Idriz started his talk with a challenge
One month from now, you’ll be able to memorize a deck of cards by just memorizing it once. All this in under 5 minutes and with a little bit of training.
I wanted to learn a new language that I couldn’t understand
He said that it started after college when he wanted to learn a language that he couldn’t understand when looking at its alphabets like Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Hindi, and while doing this he accidentally came across a book on memory.
He decided to memorize words and alphabets before moving to a new country
Zogaj’s approach was based on memorizing letters and phrases before traveling abroad to practice this new language live.
He then realized that he can compete in memory competitions
After spending some time memorizing phrases and alphabets, Idriz realized that he can compete in memory competitions so he shifted his focus from learning languages to mastering new memory techniques. In 2004, he came 22nd in the World Championship in Manchester before becoming Sweden’s best memory.
12 years of learning historic dates compressed in 5 minutes
Zogaj talked about the type of competitions he had to go through to win like memorizing binary numbers, words, faces and dates and he mentioned that the number of dates the winner memorized in only 5 minutes are more than all the dates a normal person studies in school.
The technique: Create a fun story that connects things
Zogaj showed the audience 2 images (side by side) of a snail and a door that had no connection between each other and then told the audience that memorizing both images starts by creating a fun story about them. The story must be fun and in 3D. Then he did the same thing with a duck and a wall.
Obvious things are the hardest to remember
Zogaj: I bet I can find those of you (the audience) to remember what they had for breakfast. The brain sorts out info that are not important, so if you don’t show it what’s important, it will tend to forget it. The more we make connections between things, the longer we remember the information.
Students don’t know how to put info into their brain
Zogaj: Students keep studying because they don’t trust their minds. If you trust your brain, you won’t have to study all the time. (See Video summary: You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how by Sandrine Thuret)
Simon Reinhard memorizes a deck of cards in the same time needed by Usain Bolt to run 200m
Zogaj: Reinhard’s routine is simple, he looks at the cards once and he knows that the image will stick in his mind. It’s all about having fun and letting the brain make strong connections. There are no limits to the brain.
The next time you hear something that you want to remember, make a fun story about it
Zogaj: This fun story will make strong connections, which is the way brains love to process information. (See Video Summary: 7 Ways Games Reward the Brain by Tom Chatfield | TEDGlobal)
Video Summary: How to become a memory master by Idriz Zogaj – TEDxGoteborg
Idriz Zogaj: How to Become a Super Learning Memory Master (TEDxGoteborg)