story forward and backward in your mind.
Making Your Own Loci List
We can also make our own locations. Jim tells us to imagine we just entered our home’s front door. Pick a path to go through your house, and pick locations there. Here’s my Home Loci List:
First is my shoe mat.
Then I walk past my couch.
Then I open my refrigerator.
Then I take something out of the fridge and put it in the microwave.
Then I take it out of the microwave and put it on the table.
Then I go to the chairs.
Then I walk past the bathroom and I look inside.
Then I walk up the stairs.
Then I go into the office room.
Then I see a big window.
I could go on and on and have more items by talking about all the objects in each room, like table, book shelf, lamp, bed, dresser, closet, etc. From this example, we can see it’s pretty easy to come up with a Loci List.
Key Point 3: Applying the Loci Method
When giving a speech, you can attach your key points to different objects in the room beforehand. Or you can just go through your own Loci Story in your head during the speech.
Students have also used the location method by writing down a list of key ideas. Then in their classroom or test room, they attached each item to different objects in the room. That ways, when writing the test, they could easily recall the key ideas just by looking at the objects around the room.
Make your own Loci Story. Aim for 10 locations in that story. Ask someone to give you a list of 10 words. Practice memorizing that list by attaching them to the locations in your Loci Story.
If you are good with 10, you can increase your list to 20.
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