How To Remember Anyone’s Name

remember names

A persons name is the single sweetest sound they can hear, yet many people struggle to remember names. Have you ever been in the situation when you couldn’t recall someone’s name, even after you had met them a number of times? I bet it was embarrassing….

As a performer, remembering names can give a more polished edge to your performance, and if you are speaking with people after the show they will be impressed if you can recall their names :)

Below are some easy things you can do to remember names followed by a KILLER system. Use this system and remember everyone and anyone’s name.

Do You Do This?

There are some simple things you can do to boost your ability to remember names by 50% with little effort:

  • Take an interest in the persons name when you hear it.
  • If you have not heard the name or are not 100% sure what the name is ask the person to repeat it.
  • If you are not sure of the pronunciation ask the person to spell it or try to spell it out yourself. If you make a habit of spelling out people’s names when you meet them you will soon know the common spellings of many names. If its an unusual name or one you have not heard before don’t be afraid to say so.
  • Use the persons name when you are speaking with them. Don’t overdo it but where it feels natural say the persons name, for instance when saying goodbye.

The System (To Remember Names)

Use this system to remember everyones name in a room and remember that persons name the next time you see them. The system is based on creating an image for someones name in your mind then associating it with a facial feature.

Step 1: Create An Image

First we’ll look at surnames. Surnames can be separated into two categories, names with meaning, and names with no meaning.

  • Surnames with meaning: Cook, Carpenter, Fox, Baker, King, etc….
  • Surames with no meaning: Mooney, Littman, Carson, Linkfeld, etc….

Some surnames have no meaning but will suggest a picture in your mind. eg. Lincoln would suggest a picture
of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Jordan might suggest a picture of the River Jordan.

This gives us a total of 3 categories: names that have a meaning, those that have no meaning but suggest something and names that have no meaning and do not suggest a picture.

For names with no meaning and which don’t suggest a picture you must make it mean something. eg  If
you meet a Mr. Freedman,  picture a man being fried. Fried man—Freedman. If the name were Freeman, You might want to picture a man escaping from prison, he’s a free man.

The key thing to remember when thinking up an image is to make it silly. The more ridiculous, the easier it is to associate the image with the face. Also, giving the image movement makes it easier to remember.

After meeting a lot of new people, and using the systems, you will find that you’ll have certain pictures or thoughts
for names that you come across very often. eg. for Cohen or Cohn you might picture an ice cream cone, for Smith you might see a blacksmith’s hammer.

Step 2: Associate the Image with a Facial Feature

Whenever you meet someone new, look at his face and try to find one outstanding feature. eg. small eyes, thick lips, high forehead, a long nose. To remember their name, associate the image you have for their name with the outstanding feature. So for example for a Mr Fox with a large forehead picture a fox running round his forehead :)

First Names

The system works the same for first names. Substitute words for first names are easy to find. For instance Harry could be hairy, Jenny could be a Spinning Jenny, Pete could be a peat turf. If you use the substitute word idea for remembering first names, after a while you will have one ready for everyone you meet.

Review Names

Each time you look at a person, their name should pop into your mind which helps strengthen the memory. If the name doesn’t come to mind, ask for the name again, or ask someone else to give it to you. Then strengthen your original association.

Writing names down and reviewing them can help you remember. Use the systems when you meet people people then at the end of the day, think of each new person you’ve met and as the name comes to mind note it down. The next day go over this list of names. As you look at each one, a picture of the person’s face will come to mind. Just picture the person for a moment, and see your original association of the name to face. Do the same thing a few days later, a week later, and so on until the faces and names are permanently memorised.

Alternative Method

An alternative method for remembering first names is to picture a person you already know with that name . If you meet a Mr. Jim Holden, you could use the substitute word holding to associate to an outstanding feature; then put your friend, Jim, into the picture (in a ridiculous way) and you’ll remember that Mr. Holden’s first name is Jim.

Now you have a system to remember anyones name. It may take a little effort at first but these methods alone can convince people you have a photographic memory, give it a try!

Credit: H. Lorayne. If you find these ideas interesting take a look at the ebooks available on this website for only $7.

