Communicating for Memory

Communicating for Memory

As a kid, I loved the Memory game. It involves a group of cards with assorted images laid face down. Each image has a pair. The rules are simple: each turn, flip over a card, and then try to flip over that card's pair. With each failure, you try to remember the placement of each card you put down so that you can get a match on future turns.

I've never been one to describe myself as having an above average memory, but I adored this game. There is something about images that helps us remember.

The brain thinks through visual imagery. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote: “If you, O poet, tell a story with your pen, the painter with his brush can tell it more easily, with simpler completeness and less tedious to be understood.”

Emoji keyboards, Snapchat, and gifs are digital tools that allow us to express ourselves through images. Yet, we don't always have the opportunity to communicate  through pictures. For example, in conversations. How do we tap into our listener's photographic memory via non-visual forms of communication?

One strategy is to begin our communications with an authentic personal story. When we tell stories, we achieve something that paintings cannot, we use the listener's own imagination to paint the picture.

Experiences that moved us are easy to recall and easy to express with emotion. Our enthusiasm grabs our audience's attention and makes it easier for them to visualize and remember.