Frequently Asked Questions
How did you get into memory?
In 2000, I watched a segment on ABC'S 20/20 about the USA National Memory Championship. It really sparked my interest, but I realized that even though I was known to have a "good" memory, that I would never be able to compete with the best people in the country if I went about memorizing things how I always had. If I was going to enter the competition, I wanted to have at least a decent shot at winning it, so that led me to begin doing a tremendous amount of research into the most powerful and effective ways to go about committing information to memory. With time, I decided on which memory training techniques I felt were the very best, and I started practicing them regularly. I now teach people all over the world the most effective techniques that I mastered over the years, and also my own personal variations on those techniques.
Do you believe one is born with a great memory or is it something acquired?
Unlike other memory trainers out there, I openly admit that I was lucky enough to be born with a "good" memory, but it was not great or "extraordinary". There is no question that my memory ability has been acquired through training. Training with the proper techniques has helped me to reach the highest levels of memory and to even become a national champion. I don't assert that anyone out there can memorize a deck of cards in less than 90 seconds, but what I do firmly and passionately believe is that no matter what your current level of memory ability is, it can be dramatically improved with my training. Learning and practicing methods I teach will utilize your brain most efficiently to encode information to a level much higher than currently possible.
Why do people today have such a bad memory?
Having spoken at many technology related conferences, while I have a great deal of respect for how it has helped our society, I’m quick to point out that letting electronic devices remember everything for us can hurt our memory. Today the general public’s memory ability is worse than possibly any other time in history, because we are “outsourcing” our memory to electronic devices. We all used to be able to dial the phone numbers of so many friends and family members easily from memory. Nowadays, if you ask someone to remember even one phone number, a lot of times they can't do it. It's so bad that some people don't even know their own phone number anymore. This is a good example of the "use it or lose it" principle which applies very well to memory.
What can one expect at your speaking engagements?
At all of my speaking engagements, one can expect to be entertained, engaged, and educated. I entertain the audience with extraordinary memory feats such as naming 100s of audience members that I meet before the start of the speech, and then I help everyone to realize the extraordinary power of their mind by completing fun and interactive memory exercises on their own. My presentations are all very engaging and leave people with the feeling that they've been entertained while at the same time having learned something valuable that they can put to good use in their career and personal life.
Do you offer private instruction?
Yes, I do offer private instruction, but on a very limited basis. Most of my clients are heads of companies around the world. For those who can’t afford, or don’t have the time to hire me privately, I highly recommend the products that I have available on this Website.
Do you think supplements help memory?
I am a firm believer that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. There are many nutrients proven to have an impact on our memory, and if your diet is deficient in them, I highly recommend that you take supplements. For instance, Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to proper brain function. If you don't have much fish in your diet, it's probably a good idea to take fish oil supplements. Additionally, B-vitamins are important for mental energy and concentration. These and other examples are covered in-depth during my programs.
Is there such a thing as "photographic memory"?
From everything I’ve researched, there is definitely no such thing as a "photographic memory", at least not how it has been depicted to us in popular media. In other words, no one has the ability to simply look at a page from a book and then perfectly reproduce an image of that page in their mind. Scientists have done many experiments to prove this. One such experiment is they'll give someone with extraordinary memory ability in certain areas a sheet of paper with a random splattering of hundreds of dots on a page to study for a short period. The splattering of dots has no meaning and doesn't form any sort of picture. After the study period, they give the person a blank sheet of paper and ask them to perfectly reproduce the random splattering of dots. No one has ever been able to do this!