The Revelation Effect Review

The Revelation Effect Review

The Revelation Effect is a mind reading effect taught by Australian mentalist The Mind Reader. In the video he reveals how to approach complete strangers and perform powerful mentalism. The Revelation Effect actually comes as a package which includes 4 videos.


  1. The Revelation Effect
  2. Think Of A Card
  3. Psychological Opener
  4. Questions and Answers

1. The Revelation Effect

The Revelation Effect starts with 3 performances.

Performance 1

The Mind Reader approaches a group of 6 girls. He asks one of them to think of someone then write the persons name down on a piece of paper without showing anyone else. Then he gets the group to focus on what the name is and speculate on the sex. Next he asks the girl to imagine the person walking towards her. From there he guesses it is a friend, then best friend, then the name. Needless to say the girls can scarcely believe it!

Performance 2

For performance 2 The Mind Reader approaches a male and female sat on a wall near what looks like a beach. This time he asks the girl to think of something, then he hands her a piece of paper to write it down. He takes the paper back and they all agree there is no way he can see through it (it’s thick paper) and the paper is handed back to the girl. The Mind Reader then begins to narrow down what the thing might be. A person is ruled out, and the girl reveals it is something funny. As in performance 1 he gets the girl to imagine the thing coming towards her, as she does so he guesses its an animal then the animal – a bunny!

Performance 3

The two ladies in performance 3 seem most convinced The Mind Reader has psychic abilities. They look like friends taking a stroll by the beach and are around 40-50. First he gets them both to think of someone then gets one to write it down. Again he asks the lady to imagine the person coming towards her and he guesses its her husband but she’s not giving much away so he gets her to repeat the name over in her head. When he gets it they are both amazed and ask if he’s a clairvoyant.


After the performances The Mind Reader explains his method in 5 steps. He also shows you how you can perform the effect with a drawing on the paper or with an object in the room. An explanation is given of how best to perform the effect one-on-one and he gives advice on practice and performance.

2. Think Of A Card


There are 3 performances of Think Of A Card. Performance 1 is one-on-one with a girl, 2 is to two girls and 3 to a larger group of teenage boys. The effect is as follows: He gets someone to shuffle the cards then gets them to select a card as he riffles through them. The Mind Reader then guesses the card. For the larger group he does the effect on two of the boys at the same time.


In the explanation The Mind Reader tells us this is his favourite mentalism effect using cards, always works and always gets a great reaction. The method and performance are explained, an alternative performance is explained as well as how to perform the trick to a large audience.

3. Psychological Opener

In The Psychological Opener you are shown how to use psychological forces alongside The Revelation Effect. The Mind Reader demonstrates how to correctly perform the forces and gives you a selection to use such as numbers, shapes and colours.

4. Q & A

For the Q&A The Mind Reader has asked users of Revelation Effect to email him with their questions and has compiled them into 17 questions and answers. The Q&A is designed to help people who have been out and performed The Reveleation Effect.


The Revelation Effect videos have high production values and are packed with valuable content. The great thing about The Revelation Effect is the techniques are not over complicated and therefore suitable for beginners. The methods are broken down step by step and are explained clearly. With a little practice a beginner will be able to perform the tricks to complete strangers within a week.

With the Psychological Opener and Think Of A Card you have a mini routine to take to parties or perform to strangers in the street. These are all simple but very powerful effects that are sure to get great reactions once you’ve tried them out a few times. I think beginners will get a lot out of the videos and there is a free trial and 60 day money back guarantee if you are not happy. I would recommend The Revelation Effect to anyone who wants to learn mentalism and mind reading.


Click Here For The Free Trial

Happiness Hypothesis Review

The happiness hypothesis is a book by Jonathan Haidt. It’s essentially a self help book but what separates it from just about every other self help book is the level of research and range of evidence presented.

If you want to be a mentalist or if you want to achieve anything in life you need to master yourself. You will have to put countless hours into practicing your skills to get to a good level. Take a look at Derren Brown, Dynamo, David Blaine, all these guys have put in time and a tremendous amount of effort to develop a range of skills to make them masters of their craft. Getting your psychology sorted will set you up with the right attitude and understanding to achieve whatever you desire.

