oops.. Rick Perry, a Comma, Mortar Board and a Red Bull

First it was Sarah Palin not confident she could remember Energy, Tax cuts and raising American spirits, so she wrote it on her palm, see earlier article, (April 8, 2011) now Rick Perry goes ahead and forgets the third government agency he would shut down should he become President. He remembered the first two, Commerce and Education, but couldn’t recall the third…the Department of Energy, how embarrassing and at the nationally televised Republican Presidential debate to boot!

Rick Perry memory lapse

If the absolute necessity for a trained memory in politics hasn’t become evident by now, then it never will be.

Similar to Sarah Palin, all he needed to do was to tap into the incredibly powerful visual side of our brain and convert what he wished to memorize to images, and then link them together in a crazy, ridiculous, creative fashion. He needed to visualize images or pictures that would immediately remind him of each department.

Here are the images I would use to represent the three departments:

Commerce = A Comma, a gigantic Black typewritten Comma.

The beauty with memory systems is that the ‘reminder image’ doesn’t necessarily have to relate to the word you are trying to recall, it can simply sound like it, as in this case. The word Commerce is left brain, non-visual, yet the word Comma is more right brain and certainly conjures up an image, and that is always the key, changing what we wish to remember into images, or nouns.

Education = A Mortar Board Graduation Cap.

That’s the first image that springs to my mind, you may think of a favorite teacher, or an apple. Whatever you first think of, as long as it conjures up an image, will always be the strongest.

Energy = A can of Red Bull.

Like the image for Sarah Palin wishing to recall Energy in the earlier article. A chocolate bar, bag of sugar, wind turbine or solar panels would also work.

Now lets link them together.

So knowing he’s going to bring up these three points should he be elected to the White House, this would be our starting point or image, the White House. To this image he must link or associate, in a strange and creative way, the image that represents the first department, Commerce.

Go ahead and visualize a gigantic 70’ Black typewritten Comma hanging from the roof of the White House.

To this strange image we link the Mortar Board Cap, so again, make this image gigantic, visualize a 50’ x 50’ Cap balancing from the tail of the Comma.

Finally for Energy we have the Red Bull. Visualize the tassels of the Mortar Board Cap replaced with gigantic cans of Red Bull. Go ahead and see that ridiculous image. Hear the sound of the Aluminum cans as they bump together.

So now when Rick wants to bring up the three departments he would shut down should he be elected to the White House, he immediately sees the image of the White House, and hanging from the roof is a large what? Yes, a huge Comma, which would give him the first department….Commerce. From the tail of the comma, he sees a 50’ x 50’ Mortar Board Cap, which will give him the department of Education, and what’s making all that metallic rattling sound? Oh yea, those huge cans of Red Bull in place of the tassels hanging from the cap, which will give the third department, (which originally forgetting could well have blown him the nomination), the department of Energy.

Four images, three links….saved credibility….oops!

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Bob Gray CSP HoF

keynote speaker





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