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In Review: The Business of Memory

Posted on May 31, 2006 by Kat.

The vice president of your biggest client calls to ask a question, and you blank on her name. 

You know you met that prospect at a networking event last month, but can’t recall if he mentioned his kids or his golf hobby. 

Three new leads each have three entirely different business problems that your product would be perfect for, but you can’t remember which problem belongs to whom.

No doubt about it, we have a lot of information to keep track of in the business world nowadays, and it’s a no-brainer that remembering these kinds of details will give you an edge. 

Aside from keeping tabs on innumerable details to give your clients the best service possible, people like to be remembered.  If they feel they are a person to you rather than a data sheet, they will trust you more.

Many people believe the ability to remember is ingrained — you either have it or you don’t.  Felberbaum (correctly) points out that these people assume memory is an automatic process, but this is untrue.  It is actually an active endeavor, which also means that it is a skill that can be practiced and improved. 

There is just enough science and theory in this book to explain the processes and techniques.  And there is plenty of storytelling, which (of course) makes it memorable.  A word of warning, however: This is a workbook, rather than a casual read.  You will get out of it what you put into it.

How Memory Works

Felberbaum’s techniques take advantage of how the memory system in the brain already works.  Like anything else having to do with the human brain, memory is a complex and tightly interconnected configuration.  But, there are three types of memory that come into play in memory skill development:

  1. Short-term memory: which allows you to look up a phone number and keep it in mind while you dial it, then forget it to make room for new, immediately-needed information.
  2. Long-term memory: the store of memories we need to keep around, such as the gist of that presentation you saw last month, or last year. 
  3. Working memory: the process where you combine information from your short-term memory with information from your long-term memory to accomplish a task or solve a problem.  Creating connections between short-term and long-term memories is key to moving information from short-term to long-term memory, which allows you to recall them as needed later.

Train Your Memory

The exercises in this workbook are extensive, but with an open-minded and creative approach, they can be done in an ongoing fashion in a few minutes per day.  Eventually, the idea is to have practiced them so well that the techniques become habitual and require little extra conscious effort in day-to-day life.

The principles behind the practices may sound too simple to be true — until you realize that many don’t make a regular habit of implementing them.  Getting out of the rut of old approaches to remembering is the hard part.

The techniques:

  1. Paying attention: This is actually a combination of two practices — observation and concentration.   Clearly, you cannot remember a thing if you haven’t noticed (observed) it.  Concentration allows us to select and zero in on the details of that thing we want or need to remember, and is the first step in forging the link between short-term and long-term memory.
  2. Visualizing: Per Felberbaum, “If you have normal vision, more than 60 percent of your brain operates on a visual basis.”  We remember things visually — think back to an event you attended last week or last year, and you see it in your head as pictures, a sort of “mini-movie.”  Visualization is a process where you intentionally create your own picture or mini-movie around the thing you wish to remember, thereby making it more memorable.
  3. Associating: In this process, you engage your working memory to create links between short-term and long-term memory.  If you think of your mom, you don’t merely remember the face of the woman who raised you — you also recall the birthday cake she made you when you were five, the argument you had over curfew when you were sixteen, her favorite type of flower and hundreds of other associations.  Associating something new with something already familiar is a powerful means of boosting your recall.

Todd Smart, president of BeTuitive Publishing, uses this third technique to remember names.  He simply associates a person he meets with another person with the same name from his long-term memory.  Give it a try at your next meeting or social event.

Learning the techniques is simple; learning how to implement them in the best fashion to work most effectively with the way your own brain operates takes effort. 

Everyone knows how to concentrate — or visualize, or associate details and memories with each other — but it takes some practice to figure out how to select which details to concentrate on, what types of mental images “stick” in your brain, or how elaborate to make your mental stories.  This book can be a useful tool in learning how to exercise your memory “muscles;” like any learned skill, the more  you practice, the easier it gets.

