Mindful Memorization Ep 06: Case Study: Spike Edwards

You've got to know the rules before you can break them. Master these techniques and then you'll be able to choose what works best for you.


  • Know That Every Speaker Functions Differently:

    Try all the techniques in the prior five episodes and find what is best for you. Replicate that in future talks.

  • Combine Multiple Techniques:

    Often, it will be most effective for you to use two or three techniques together.

  • Use Personal Experience:

    Don't hesitate to alter the techniques in a way that best accentuates your assets and strengths.

When we have a variety of memorization techniques at our disposal, then we can pick and choose what tools will be the most effective for each of us. Kymberlee

Kymberlee Weil: We have a special guest with us today, Mr. Spike Edwards. Spike is in a countdown to his first ever TEDx Talk and we are only days away now. Spike has been using a lot of these memorization techniques that we've been talking about over the past five episodes. I invited him here to share his personal experience with some of these techniques. Spike, you had a lot of methods to choose from to help set you up for the best memorization of your TEDx Talk. Of everything you had to choose from, what worked the best for you?

Spike Edwards: Well, I think what actually worked the best for me was doing a combination of the drawings, but also putting them in a spatial effect within the drawings. And that way I knew where it was and which order was actually coming.

Kymberlee Weil: Great. So, you combined two of the techniques into one.

 Spike Edwards: Right.

Kymberlee Weil: And when you created your drawings, was it very detailed and very specific in those drawings?

Spike Edwards: No, what I actually did was make them large, very scrappy and almost child-like. (That's another way of saying they're really bad.) And the thing was that, as I was walking around practicing reciting the lines, all I had to do was glance at it, know what it meant, and then keep going. So, if I did it small I wouldn't be able to see it easily.

Kymberlee Weil: That's so good. When we draw with pictures (they can be very, very basic) and let's say you have a cloud and then a drawer and then a box. Your mind will take a snapshot of all of those pictures together, so you can remember, "Okay, after the cloud I've got the dresser drawer and..." Your mind will pick up on those things as a group together. And if you arrange them spatially, like you said you did, that helps even more for quick recall. Talk a little bit more about that, about what you did there.

Spike Edwards: Originally, when I first started, when I had my script, the original draft, I had them just all over the place and let my memory sort of sort it out. Then, that wasn't working at all well, so what I did was made an "S", that's why you'll see me do this when I was talking. And that's the way the drawings are actually laid out, they're like that throughout the process of the actual script.

Kymberlee Weil: Of the other techniques that we have, did you try some of the others? Did they work that well? Like writing it out or some of the other anchoring techniques?

Spike Edwards: Yeah, it was probably the writing it out that didn't work the best, because it's, for me, it's too laborious. Whereas, I've seen other people do it, and they do it well. But, for me, no.

Kymberlee Weil: That's great. Individually, we've got to have all these techniques at our disposal, so we can decide what tools work the best for us. And for some people, the writing it out is the best one, it's the strongest one for them, because they've tried everything else. And in other cases, like with Spike, he's combined two of them. So, you've got to know what works the best for you, because when you do, then you'll be able to replicate that again and again on future talks that you're going to give.

Kymberlee Weil: Thank you so much for being here.

Spike Edwards: You're welcome. My pleasure.

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