If you have ever spent time preparing for a presentation only to forget your key talking points, then you know how unreliable our memory can be. Although it feels like we are constantly forgetting, experts suggest that the brain can store up to 2,500,000 Gigabytes of data, or comparably 300 years’ worth of TV.
Memory is essential to learning and is dependent upon on how information is stored. Tapping deeper into employees’ memory to maximizing learning potential requires employers to be more intentional. Incorporating memory techniques can positively affect all aspects of the learning process.
There are 7 ways to strengthen memory in your personal life and throughout the workplace: loci, acronyms, rhyming, linking, chunking, PQRST, and writing things down. In part 1 of our memory series, we described loci and chunking. In part 2 of the series, we will cover the linking and PQRST methods of memorization.
Read below to learn more on linking and PQRST, as well as how to begin putting each technique into practice, today!
Connecting specific items or ideas to visual images is known as linking. Linking, or the story method, is one of the easiest techniques to memorize lists. The more exaggerated the story, the higher the chance the information will be remembered. The benefit of this method is that you only have to remember the first item on your list, as all items will become links to a chain in your memory.
How to Link
- For each item on your list, select a specific visual.
- Next, link each associated image with the next image on your list.
- Combine each link by creating an exaggerated story of all items interacting chronologically.
For an example on linking, watch the video below from Barry Reitman, author of Secrets, Tips and Tricks of a Powerful Memory.
Given the 65 percent of the entire population that are visual learners, visualization and images are key to engaging employees in corporate learning. Used correctly, linking can be a powerful tool within your learning and development programs.
The acronym PQRST stands for preview, question, read, state and test. First proposed by Thomas and Robinson, PQRST enables corporate readers to engage in a series of steps that result in deep analysis and memory retention. Research shows that the PQRST method works by providing individuals with stronger retrieval cues.
How to PQRST
Skim through the entirety of the document, reading through headings, subheading, graphics, and captions to get an overview of what is to be discussed.
Consider the purpose of both the entire text and each subsection. What should you be learning? The more you are aware of the subject matter, the more cues you will be pick up throughout the reading. As you skim through the text, write down any questions that you may have.
Although you may think that this step should go first, the two preceding steps make your reading more efficient. Read the document in its entirety. During this step it is best practice not to take notes and refer to your questions in the previous step.
After reading, summarize the main points of each section. Try repeating what you’ve learned out load. During this step, write down the answers to your key questions and take notes on key concepts by paraphrasing them into your own words.
Once you have finished reading through all materials, tests yourself. Self-testing can include a variety of methods, including review questions or writing summaries.
The PQRST method works best when trying to remember key information in texts. This technique would particularly be useful when trying to remember information from presentations, articles, or e-course learning.
Linking vs PQRST
Linking and PQRST can be useful tools to help employees retain more information. Linking is most beneficial for visual learning and works best when used through storytelling. The PQRST method of memorization is beneficial when trying to remember the key points of texts, such as lengthy presentations and books. Both are great methods to incorporate into your personal life and throughout the workplace.
With all that extra memory that you will have using our memory techniques, you will have plenty of room to learn more about our blended learning solutions. Check us out!