Happiness Hypothesis Central Themes

Elephant and Rider

An analogy used throughout the book is that of the elephant and the rider being like your mind. The rider is your conscious mind and the elephant your subconscious. The elephant needs to be trained to do as you ask it, the rider has to guide this great beast and of course it won’t always do what the rider wants!

Your brain evolved in stages with some parts having evolved millions of years ago and some more recently. The automatic parts of your brain evolved in ancient times and it is those areas that need training. This part of the brain is also responsible for gut feelings and intuition. Your subconscious reacts to pain and pleasure, things you like, danger in the fight of flight response.

If you can’t manage to control your mind there are 3 things which have been proved to help get your mind under control: meditation, cognitive therapy and prozac. Meditation is to free you from attachment, congitive therapy is a successful treatment for depression and anxiety and prozac is also for anxiety and depression.

Friends and Relationships are Important for Happiness

Humans are social animals who have evolved to live in groups. That has lead to certain traits amongst humans. Altruism where people help each other has evolved, tit for tat strategies, gratitude, revenge, gossiping, reciprocity have all evolved as a result of humans being social animals. Caring for young babies is also linked with long term happiness and has been proved in experiments with monkies.

Happiness Comes From Both Inside and Outside

If you are to achieve happiness you need to do more than attain enlightenment as presented in Buddhist culture. Setting and achieving goals leads to happiness, as does progress towards them. If you become highly competent at a skill doing an activity where you use it becomes very natural and this state is described as flow. People in a state of flow are very happy. However a spiritual side to life is also important. For instance living a moral life leads to more happiness, not judging people makes you happier too.

This book really is worth seeking out. If you are already familiar with self help materials you will certainly learn a great deal more however its also suitable for an attentive beginner.


Buy here >>

Why People Believe Weird Things Review

As a mentalist you want people to believe you can make predictions, have special powers and can read minds. Logically both you and everyone else know you rely on other techniques to create the illusions. However, you don’t want people to know that. Luckily for you people do not think logically and this book will give you a deeper understanding why.

The good news for you is:

  • 96% American adults believe in God
  • 90% in heavan
  • 79% in miracles
  • 72% in angels (1996 poll)

People believe they have seen the bright lights of heaven coming towards them, have been abducted by aliens, they believe in myths, join cults. Why? Because it gives them comfort and a sense of meaning. For many believing in something is preferable to accepting they are just a collection of meat and bones hurtling relentlessly towards the grave.


The book looks at how people go about trying to prove and disprove things often using spurious methods. For instance the proponents of creationism focus on blowing holes in the theory of evolution rather than focusing on proving we were all crafted by God. There was a large movement to deny the holocaust in the 20th century based on bits and pieces of speeches while ignoring crucial evidence such as Hitler announcing he wanted to eradicate the Jews and countless testimonies. Nevertheless thousands believed these claims.

Psychologists in the 60s and 70s used recovered memories to prove children had been abused when in fact no abuse had taken place and were subsequently sued by their clients and the wrongly convicted. The book looks at the cult of objectivism and Ayn Rand which tapped into many beliefs and philosophies of the 20th century for instance individualism. Millions subscribed to the central tenets of objectivism but they largely fell away when Rand didn’t follow her own philosophy – is that a reason for it to be discredited?


This book is useful for furthering your understanding of why people believe things that aren’t logical. After all one of your primary goals of being a mentalist is to convince people you can do things others can’t with your ‘powers’. There are better books on this type of psychology however this is still a very interesting book, it is relatively short and worth a read. You will certainly gain a better appreciation of psychology and the fragility of the human mind if you do and that’s certainly worth knowing.


Buy Here>>

4 Criss Angel Mind Reading, Mentalism and Magic Tricks

Here are 4 Criss Angel card tricks with explanations by the man himself. The first 2 are mind reading tricks and there’s a prediction and an easy magic trick too. All are suitable for beginners with a deck of cards and the willingness to put in a little practice. Good luck :)

1. Card Thought

Effect: Criss asks an audience member to cut a shuffled deck of cards and another audience member selects a card. Criss then deduces what the card is through mind reading.

