By Dominic O’Brien – 8 Times World Memory Champion.
How satisfying would it be to listen to a series of jokes, one-liners and anecdotes knowing that at the end of the experience, instead of forgetting 90% of what you’ve heard as most people would do, you’ll instead recall just about everything and in the correct running order?
My career as a memory man has given me the opportunity to work with some very interesting people including entrepreneurs who have trouble remembering presentations, and actors and comedians who must learn their lines and tell stories with a seamless delivery.
The ‘Journey Method’
If you want to memorise any sequence of information, the Journey Method is the perfect tool. For jokes, presentations, speeches and so on, it works by breaking down a series of topics and coding them into images.
These images can then be posted at various stages along a familiar route such as a favourite walk or a journey around your home.
Knowing the order of stages along your journey will preserve the sequence of images and therefore topics to ensure you recall them in the correct order.
Take the following four short jokes:
1. What does the dentist of the year get? A little plaque.
2. What do you call a belt with a watch on it? A waist of time.
3. I applied for a job at the local restaurant. I’m still waiting.
4. Why did the scarecrow get promoted? Because he was outstanding in his field.
Alright, so they’re not that funny but to remember them, you could create four associated images which you would then place along a short route.
Once you know how each joke works all that’s required is a mental cue to trigger each gag.
For example, starting in your kitchen picture your dentist washing the dishes. In the fridge is a belt.
Offering you a menu at the dinner table is a waiter and in the utility room you imagine a scarecrow.
By mentally walking through the various stages in rooms in your house you can build quite a repertoire of jokes.
However, to make a smooth transition from joke to joke you could apply one further memory trick by employing the Link Method.
The ‘Journey’ and ‘Link Method’ combined
For example, you could have your dentist washing a belt. Not only do you have prompt for the first joke but you are reminded of what’s coming next.
On top of the fridge you picture a menu which is a strong hint of the waiter joke.
Finally, the waiter is wearing a straw hat.
So, not only have you preserved the order of the jokes using the Journey Method but you have also glued each one together with a subtle reminder of what’s about to follow next.
Try it for yourself. Who knows, you could be an undiscovered comedian in the making.