On September 22, 2020, Chester Santos, known as the "International Man of Memory", spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club about ways to improve an individual's memory capability. Pictured above is Chester Santos.
Kelly McDonald introduced the day's speaker by providing a video introduction of Chester Santos which noted that among Chester's many capabilities, his extraordinary ability to memorize things. Chester is so good at memorizing anything, that he won the United States Memory Championship and has earned the nick name of "International Man of Memory".
Chester Santos told everyone that everyone's brain can be trained to memorize almost anything including the names of other people. This is because our brains have a unique ability to memorize almost anything when it can be visualized. Chester explained the three principals needed to improve our memories:
  1. Visualize the item you want to remember.
  2. Recruit your other senses (sight, sound, smell) to help remember something.
  3. Try to place your visualization in a weird setting to help you remember something.
Chester explained that for some unknown reason our minds remember things better if there is a visualization or something unique about what we are trying to remember. He also indicated that his brain training techniques work on anything including foreign languages.
Chester than verbally gave everyone the following list of words to remember:
  • Monkey
  • Iron
  • Rope
  • Kite
  • House
  • Paper
  • Shoe
  • Worm
  • Envelope
  • Pencil
  • River
  • Rock
  • Tree
  • Cheese
  • Dollar
Of course, everyone agreed the list was too long to remember. Chester then told everyone how to visualize the list by creating a story about the words:
He asked everyone to close their eyes and visualize a monkey making monkey noises. Then he asked everyone to visualize the monkey holding an iron. He then asked everyone to visualize a rope (with a fuzzy feel to it) attached to the iron. He then asked everyone to visualize the rope attached to a kite flying in the sky. He then asked everyone to visualize the kite falling and landing on a house. He then asked everyone to visualize the house covered in paper (strange or weird). He then asked everyone to visualize a shoe walking all over the paper on that house. He then asked everyone to visualize a stinky worm in the show. He then asked everyone to visualize the worm jumping out of the shoe into an envelope. He then asked everyone to visualize a pencil writing all over the envelope. He then asked everyone to visualize the pencil being thrown into a river and that pencil floating down and hitting a rock. He then asked everyone to visualize the rock jumping out of the river and hitting a tree. He then asked everyone to visualize cheese growing from the tree. He then asked everyone to visualize a dollar bill sticking out of each piece of cheese.
Chester then asked everyone to write down the list of words he originally listed using the above story in their mind. Almost everyone got all of the words correct and in the correct order. Everyone was amazed at how they were able to memorize the original set of words that seemed almost an impossible task to do. Chester called this the "Story Technique" and indicated that he had many techniques to help one's memory capability but given the short amount of time he had he could not go into other techniques but did agree to talk to the problem of memorizing names.
For memorizing names, Chester gave four (4) steps to help remember people's names. When being introduced:
  1. Say hello by repeating the name the person just gave you and shake hands or with COVID-19 use a elbow bump. Example: Hello Alice.
  2. Ask the person a question using their name. Example: Alice, what line of work are you in?
  3. Create a visual connection with that name. Example: Think of a white rabbit for "Alice in Wonderland".
  4. When saying goodby, use the persons name. Example: Goodby Alice. Nice to have met you.
Chester then told everyone that he has taught his memory techniques to many business people and college students and if anyone wanted to attend one of his classes, they can go to "memoryschool.net" and sign up. He agreed to not charge his enrollment fee for the first 5 people to sign up if they provide the coupon code "Magnolia". Chester also told everyone that exercising one's brain is just as important as exercising one's body and there have been some studies that indicate that exercising one's brain can slow down the possibility of older people getting dementia.
For more general information about Chester Santos, go to: https://www.internationalmanofmemory.com/
For a photo of those in attendance via zoom, see below: