6 Exercises to Improve your Memory and Stretch your Mind

Memory plays a very important part of all our lives. From young to old age, it creates connections and shared experiences between people, gives us the skills to develop and improve our performance and gives us joy in long-term recollection.

Memories allow us to act in the present and prepare for the future. Without it we wouldn’t be able to remember what happened yesterday, what we should do today and what we plan for tomorrow. Therefore, we should look after it and practice to improve it.

We spend a lot of money and time on improving our bodies – let’s not forget our minds! Below we explore 6 practical exercises to keep your mind in top shape. Practice makes perfect!

6 Practical Exercises to Improve Your Memory

1. Activate all your relevant past knowledge. The more that you know about something, the easier it is to learn new information related to it. Generate a link to past knowledge and you’re more likely to remember the new information and increase your productivity. This can help with remembering people’s names: look for a meaning in a name and link it to the person. This is also sometimes called name association.

Old photos in the box

2. Think of new information in different ways. Making rhymes, tunes or even puns and jokes with the new material can help your memory by creating more cues and links. Generating really distinctive ideas, sounds or images can also help with recall.

3. Learn the phonetic system for translating numbers into memorable words. It’s bad security to set all your PINs to the same number, so use this technique to memorise different pins for different cards. You can remember any string of numbers more easily by converting the numbers to words that are memorable to you, especially if they create a funny image.

4. Form mental images linking the things to be remembered. Mental imagery underlies some of the most powerful mnemonic techniques that have been recommended for over 2000 years. Forming mental images allows you to link together things which are not otherwise connected. Explore more in the following video:

5. Practise retrieving information after a suitable interval. Retrieval practice is one of the most powerful ways to improve your memory. Unlike some of the other methods, reminding yourself to remember does not require creativity or a great deal of expertise. Almost everyone can benefit from retrieval practice, from the young to the old. Timing is the key: practise too soon and it won’t help, too late and you won’t be able to remember. The best time is just before you would have forgotten the information. It’s also a good idea to test yourself quite early – especially for names – then after a short while, then after a bit longer and so on.

6. Explain or teach something to someone else. You will have to recall or restudy the information in an organised way and you won’t be able to fool yourself over parts that you don’t understand. You’ll need to make sure you understand it fully to explain or teach it to someone else!

New research has estimated that the brain can hold at least a petabyte of information, which is about as much as the World Wide Web currently holds. Isn’t that worth investing in it and using to its fullest potential?

To find out more and build your memory skills attend one of our dedicated training courses: Improve your Memory or Improving Memory with Mindmapping.


How to Deliver Successful Online Training Sessions

Have you been asked to deliver an online or virtual training for your team or your colleagues since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown? You are not the only one!

This article will give you several suggestions to help you deliver virtual training more effectively. Several of these tips also apply if you need to lead virtual meetings.

Keep everyone’s attention

Attention spans are definitely shorter during virtual training. Therefore you, as the Trainer, need to use several different strategies to keep everyone engaged.

Great techniques to keep your audience engaged during virtual training sessions include the following:

  • Asking questions – especially open-ended questions
  • Using participant names
  • Asking participants to write in the chat box
  • Using the interactive digital whiteboard
  • Use a physical whiteboard to write on if you have one

Top View Photo of Girl Watching Video Through Imac

 Minimise text and use more images

When using slides be sure to not write too much text and use interesting images that attract the audience’s attention. The images should relate to the topic and learning objectives as much as possible.

 Ask delegates to stand up and stretch

Rather like a face-to-face training session, delegates can get bored and lose concentration if they are sitting down all day listening to the Trainer speak. It’s therefore important during your virtual sessions to put yourself in the shoes of the audience and ask them to stand up and stretch from time-to-time. This will give their brains a break and moving around will help the blood flow faster in their body, which helps to refocus their attention and engagement level.

Keep sessions shorter

Even if delegates have turned their camera on, it’s still challenging to keep the attention of your delegates in virtual training. With this in mind it’s a good idea to make your workshop shorter than usual face-to-face sessions and make sure to have more breaks. This might include 1-2 short breaks in the morning and 2 or even 3 breaks in the afternoon depending on how long your training lasts.

Try using a quiz or poll

Try using quizzes or polls from websites such as Kahoot.com to make the session more fun and exciting. You might also wish to use a Timer app when asking delegates to do activities and to know help them know when they should return from breaks.

Example of a quiz for online training


When delivering virtual training it is essential to adapt your style of delivery to keep your audience engaged.

Which of the above techniques are you going to try to use in your future training sessions?

Do you or your team members need to deliver online or virtual training for your clients or colleagues? We offer a range of tailored training courses that can help, from Train the Trainer, Facilitating Virtual Meetings or even Online Presentation Skills.

Alternatively, we can also support your training needs of your learners with our team of highly experienced facilitators – get in contact to find out more!