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May 31, 2006 in award winning design, award winning magazine, blog publish, company newsletter, corporate magazine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to enjoy summer while at the office

Posted on May 25, 2006 by David Borra.

Here I am sitting at my desk and as I often do I take a glance outside. Over the past few days it really has been noticeably more like summer. The sun is shining bright and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. There is a nice fresh breeze coming from the windows and if I didn’t know any better there is the smell of grilling from the neighboring restaurants teasing my taste-buds. This of course makes me instantly want to go outside to a park or to the zoo or even just a picnic would do, but alas we always can’t go and do that especially when we have a job to do… or can we?

During the winter months and early this spring the weather wasn’t that great. Well, lets be honest it was downright cold and gloomy and the sooner I got inside the better. If I went out to get lunch I dreaded the walk, but now that the weather has made a turn for the better I plan to actually enjoy my walk to get lunch. I might even eat at one of the many cafés with outdoor tables. Now you might think what about work, but by doing this I also help with the mid-afternoon slump we all can confess to experiencing at one point or another. By going out for a walk and taking in the fresh air it helps my mind regroup and in turn I am more productive then if I were to not go outside.

To find out more on how to enjoy summer while at the office check out this article.

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May 25, 2006 in award winning design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Remember: Part 3

Posted on May 24, 2006 by Kathryn Regina.

Like all great trilogies, my memory series must come to an end.  I’m closing with a bang by directing you towards The Memory Exhibition.  This website is sponsored by the Exploratorium Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception, located in San Francisco, CA.  Although the physical exhibit is no longer at the museum, the web exhibition is a cyberspace delight accessible to all. Here are my recommendations:

 Sheep Brain Dissection (The Anatomy of Memory)
 Remembering Nagasaki
 Don’t Forget! Playing Games with Memory
 Lecture Series Webcasts

And for all you marketers and salespeople, be sure to read the article “Messing With Your Mind” to learn how guided questions can lead to desirable answers.

For more information on memory and what it could mean for your business, look for our upcoming newsletter featuring articles on the "business of memory."

The Memory Exhibition

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May 24, 2006 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Blogs, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business relationships, CMO, company newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Volkswagen Plays It Safe?

Posted on May 23, 2006 by David Borra.

Over the years Volkswagen Jetta ads have really been geared towards the younger crowd. If you were young, urban and hip this car was for you. Their advertisements for it would reflect that. Their most recent advertising campaign, however, doesn’t showcase the so called “cool” features that normally would be played up. Instead it thrusts you right into a scene that many of us have had the unfortunate luck of experiencing firsthand. Now showing an accident is nothing new in car ads, but many of them consist of the frontal and side impact tests that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducts, usually with dummies in them that are at test facilities.

In these commercials, however, they show people going about their daily routines. You are placed inside the car with these people and you don’t have the slightest idea that in a few seconds a car is going to back out of a driveway or that someone is going to blow a red light, but that is where I feel these commercials hit the mark. In an accident—as I have had the unfortunate experience of being in—you don’t see them coming, or if you do it is usually too late. This campaign really shows that this sort of thing can happen to anyone and that if it does happen you are more likely to walk away relatively unharmed since the 2006 Jetta received a 4 star front impact rating and a 5 star side impact rating.

For VW to show their car in this situation is risky, but for a car manufacturer to not only put safety above sales, but show it in an extremely creative way that personally hits home for me, is a great move in my mind. Take a look for yourself and see how “safe happens.”

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May 23, 2006 in award winning design, blog publish, Building Customer Community, corporate magazine | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Come Ride With Me

Posted on May 22, 2006 by Kevin G.

Summer is a time to take a breath, relieve stress and enjoy the sunshine.  I find this is nearly impossible with the amount of work, and involvement I have in the city.  I find myself constantly navigating the train and bus system, with the occasional taxi, to get where I need to be.  Gas prices, though lowering in the past two weeks, are just shy of $3.00 and driving in the city can be a headache in itself.  Whew…take a breath.

