Submitted by: Matt Zeigler, Innovative Print and Media Group
On April 10th, the latest Young Professionals Network professional development event was held in the DiBona Room at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s office. Maximize your Memory: Tools for Networking and Public Speaking was a well-attended program which was both educational and entertaining.
An expert in the field of memory development, Matthew Goerke focused on the topic of instant recall memory and covered the first two of six steps in his “Memory Switch Program.” The techniques in his program are designed to improve memory skills by upwards of 300%. These skills are most important in networking and everyday business, as your ability to remember someone’s name dynamically impacts that person’s first impression of you. First impressions are formed within the first 10-30 seconds of meeting someone and are how you are thought of for roughly 21 days thereafter. Studies have shown that if you make a poor first impression, it can take you up to three weeks to improve that opinion.
If only 15% of meetings result in the retention of the person’s name you meet, are you compromising a positive first impression 85% of the time? Matthew’s first tip for remembering names was to first slow down, clear your mind and focus on the conversation. The second tip was to repeat the person’s name multiple times in the conversation. Studies show that people love to hear their own names used in conversations about themselves.
Memory can be trained and improved through a series of exercises, drills and games, but many people have not been taught how to have permanent accessibility to much of the information we have learned. Mr. Goerke conducted an exercise that exhibited the power of memorization as attendees in the room dramatically improved their ability to memorize 15 unique items. As I write this article today, I can still recite every one of them. As Matthew closed his seminar, he referred to the brief lobby encounter he had with everyone attending the seminar. He then proceeded to name nearly every single person in the 50+ strong audience from memory – in some instances, first and last names. This was an impressive feat as we learned that most people are fortunate to remember 15 names from an event.