Mentalism Effect: Memory Test

Mentalism Memory Test

Mnemonics or memory systems are a key component of mentalism. Here we take a look at a simple memory test which will amaze your audience!

The effect is to have members of the audience call out 15-20 things and for you to recall them in any order. While some people are familiar with memory systems the effect is still impressive and is used by many mentalists. Give it a try with friends, it is relatively easy to learn and you may be pleasantly surprised :)

There are several memory systems you can use to accomplish this mentalism effect. In this article we look at 1 tried and tested method which should serve you well.

Step 1

  • Memorise a key for numbers 1-20
  • The key for each number is an object which you associate in your mind with a number
  • The object should have some relevance to the number. One way of doing this is through rhyming

Example Memory Key

1 – Sun, 2 – Shoe, 3 – Sea, 4 – Saw, 5 – Hive, 6 – Sticks, 7 – Heaven, 8 – Gate, 9 – Mine, 10 – Pen, 11 – Devon, 12 – Shelf, 13 – Skirting, 14 – Flooring, 15 – Lifting, 16 – Pixie, 17 – Tin of Beans, 18 – Painting, 19 – Lightning, 20 – Horn of Plenty (Ice Cream)

Step 2

Each object on the list should be made into a vivid image in the mind’s eye. The object should also be performing an action, which should be consistent each time you visualise the object.

For instance: (1.) The sun could have a face which is smiling brightly or could be emitting heat rays, (2.) Something could be being placed into the shoe, (3.) The sea could be lapping at the shore.

Performance

1. Get a member of the audience to write a list of numbers 1-20 on a sheet of paper or blackboard. This person is to record objects as they are called out. The sheet is faced towards the audience so they can see it but you can’t.

2. Ask someone in the audience to call out an object for No. 1.

3. As soon as you hear what the object is, immediately associate it with the relevant object from the key. The object should interact with the object from the key and the image should be unusual. For example if a mobile phone is suggested the image could be the sun laughing at an old 1980s style mobile phone.

4. As soon as you have created a vivid image immediately forget it and move on to the next number and do the same again until you have done all 20.

5. Once all 20 items have been called out invite members of the audience to call out numbers between 1 and 20 at random and recall them using your key.

Notes:

  • Invite the audience to give detailed objects, this can add humour
  • The quicker you can memorise and recall the objects the more impressive the effect is
  • Though we have chosen 20 objects for the sake of a performance the number can be much higher, you just need to extend the key

 

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