This summer, I am planning on using something that solves all of these problems, while keeping me in shape and alert.  I’m getting a bike.  I guess you could say I’ll be revisiting my childhood from family bike trips, but this adventure will be all my own.  No longer will I have to wait on platforms and corner stops to get where I need to be.  I will be outside in the sun, relieving stress from the workout, and staying sharp as I navigate the city.

I found a helpful article in the LA Times that provides the lowdown on how to get ready to pedal in the city streets.

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May 22, 2006 in award winning design, corporate magazine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Remember: Part 2

Posted on May 17, 2006 by Kathryn Regina.

Imagine the ability to remember literally everything you've ever read. To never forget an appointment, or an important task. Or how about this: The ability to read two pages at once—with one eye on each page.  It sounds superhuman, but there are people out there that can do it. Daniel Tammet is one of them.

As an autistic savant, Tammet can recall pi to the 22,514th digit, and can learn a foreign language in as little as seven days.  But unlike most savants, Tammet also has the right set of communication skills to be able to explain his own thought processes.  Some researchers believe that all humans may be able to access savant-like abilities. Tammet may very well be the “Rosetta Stone” of savant research, allowing us all to tap into his powers of memory.

A genius explains.
Watch documentary clips featuring Tammet.

For more information on memory and what it could mean for your business, look for our upcoming newsletter featuring articles on the "business of memory."

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May 17, 2006 in award winning design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

We are so cool.

Posted on May 16, 2006 by Kat.

It's been a banner week here at BeTuitive.  We've just gotten word that we are finalists in both the Stevie Awards (Best Online Ad/Campaign category) and the ACE Awards (Digital Advertising -- E-mail Campaign category).  We are all pretty excited.  Many thanks also go to our client, Advanced Clinical Services, the company behind the nominated publication.  Hooray for us!

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May 16, 2006 in blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, CMO, company newsletter, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, Corporate publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Posted on May 12, 2006 by Kathryn Regina.

You’ve just had a groundbreaking meeting with a prospective client.  You sit down at your desk to jot down some notes when you realize that the meeting you just had an hour ago is already hazy.  How could a mind that was once so crystal-clear now be cloudy?  Part of the problem is that everyday you stuff your brain with more and more information, making recall increasingly difficult. 

But your diet may also play a role.  According to a team of Scottish scientists, blood sugar levels play an integral role in the memory process.  Studies show that memory activity increases as the brain is flooded with glucose, which triggers activation of the cells in the hippocampus area of the brain. 

So the next time you have an important meeting, pound a cola first.

Read the article

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May 12, 2006 in award winning design, award winning magazine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Feeling slumpy? Take a walk

Posted on May 11, 2006 by Sarah Eaton.

Maybe it's caffeine, maybe it's a heavy lunch.  Lots of people hit a mid-afternoon slump that cripples momentum and stifles productivity.  To combat the slump, try following Jerry Teplitz' suggestions: drinking water, breathing and stretching. 

Fight the slump

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May 11, 2006 in audio publication, award winning design, award winning newsletter, Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building Customer Intuition, business credibility, Business Marketing, Business relationships, company magazine, company newsletter sample, Company publication, Corporate newsletter, Corporate publications, create a newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on the Finger...

Posted on May 08, 2006 by Kat.

Going back to my earlier entry on the "Follow the Finger" campaign:

I'm not the only one who's annoyed.  Note to self, this is not quite the kind of buzz you want to create around your product.  (And believe me, I've run across some commentary about the campaign out there which was, shall we say, not quite as high-brow.)

By the way, the OK Soda ad campaigns amused the heck out of me — so yes, some risks are worth taking (as Kathryn notes).  As a teen I was quite disappointed to see it disappear so quickly.  And yes, I bought (and liked) the product, too.

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May 8, 2006 in award winning design, award winning magazine, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building Customer Intuition, company newsletter, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, create a newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack