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Unforgettable Techniques to Help You Remember Names

Today we welcomed Bill Clennan, the Memory Man. Bill is a professional speaker who has given presentations at over 10,000 events and been inducted into the Speakers’ Hall of Fame. In his career, he has helped over one million people improve their memory.

marylynnOne of my weaknesses is remembering names. How can I get better at it?

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billPeople don’t remember names because they don’t think they can. It’s almost impossible to do something if you don’t think you can.

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marylynnSo we have to spin it around and start thinking that we can remember names.
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billExactly. In fact, what I tell people is … decide that you’ll remember 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time.

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georgeHow do you suggest we do that … is repeating it back the best way?

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billI never suggest to people to repeat it back. If we meet someone who uses our name over and over, we start wishing they would back off. But here’s the good news – just by thinking of the sound of somebody’s name, that part of your brain shows increased activity. To your brain, thinking about that sound is the same as saying it. I’m emphasizing the sound because when we meet people, we hear their name … we don’t see it. That’s one of the things that makes remembering names rather difficult.
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The fusion technique – fuse the face with the name
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billAt the moment I hear a person’s name, I look at their face. So I take that information along with the sound of their name and, just for a moment, I bring them together. I connect the two things. So when I see their face again, there’s a place in the brain where those two things originally came together. The next easiest thing … I might say to myself, “Tryin’ Brian”, “Shirley Girly”, “Silly Billy”, “Fancy Nancy”, “Slim Jim”, or “Georgie Porgie”.
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georgeThere you go – except I’ve figured it out. Mary-Lynn’s been using this fusion technique for years because she always calls me “Georgeous”! I think I like that better than “Georgie Porgie”!

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billFor a huge portion of the history of our species, we did not have the written word. Information was passed along in rhythm, rhyming, chant, and dance. So why not use that technique?

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“Syllable-ize” – break the name into sounds
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billWhen you meet someone who has a multi-syllabic name, break it into sounds. I met someone named “Ken Oracheski”. So I just pictured him with an oar stuck through his chest and he was on skis.
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The rhythm method
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billI met a guy in Honolulu whose name is “Takabayashi”. The very moment I heard his name, I went “talk-a-bye ashi in the tree top, when the wind blows …” When you tie things together in sound, get the first part the rest of it comes along for free. So listen for the rhythm. This is one of the clues if you have to meet four or five people in a hurry. Tie them together in sound and you’ll remember the whole string of names. I call it the rhythm method. It’s especially for Catholic folks!
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georgeI was going to say that I’d heard of the rhythm method, but it didn’t have anything to do with remembering names?

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billYeah, but this one works better!

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Bill’s links

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Are They Hearing What You Are Saying?

On the show, George recalled a teacher who made him write a report on what he wanted to be when he grew up. This was junior high; George didn’t know what he wanted to be. Maybe a major league baseball player?

So he did his report on being a bricklayer. His dad was a bricklayer, with his own business. When his teacher saw the title of his report, she said, “You mean with your brain, you’re going to be a bricklayer?”

George could have taken that comment as an insult about his dad. But his dad was good with his hands and his head. He said he did initially think that he wouldn’t get a good grade. But over time, her comment resonated with him. It helped him, as a young person, be more confident in his mental ability.

4 ways to get a message across
The statement and the delivery are both important parts of communicating a message. You can’t necessarily control what your message is, but you can control how you deliver it.

#1 – Negative statement, negative delivery
Without question, this is the worst way to communicate a message. If someone says something negative to you, in a negative way, they lose a lot. You’re not going to feel better. The relationship won’t be enhanced. You may get defensive or even angry.

"Speak when you are angry – and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.”
Dr. Laurence Peter


#2 – Negative statement, positive delivery

Sometimes the message isn’t positive, but we still need to get the message across. How you say it becomes incredibly important. A good example might be Donald Trump on The Apprentice. He’s said things like, “I love you; I think you’re a great guy, but you’re fired.”

Negative messages have to be delivered. However, you can choose to frame them in a positive way.

#3 – Positive statement, negative delivery
You risk diminishing the real message you’re trying to get across when you have negative overtures. George took away a positive from his teacher’s comment, but he could have just been insulted. 

#4 – Positive statement, positive delivery
Obviously, this is how you want to frame as much of your communication as you possibly can. This draws people to you.

How you respond to messages
You also can control how you respond to other people’s messages, no matter how they deliver it. Let’s take the worst one. Someone may hit you with a negative statement and deliver it in a negative way.

Pause before you respond. The conversation can go into a tailspin and be completely unproductive or you may be able to turn it around with the right response.

And we can be inspired, no matter what the message is or how it’s delivered. We have a friend who remembers being told that he was too small to make the high school football team. That “negative, negative” inspired him to go for it. Not only did he make the team, but he was a starter!

