Loci and Simonides at my Memory Development Workshop

Simonides and the Loci Method

So the other day, I was conducting, actually let me rephrase that, it sounds like I was in an orchestra pit………I was teaching a Memory Development Workshop to about 100 very engaged, smart individuals.

About half way through the afternoon I was teaching the Loci, or Place Memory System.  I mentioned how this was nothing new, and in fact it went back as far as ancient Greece, and was over 2500 years old.  A guy in the audience immediately shouted out, how do you know?  (There’s always one).

So I said, I don’t, but it’s been accepted over the years that this system is attributed to Socrates.  He was giving a recital at a banquet when he was called outside, after exiting the building, the building collapsed killing and mutilating all the bodies inside beyond recognition.

Because he had associated each person with the position they sat at the banquet table, (place memory) he was able to identify the bodies…..or so the story goes. Anyway, I meant to say Simonides NOT Socrates. When I corrected myself this guy said with a big grin across his face, ‘What you forgot?’

So here’s the point of this post…..no, I didn’t forget….I just didn’t ‘remember’ it in the first place.  Or to be more specific, I didn’t file that information away using a system (association) that would allow me to recall it without error.  I, like most of us, relied on my ‘regular’ memory, which of course is not always reliable.

People tend to think that because I teach memory, I must have this vault inside my head that allows me to ‘never forget’ anything.  I am not a savant; my memory is no better than yours….. if I do not employ a system, and it’s real important that you understand that.  My powerful memory demonstrations do not come from some innate ability, I wasn’t born with any memory gift.

These are just systems, and these systems are teachable….that’s the good news, they can be learned, adapted and applied to your business, enabling you to work more effectively and more efficiently.

Now, did I need to apply a system to recall the name of a 2500-year-old Greek poet? Not really, most people understood that it was a simple mistake…however, a mistake that I will never make again!

I now have an image of Simonides exiting the banquet and Simonizing his car.  The SIMON in both SIMONides and SIMONize is enough to recall the right guy. Shame his name wasn’t Keith.

Funny, unique and interactive in his entertaining conference keynotes and workshops, Bob Gray reveals the untapped potential in each of us. His empowering systems and their many applications in the business world give participants immediate ‘walk away’ value. Book Bob Gray today as your next conference keynote speaker.