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Hints and Tips to Improve Your Fantastic Memory

Extracts from books by Dominic O’Brien
 Eight Times World Memory Champion

How to Develop a Brilliant Memory


      Memory depends on three basic processes:
1. Making something memorable.
2. Storing that item in the mind.
3. Recalling it accurately at some future time.

Before you begin to improve your memory you must have faith in it as a perfectible faculty!

Association is at the heart of developing a perfect memory – our amazing brains will immediately make associations and connections. Harness that power!

Use the Link Method to remember any sequence of data by simply linking the words together by unleashing your creative imagination.

To remember four objects in sequence such as hand, butter, magnet and atlas, imagine putting your hand into some butter. From inside the butter you pull out a sticky magnet. The magnet pulls itself and you towards a book, which happens to be an

Get into a memory zone – try to find a little time every day to stretch your memory and slow your mind down by conjuring up pleasant scenes. Take regular exercise to relax and feed your brain with oxygen.


Remember jokes by summarizing it visually – we are so busy enjoying them that we don’t give a moments thought to committing them to memory.


The key to learning a language is to create an image by finding a common link between the sound of the foreign word and its meaning in your own language.

Follow the ‘rule of 5’
to put things into long term memory. Review things 5 times – 1 hour later, then 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 1 quarter later.  


      Never Forget Numbers and Dates by breathing life into what seems like meaningless data – most of us find numbers uninspiring.

Chunk long numbers into small groups – easier to assimilate than long strings.

List numbers from one to ten and write down the first thought that comes to mind for each number i.e. 3 = Three wise men. Use your imagination to make a strong link between each number and its association.

Use the Journey Method
– conjure up a clear mental picture of a real journey you know really well, such as your daily walk to the train station. Then mentally place the numbers you wish to memorize along that journey, at fixed stages.          

Never Forget Facts and Figures
Don’t put up with having an average memory. Improving your memory is a skill. If you master some basic techniques, remembering facts and figures can become a stimulating mental exercise.

Develop a mnemonic
to remember something more easily. Take the sentence – “Rinse Your Granny’s Boots In Vinegar”, where the initial letters stand for Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet to remember the colors of the rainbow.

Treat your brain like a muscle that needs a daily work-out to stay fit and practice making word associations as often as you can.

Be mindful – sometimes we are given a fact or figure which is so simple that we don’t focus on it fully in order to retain it. 

Never Forget Names and Faces
Create an artificial link between a person and their name. How? Use your imagination to create an association and make the association stick by using a location.

Exploit your instincts to link a person with a place by associating each new person with a location that reminded you of their name. Imagine “Tony” standing outside of 10 Downing Street , home of Prime Minister Tony Blair.


      Repeat their name to help you consolidate it in your memory.

First is best. When making associations, always stick to the first image that comes into your mind, no matter how absurd.

Break up difficult names
into syllables or manageable parts.

Never Forget a Speech
The secret of committing a speech to memory is to use a combination of simple techniques – use a Mind Map to plan your ideas, associations to make key words memorable and the Journey Method to remember key words in order.

If your speech contains numbers, use Number-Rhyme or Number-Shape or the Dominic System – it works for every kind of number you can think of.

Know your material and practice your presentation in an empty room or in front of a friendly audience.

Positive visualization - imagine giving your audience a huge smile and launching into your speech with confidence and enthusiasm!

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