While shuffling the deck Criss takes a peek at a card then shuffles the card straight to the top of the deck and makes sure it stays there. Then the cards are placed on the table and cut by an audience member. With misdirection Criss makes the audience member mis-remember what actually happened so he and the rest of the audience think the card in the middle is a cut card when in fact it is the top card which Criss has memorised. Then he gets another member of the audience to pick up this card and performs ‘mind reading’ on her. :)

2. Into the Mind

Effect: Criss asks an audience member to write a number between 1 and 100 on a post-it note then reads her mind to work out the number.

In this trick Criss gets a peek at the number ;). Criss prepares the post-it note with the sticky part in the right place and gets the girl to write the number on the pad. Then he takes the post-it back and retreats to the back of the room. Once at the back of the room Criss is able to stick the post-it to a chair, turn around, take a look, turn back and get the post-it back in his hand without anyone noticing. He does this of course, with misdirection. Once he has the note back in his hand he performs the mind reading on the girl then reveals the post-it note to the audience with the number written on it.

3. Double Card Prediction

Effect: The deck is shuffled by one audience member then Criss looks at the cards and removes 2 from the deck. Another audience member then places the cards at random in a pile. Next Criss takes the cards and deals them into the palms of 2 other audience members. The top 2 cards are revealed to be the same as the 2 Criss selected earlier :)

This trick relies on selling the fact the second audience member has placed the cards at random on the table (when in fact they have placed the first few cards where you want them). The first shuffle is done by an audience member then Criss takes the cards and looks at the top 2. He then searches for their pair in the deck and when he has found them places them face down on the table. The deck is then passed to a second audience member who is told to place the cards on the table. Once the first few are down Criss says, ‘place them at random, place a packet down if you like’ etc. and ‘stop when you want’. Criss knows the 2 cards on the bottom are his cards. Now the cards are dealt to another 2 audience members and the top cards are revealed to be paired with the ones on the table.

4. Four Aces

Effect: The audience member places the cards randomly on the table then deals 4 packets and an Ace is on top of each packet.

The secret here is to get the Aces on top of the deck before you hand them over to the volunteer without arousing suspicion. Once you have done this the trick works itself. Criss asks the volunteer to place the cards on the table and once they have placed 4 cards down tells them they can place them at random, from the middle of the deck, a number of cards at once etc. and to stop when they want. Now he get them to gather up the cards on the table and deal them into 4 piles. The Aces appear on top :)

I hope you enjoyed this collection of videos. Don’t forget to sign up for the free course if you haven’t already.

David Blaine Mind Reading

David Blaine is an undisputed master of magic, illusion and endurance. He has broken several Guinness World records, been entombed in ice and gone 44 days without food. He’s been ‘buried alive’ and ‘drowned alive’ and after his latest stunt he is lucky to still be alive as he was electrocuted by a tesla coil.

Still only 39 years old Blaine has achieved massively. He is the Houdini of our time. Before the feats of endurance he performs now, David Blaine was a street magician. He performed close up magic and mind reading tricks to strangers in the street.


Blaine first became interested in magic when he was 4 years old. He moved to New Your to perform magic when he was 17. His early street magic videos were remarkable because of his calm persona and the focus on audience reaction. At the time using the camera in this way was ground breaking. The next generation of street magicians such as Dynamo use similar techniques both in their magic and in the way they use the camera.

Many of Blaine’s early forays in front of the camera were captured in David Blaine – Street Magic [DVD] [2007]. You can view the whole DVD on Youtube, the first vid is below. It is well worth a watch for an introduction to David Blaine’s street magic.

In ‘Street Magic’ Blaine performs a number of mind reads, here is a compilation of some, its worth watching the whole video to see them all though:

He does card predictions, predicts names and makes images and names appear on his skin. The reactions he gets from the mind reading and mentalism tricks are some of the strongest in ‘Street Magic’. Just check out the kid when a 4 of Hearts appears on Blaine’s shoulder :)


David Blaine has released his own set of mind reading marked cards which are available with instructions:

Performers of magic and mentalism have different interests and peruse different paths. It would be nice to see Blaine performing more mentalism feats in future, however you can’t deny he is a master of endurance and has indeed set world records to prove it. Think about where your strengths lie. Work on them and you too can be a great performer.