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Confidence Boosters

By Bigg Success Staff
09-11-08

Life Skills

boost 

If you want to reach the heights of your career, you have to build confidence. We develop our confidence, or lack thereof, from childhood on. Every experience builds upon the next. Learn how to build upon your success and defeat destructive thought patterns so you can win the game you choose to play!

Want to be More Attractive?

People are attracted to confident people. So if you want to be a leader, you have to exude confidence. We found a great article by John Wesley on the Pick Your Brain site. He offers ten tips to build your confidence. We loved it!

Confidence Killers

We found a great resource from the greatest school on the planet – the University of Illinois. Okay, we’ll admit our bias on that one! If you don’t read the whole thing, at least check out the self-defeating thought patterns.

The Power of Doing What You Do Best

The judges of the reality show, Britain’s Got Talent, got quite a surprise when this young man showed up to sing opera. After all, when’s the last time an opera singer reached the masses? See how the audience and the judges responded to one person doing what he does best. 

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Have you ever been to BINPAO?

By Bigg Success Staff
09-04-08

Peak Performance

binpao 

Now that all we have to do to visit another country, or even another planet, is double click our mouse, there’s no stopping us Web surfers. And, it’s time to space out, both literally and figuratively.

Millions of Americans, young and old, have diagnosed or undiagnosed attention deficit issues, leaving them with an inability to concentrate. While this is assuredly a serious issue for those with true attention-related conditions, I cannot help but wonder how much BINPAO humans have manufactured using our own devices. I have coined BINPAO here, not only because it looks cool in writing and sounds cool (especially the pow! part), but because it reflects accurately what happens to me when I begin using the Internet and all its related technologies.

BINPAO causes me to switch topics, jump around from place to place and generally. Oh wait, I lost my train of thought. See, with my browser open in several windows, I am able to compose these sentences while simultaneously checking the weather, the news from Iraq, my e-mail and more. I can switch from screen to screen in a millisecond. I can BINPAO – be in nine places at once.  For me, BINPAO is a fascinating concept. I can multitask in entirely new ways. I can be bored with what I am reading on the screen after just three or four sentences, and I can move on by clicking on a link and opening another box with a cute photo of a puppy. lol.  I can skip the really important information of the day and find out what is going on in Hollywood. omg. 

What I cannot do if I choose to enter the state of BINPAO is really get ANYTHING done—at all. I can start all kinds of stuff, just not finish one lick of it.

And studies are popping up all over on the subject of too much multitasking. CFO Magazine in July 2007 reported on multitasking in the workplace. They cite MIT and UCLA studies where researchers concluded that multitaskers do not always optimal learners or workers make. The studies pointed out that while some interruption and multitasking can bring interest to your job, too much is really that: too much. The MIT study found that one can reach a saturation point. Errors increase. Efficiency decreases. The UCLA researchers found that distracted learners still did the learning, but stored the information in different and perhaps less useful locations in the brain.

Ah, but what is an easily distractible gal to do?  It’s like putting a variety of raw meats in a circle around a hungry crocodile. Which one to grab first? Solution? Stop the click-throughs until I’m through and grab one at a time. I am an adult and can choose how long my attention span is. I need to take control of my constant clicking and realize the grass isn’t always greener on the other screen. I need to take time to absorb what’s in front of me before I move on. Maybe I’ll start by moving to the state of BIEPAO – be in eight places at once, and see where I go from there?

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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Happy Scum

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Happy Scum

By Dana Mancuso
Bigg Success Contributor
08-07-08

Life Skills

pm411_logo Have you ever had a disagreement about something you've heard? I often disagree with my husband about popular song lyrics. What he hears is close to the real words in most cases, but not always.

Sometimes what you hear is a direct result of what you've already heard. Sort of like expecting to get an apple from an apple tree. You've always gotten apples from the apple tree, so you aren't going to expect an orange to be growing there. You won't hear country music from the lips of rocker Bon Jovi. Or will you?

Back in high school, I was seated in a small group next to someone from my grade school. This boy had teased me in 5th and 6th grade. In fact, he had never spoken to me in any other manner than to tease me in my entire life.

So, when he spoke to me, not only was I surprised, but my brain turned on the teasing filter. Here's what I heard when he tapped my arm:

"Happy, Scum?"

What?

"Happy, Scum?"

Oh my god, he's calling me scum!

The sentence was repeated once more before I heard what he actually said, "can I HAVE a PIECE of GUM?"

My brain had already determined that anything coming from this guy's mouth was going to be negative at best, hurtful at worst–when all he wanted was some Dentyne. (I handed him the skuzziest looking piece of gum in the pack.)

