Loci System For Remembering

According to a tale told by Cicero, a poet named Simonides was the orator at a banquet when a messenger called him outside for a moment.

In Simonides' absence, the ceiling of the banquet hall collapsed crushing everyone inside beyond recognition.

By mentally walking through the hall, Simonides remembered everyone by their seating location and thereby established names for the bodies.

This memory method was hence called the LOCI system, and is often used by lecturers to remember the main points in a speech to be given.

If I asked you how many windows were in your house, you would take an imaginary walk through your house to find out, right?

! The ancient Greeks and Romans used the 'loci system' in memorizing long speeches by simply visualizing the topics they wanted to cover in the form of representative objects placed in various familiar places -- steps, walls, porches, shelves and patios of their home and courtyard.

To keep the speech flowing in sequence, an orator simply walked in his mind through his house and courtyard, checking each location off as he went.

This technique is a surprisingly comfortable and easy one.

For this exercise, select in your mind a special room in your house where you could store or place things easily.

In place of your house, the loci system can also be used with the various areas of your car, office or even your own body by proceeding from your toes to your head and placing things in appropriate places.

Now take the following list and place the items one by one in the chosen storage locations.

1) An apple (after you took a bite out of it).

2) A fluorescent bulb (flashing on and off).

3) A beer (that has been shaken and foam pouring out the opened top).

4) A book (with half the pages blowing in the wind).

5) A flower pot (with a droopy, near dead flower in it).

6) A roll of quarters (busted open and spilling with a clanging noise).

7) A bottle of catsup (spilling red catsup).

8) A toy boat (that is sinking under the water).

9) A smoker's pipe (completely on fire).

10) A ball (bouncing up and down).

Afterwards, review the list mentally to yourself to illustrate how simple it is to remember things by this method.

Before Mark Twain gave a speech in a strange town, he would often walk through a park beforehand, imagining the ideas for his speech as being seated on a bench, hung from this or that tree, attached to a fountain or a bandstand.

He could then easily talk for 2 hours without using notes, by strolling through the park in his imagination, & simply visualizing his ideas in their correct sequence.