If you want to learn 10 mentalism tricks for free make sure to sign up for the 10 part free course.

Mentalist Memory Techniques: Major System

Memorising Major System

The major system is one of the most powerful memory systems available. It is used to remember numbers and those who know this system can perform seemingly superhuman memory feats.

This is pt 3. of the mentalist memory techniques series. This post shows you the fundamentals of the major system and allow you to begin to harness some of its power.

The major system works by converting numbers into words, the words into images then linking the images together. The building blocks of the major system begin with converting numbers 0-9 into sounds as follows:

The System

0 – Z or S – first sound of the word zero
1 – D or T – letters have 1 downstroke
2 – N – 2 downstrokes
3 – M – 3 downstrokes
4 – R – final sound of word ‘four’
5 – L – Roman numeral for 50 is L
6 – J, ch, sh, soft g. g is 6 rotated 180°
7 – K, hard-ch, hard-c, hard-g. K looks like 2 7s
8 – F, V – f written out in joined up handwriting looks like an 8
9 – P, b – P turned around looks like a 9

Knowing these building blocks is essential. Take some time now to go through the list and memorise the sounds that correspond to each number, it will take you about 15 minutes. Once you have practised with them a little you will know them for life.

Create Images

Now you know which sounds correspond to which numbers you can begin to unlock the amazing major system. To remember the number you need to make a word which you can turn into an image containing the corresponding sound. For instance:

0 – Saw
1 – Tie
2 – Noah
3 – Ma
4 – Rye
5 – Law
6 – Shoe
7 – Cow
8 – Ivy
9 – Bee

You could use these items or choose your own. The best items are those which are distinctive. If they make an impression on more than 1 sense ie. items with distinctive taste/ smell/ sound that’s good as is association with an action.

Get More Advanced

Now you get the idea you can move on to combinations of 2 numbers. You can make images up on the fly if you like for instance 15 could be TAIL, TOWEL, TILL. 20 could be NOSE, NOOSE, NAZ.

If you want to learn advanced memory techniques the best thing to do is memorise an image for numbers 0-100. Here is an example list. Feel free to use it or make up your own.

0. Sow       20. Nose     40. Rose     60. Cheese   80. Fez      00. S.O.S.   
1. Hat       21. Net      41. Road     61. Sheet    81. Fat      01. Seed     
2. Hen       22. Nun      42. Rain     62. Chain    82. Fan      02. Sun      
3. Ham       23. Nemo     43. Room     63. Jam      83. Foam     03. Sam      
4. Row       24. Nero     44. Aurora   64. Cherry   84. Fire     04. Zero     
5. Hill      25. Nail     45. Rail     65. Jello    85. File     05. Seal     
6. Shoe      26. Notch    46. Rash     66. Judge    86. Fish     06. Sash     
7. Cow       27. Neck     47. Rock     67. Chalk    87. Fog      07. Sack     
8. Ivy       28. Knife    48. Roof     68. Chef     88. Fife     08. Sofa     
9. Bee       29. Knob     49. Rope     69. Ship     89. Fib      09. Sepia    
10. Toes     30. Mouse    50. Lace     70. Gas      90. Bus                   
11. Dad      31. Mat      51. Loot     71. Cat      91. Bat                   
12. Dune     32. Moon     52. Lion     72. Can      92. Pen                   
13. Dime     33. Mummy    53. Lime     73. Comb     93. Opium                 
14. Tire     34. Mower    54. Lure     74. Car      94. Bear                  
15. Doll     35. Mule     55. Lily     75. Coal     95. Bell                  
16. Tissue   36. Match    56. Leech    76. Cage     96. Bush                  
17. Duck     37. Mug      57. Log      77. Coke     97. Book                  
18. Dove     38. Movie    58. Lava     78. Cave     98. Beef                  
19. Tape     39. Map      59. Lip      79. Cape     99. Pipe


With a key like this you will be able to perform amazing feats of memory very quickly. You can of course have items which correspond to longer sequences of numbers. Try making up items for 3 number sequences eg. 142 = TRAIN, 752 = CLOWN, 305 = MISSILE

After learning what is taught in this post you have the tools to begin harnessing the power of the major system. You can use the peg system to link images. Further methods of practical applications will be discussed in this series very soon.