I at least make an effort not to jump to conclusions. But my brain often does it for me before I can stop it. Sometimes I do it when reading an e-mail from a coworker. (She forgot a word in the sentence, accidentally changing its meaning.) Sometimes I do it when I get an odd look from someone (He doesn't have his contacts in so he is squinting a lot.) Everyone has heard the look before you leap cliché, but it applies so well to hearing in haste, as well as to acting in haste.

Next time you're about to turn on that filter, grab a piece of gum and chew it over a bit. 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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A Way to Listen More Attentively with 3 Tips on How to Do It

By Bigg Success Staff
07-21-08

Life Skills

listening 

Listening attentively is one of the single most important skills you can develop. You’ll build deeper relationships much more quickly. You’ll learn more about a variety of subjects than you can imagine. You’ll also uncover opportunities that help you move onward and upward.

But listening is hard work!

We don’t think of it that way, but it is. Listening is a habit. Like many good habits, it doesn’t happen naturally. 

So here’s a way to develop the habit of listening attentively:

Focus on asking follow-up questions

When you let someone else speak, you make them feel important. When you ask relevant follow-up questions, you make them feel even more important.

You send the message that you really are listening. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to come up with a good question!

You also reinforce that you really are interested in what he or she is saying. Why would you extend the conversation if that weren’t the case?

But focusing on asking follow-up questions serves an even more important role – it forces you to listen attentively.

As we mentioned earlier, you can’t form pertinent questions if you aren’t listening carefully to what is being said.

But we won’t kid you … it’s still a hard habit to develop. So here are 3 tips to make this part of your communication arsenal:

It’s not just about the words

Sure the words being spoken are important. But there are other cues for which you should be alert. For example, if you’re talking to someone in-person, pay attention to body language, facial expressions, and voice inflections. Your question very well may come not from what they said, but how they said it.

Use self-prompts

One of the reasons we don’t listen as well as we should is because our brain is busy thinking about what we’re going to say once the other person quits talking. Get over this by providing yourself a one-word cue for your question. Then all you have to do is “cue” your brain when the other person finishes his or her thought.

For example, assume you're talking to a friend abut his new car. He tells you that he can get into it and start it without keys. He then shows you the sunroof. You've put the word "keys" in cue – repeating it several times in your head – until he stops talking. Then you ask how the key system works.  

Practice, practice, practice

Like any good habit, listening attentively won’t happen overnight. Make it a point to practice your new craft – ask good follow-up questions in every conversation you have for at least the next two weeks. By then, you should be a pro!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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25 Skills That Lead to Bigg Success

By Bigg Success Staff
05-13-08

Life Skills

twenty-five 

In this article, we summarize five articles that discuss crucial skills for success. You’ll find the five key points from each article here along with the link so you can get any additional information you may want.

5 Things to Understand About Your Brain

#1 – Your brain is unique.

#2 – Your brain thrives on challenge and flow.

#3 – Your brain is a physical organ.

#4 – Your brain deals in emotions as well as thoughts.

#5 – You have multiple intelligences.

Ronald Gross wrote this fascinating article for About.com. It’s well worth checking out all the details on his five ways to enhance your learning.

… and speaking of your brain …    


5 Tips to Get Your Brain Thinking More Creatively

#1 – The George Costanza Method

#2 – Change your commute

#3 – Call things by the wrong name

#4 – Write with your other hand

#5 – Listen to a radio talk show that really ticks you off

David Wahl, of the Creative Creativity blog, wrote this great post. Get all his details about how to trick your brain into taking a fresh look at the world.

5 Suggestions to Get Things Done

#1 – Separate projects from tasks.

#2 – Learn the power of the verb.

#3 – Use technology to manage tasks and projects, but don’t get distracted by it.

#4 – Get your information at regularly scheduled times; don’t let it interrupt you.

#5 – Don’t seek out distractions to give your brain a “break”.

These suggestions come from Tiffany Monhollon over at the Red Suit blog. Read everything she had to say about moving beyond multi-tasking to actually get stuff done.


5 Ways to Keep Distracting People from Distracting You

#1 – Don’t have a place for them to sit.

#2 – Stand and come out from behind your desk.

#3 – Meet them at the door.

#4 – Provide an uncomfortable chair.

#5 – Take notes.

Mark Shead, of the Productivity 501 blog, offered these great suggestions. Get all the details about keeping distracting people from distracting you.


5 Ways to Make Yourself More Likeable

#1 – Be positive.

#2 – Control your insecurities.

#3 – Provide value.

#4 – Don’t be judgmental.

#5 – Become a person of conviction.

Justin Hartfield wrote this excellent article for The Prometheus Institute. Read all the details in his five tips to increase your likeability.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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