This week on The Winning Zone, Hilmon Sorey is joined by Chester Santos, bestselling author, international speaker, and US memory champion to talk about the power that developing your memory skills can give you when it comes to building your business and your relationships.
What are Memory Skills?
At 00:52, Chester explains that he focuses on memory skills; that is helping people improve their ability to remember specific types of information that might be useful in the business world. For example, remembering key points in presentations, names and faces to get more out of networking and build better relationships, training material so that you are more productive on the job, and much more. Chester focuses on the practical business application benefits of developing memory skills.
The Power in Remembering
Chester has been hired by various politicians over the years to help them develop their memory skills specifically for situations such as fundraisers. They know there is power in remembering people’s names, their spouses names, their likes and dislikes. Remembering these things can help build much more substantial relationships, and Chester says that with a little bit of training and practice, anyone can develop the skills to remember. Continue listening at 02:43 to learn more.
What Does it Mean to be a US Memory Champion?
Chester explains that the US National Memory Championship can be compared to a ‘mental Olympics.’ In the competition, participants are required to memorize hundreds of names in a matter of minutes, memorize a shuffled deck of cards in record time, memorize strings of computer generated digits, and more. While many of these events may not be useful in everyday life, Chester explains that the skills that are developed in order to execute these events can be leveraged toward practical business applications later on. Continue listening at 04:26 to learn more.
Developing Memory Skills
A lot of training and practice with the right technique goes into developing memory skills for a competition. Chester spent hours everyday training just to have a chance to do well in competition. Essentially, Chester explains, you would train your mind just like you would train your body. Listen at 05:38 to learn more.
The Start of the Journey
Chester was watching a segment on 20/20 one evening that was about the United States Memory Championship. This caught his attention because people were constantly commenting on how great his memory was. From that point on, the interest was sparked and Chester’s journey with developing memory skills began. Learn more at 06:49
Three Principles to Accomplish an Impossible Feat
Chester spent some time studying Alexander Luria and Solomon Shereshevsky (S), and what he found out was that S was naturally and involuntarily using a lot of his senses because he had synesthesia, which is an intermingling of the senses. So for S, he was automatically using a lot of his brain to encode information into his memory with no effort on his part. What we have learned from this is that the more senses that are involved, the more your brain is activated. While we cannot effortlessly do this the way S did, we can make a conscious effort to use more senses to help trigger our brain, and this is one of the three principles that memory champions use to accomplish the impossible. Continue listening at 08:28 to learn the other two principles.
A Memory Exercise
At 12:08, Chester performs an interactive exercise. He spouts out a random list of words and instructs that you cannot write the words down or use any sort of electronic device; rather, he will guide you with his words, so listen carefully. He goes on to describe a vivid scene, utilizing the words in the list to help paint the picture. He repeats the story at a faster pace. He then asks Hilmon to use the story to repeat the list of words in order. This particular exercise is referred to as the story method and it shows us how building a short story can help outline major talking points, reducing the amount of notes needed, which can be very practical in things such as business presentations or meetings with clients. Continue listening to learn more.
The Physiology Behind Memory
Chester explains that there really is not a limit to human memory and it is to our benefit to fill our heads with as much information as possible. Putting extra information into your brain does not take up the space of something else. It is up to you to determine what would be beneficial for you to have at your fingertips and then use the techniques that Chester mentions to encode that into memory.
In order to create a regular practice that helps you utilize these tips and techniques, Chester says that you really just have to make it a goal and stick to it. Once you start putting them into practice more and more, they will become second nature. Continue listening at 22:43 to learn more and find out many benefits that go along with filling your head with information and encoding things into your memory.
Four Steps to Remembering Names
Chester describes the four steps necessary to help remember someone’s name: Whenever you meet someone, repeat their name right away. This is the first step, and it forces you to pay attention to the name so that you can repeat it back to the person. The second step is to ask the person a question using their name early on in the interaction. Step three is to think of a connection between the name and something you already know, such a famous person, or a TV show that you watch, etc. This will help the name stick in your mind. Step number four is, when ending an interaction, say goodbye to the person using their name. Learn more at 27:50.
Chester does private coaching on a limited basis. In most cases, it is more cost-effective to go through his online training. However, for those private sessions that he does take on, they occur over the phone and build on new techniques with more challenging exercises each week. In addition to building the memory skills, he is also teaching interesting things that might be useful to know down the line. Listen at 30:19 to find out more about these private coaching sessions.
Anyone who wants to connect with Chester can follow him on Instagram or LinkedIn. They can also visit his website at memoryschool.net and use code: WINNING to have the enrollment fee waived for the first 200 people.
00:52 What are Memory Skills?
02:43 The Power in Remembering
04:26 What Does it Mean to be a US Memory Champion?
05:38 Developing Memory Skills
06:49 The Start of the Journey
08:28 Three Principles to Accomplish an Impossible Feat
12:08 A Memory Exercise
22:43 The Physiology Behind Memory
27:50 Four Steps to Remembering Names
30:19 Memory-building Collaboration