Mentalist Memory Techniques: Peg System

This is pt 2. of the current mnemonics series. The peg system allows you to remember things by linking them to ‘pegs’ in your mind. The ‘pegs’ are items you have already memorised which are themselves linked to numbers.

The beauty of the peg system is that once you have memorised the pegs once, that’s it. You can then use them whenever you like. In this article we will look at a simple peg system which you can learn in 10 minutes. I found this video which neatly explains a peg system which allows you to quickly memorise a 10 item list.

In the video the guy uses pegs which rhyme with the numbers so they are easy to remember. He also uses clear images to help the girl remember them. The following pegs are used:

  1. Bun
  2. Shoe
  3. Tree
  4. Door
  5. Hive
  6. Sticks
  7. Heavan
  8. Gate
  9. Line
  10. Hen

Why not use the same pegs? Use the visualisation methods described in the video to remember them.

To link the pegs to the items on a list you must create an image. The image should link the 2 items together and be unusual. Again the guy does a great job in doing this.

Once you have memorised the pegs practise by making a list of 10 items and linking them to the pegs. Then practise with friends and an attractive girl if you can find one! You should be able to recall the items in any order :)

Made To Stick Review

Made to Stick is a book about making ideas ‘stick’. Its an important concept for mentalists because you want to create a memorable show.

Chip and Dan Heath have found 6 principles which make ideas stick:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories

If you understand these ideas and apply them to your mentalism routines they will be so much more powerful!


Simplicity is crucial for ideas to be memorable, and this goes for your routines too. As you become a more advanced mentalist it can be tempting to come up with more complex routines but often simple effects are more memorable!

A good simple idea is like a proverb in that it is both simple and profound. Some examples of good simple ideas are Bill Clinton’s campaign moto: ‘It’s the economy stupid’ and Southwest Airlines mission statement to be ‘the low cost airline’.

Simple ideas stick!


As a mentalist you need to grab peoples attention and keep it. That’s where unexpectedness comes in. To grab peoples’ attention you have to break their ‘guessing machine’ then fix it. To grab attention:

  1. Find core message
  2. Figure out what’s counter-intuitive about message
  3. Create message that breaks audiences ‘guessing machines’
  4. Help them refine their guessing machines

Your job is to work out how to add elements of surprise.

To keep attention create a mystery then drop in clues as you go along. Try thinking ‘what questions do i want my audience to ask themselves?’


Concreteness means being specific. Use things that people can relate to. For instance, use every day objects and ideas to create a big impact with your routines :)


You need to create credibility as a mentalist. Just by telling people you are a mentalist or by the fact that you are performing or on stage lends credibility.

Remember, our intuitions are often flawed. Factors such as beliefs, emotions and media coverage can warp our perceptions of events. If you know this you can use it to your advantage.

The audience itself also lends credibility. If you can get a member of the audience to confirm something for instance, people are likely to believe them more than you.


Emotions are very important in mentalism. People in a heightened state will see things differently, sometimes literally! There are a number of ways to engage people’s emotions. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is very important in engaging emotions.

Maslow's Pyramid


People love listening to stories. If you can link your routine together by telling a story it will be much more compelling for the audience!


Making an idea stick – the communication framework. For an idea to stick the audience must:

  1. Pay attention
  2. Understand and remember it
  3. Agree, believe
  4. Care
  5. Be able to act on it

Keep this in mind for your routine, though you might not necessarily want people to ‘act’ on your performance, you certainly want them to remember it :)

Here are some useful points to apply if you can’t get an idea to stick:

  1. No one is listening: Break their guessing machines, tell uncommon sense.
  2. Attention wavering: Create curiosity gaps. Mysteries, puzzles etc.
  3. Problems getting people to understand and remember: Make the message simpler and use concrete language. Use real world examples, stories etc.
  4. People have different levels of knowledge: Create concrete basis for understanding, use things everyone understands.
  5. Problems getting people to believe you or agree: Find telling details.
  6. People questioning you constantly: Use a springboard story or anecdote.
  7. Problems getting people to care: Remember people care more about individuals. Tell them an inspiring story, tap into their sense of their own identities.
  8. Things that used to get people excited no longer working: Get out of Maslow’s basement and appeal to more profound types of self interest.
  9. Problems getting people to act: Inspire with challenge plot story or springboard story. Msg must be simple and concrete.

Again, you are not interested in getting people to act (probably), however all the others are great tips on how to pep up your routines.

I hope you enjoyed this review, Made to Stick from a mentalists perspective!


You can grab the book here >>

or the Kindle edition here >>

Mentalist Memory Techniques: Link Method

mentalism techniques: link method

If you are serious about becoming a mentalist you need to get your memory in shape. This article shows you the link method which is essential to know for many mentalism tricks. This is pt 1 in a series of posts on mnemonics. Learn this technique then move on :)

Link Method

Using the link method you can take a list of items and remember them in order in next to no time. The more you practise, the better you get :) In this exercise we take 20 items and memorise them in order. Try doing that without using a memory technique – impossible. You could try with part of this list if you like or go for the whole 20 if you want the practise.

The link method is based on creating vivid images in the minds eye. The weirder the images are, the easier they are to remember. Here are some other tips on creating mental images that are easy to remember:

  1. Picture the items out of proportion
  2. Give the image action
  3. Exaggerate the amount of items
  4. Substitute the item

The objects are:

carpet, paper, bottle, bed, fish, chair, window, mobile phone, cigarette, nail, keyboard, shoe, microphone, pen, TV, plate, donut, car, coffee pot, and brick.

Firstly, get a picture of some carpet in your minds eye. Make it some carpet that is familiar to you for example the carpet in your hallway.

Now we are going to link the carpet to the next item, the paper, in an image. Try to make the image as stage as possible. For instance you could picture the carpet in your hall made from paper. See yourself walking on it, hear it loudly crinkle under foot. You could also picture yourself writing on a piece of carpet, feel the frustration as its virtually impossible to write on!

You may need to close your eyes at first to get a clear image in your mind. Once you have the picture clearly in your mind forget it and move on.

You have now put the previous image completely out of your mind. The next 2 items to link are paper and bottle. Again, make a ridiculous image linking them. For example you could picture yourself reading a huge bottle instead of a paper or writing on a huge bottle. You could picture a bottle pouring out paper or a bottle made of paper. As soon as an image comes to mind picture it vividly then move on.

Next link bottle and bed. Picture yourself lying in a huge bottle or taking a drink from a bed :) Get the image clearly then put it out of your mind and move on.

Bed and fish. See a giant fish sleeping in your bed :)

Fish and chair: You are out fishing but instead of fish there are chairs swimming round.

Chair and window: See yourself sitting on a pin of glass or violently throwing chairs through a glass window.

Window and mobile phone: Your mobile phone is a huge window, how are you going to fit that in your pocket?!

Mobile phone and cigarette: You are smoking your mobile phone or you’re holding a massive cigarette to your ear and speaking into it as if it were a phone.

Cigarette and nail: You are hammering a lit cigarette into the wall

Nail and keyboard: You are hammering a big nail through a keyboard or all your keys have been replaced by big nails!

Keyboard and shoe: See yourself wearing keyboards instead of shoes or typing on shoes.

Shoe and microphone: Your the singer in a rock band, the microphone has been replaced by a shoe.

Microphone and pen: Your writing with a microphone or talking into a giant pen.

Pen and TV: See a million pens streaming out of your TV!

TV and plate: See yourself eating off a flatscreen TV instead of a plate.

Plate and donut: See yourself biting into a donut but as you bite it it cracks and you realise its a plate!

Donut and car: There’s a big donut driving down the street in a car.

Car and coffee pot: You are driving a giant coffee pot down the street :)

Coffee pot and brick: See yourself pouring a mug of coffee from a brick.

That’s it! Its quite a long list but if you have pictured the images vividly you should be able to remember them no problem. Give it a try. For some people, thinking of crazy images is a bit harder than for others but using the tips should help.

Get practising the link method with other lists. See if you can remember a list of items your friends give you. This is an important method. We will move on to other cool memory techniques and practical applications for mentalists in the next in the series.

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