Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 1 - June 2005 - by Phil Chambers

If you are not a subscriber to the newsletter click here and fill in your name and e-mail address at the top of the page.

Listen to an Audio Introduction to the Newsletter


Quote of the Month

"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."
- Vince Lombardi

The more you practice something the easier and more likely is it that you will repeat that action.
However, if what you practice happens to be wrong or incorrect you will be far from perfection.

For many more quotes click here.

Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

Get into the right state of mind before you do a Mind Map. Known as the ‘zone’ by athletes, the best state for learning, and creativity is relaxed but alert. This is when alpha and theta brainwaves dominate your thought patterns. You can achieve this state by listening to relaxing music with a frequency of 1Hz (i.e. one beat per second). The mind synchronises with the music to ‘take you down’ into a more relaxed frame of mind. Try composers such as Bach, Corelli, Handel, Telemann & Vivaldi. If you dislike straight classical music certain tracks by Enya and Jacques Loussier have the same effect. Lex McKee is a composer working on the effect of music on mental states. (See www.lexstudios.com)

For another 100 tips on Mind Mapping see "101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps" by Phil Chambers, due for release later this month.

How to Give Polished Presentations Without Notes

Giving presentations without notes is one of the most useful skills in business. This ability is often thought to be a natural gift. In fact it is a teachable skill that is within the grasp of anyone. All you need is imagination and a playful attitude.

Once you have planned the outline of your presentation, you need to convert it into a format that can easily be remembered.

Memories are just pictures in your head. They can be enhanced using eight principles that spell out the acronym SEAHORSE:

S enses - Enrich your mental pictures with sound, smell, taste and touch.
E xaggeration - Make your imagined objects huge, tiny, vividly coloured, loud, etc.
A ction - You are more engaged in a film than a slide show. Create mental movies.

H umour - Use visual, silly, surreal humour. Monty Python typifies this.
O rder - This can be your own idiosyncratic logic, for example a story.
R epetition - You've probably experienced how repetition aids recall.
S ymbols - Symbolise abstract ideas with concrete objects to form more associations.
E njoy - Memorising should be fun.

Select key words for each point you wish to make. The number of key words depends on how closely you want to follow your script. These act as triggers to remind you and keep you on track. Actors use this principle to remember lines, for example, the text from Hamlet's soliloquy:

To be , or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die : to sleep ;
No more;

Having selected key words, symbolise them with objects:

To be - two bumble bees,
Nobler - mad professor (Nobel laureate),
Slings and arrows - these are objects already,
Sea of troubles - sea monster,
End - cul-de-sac sign,
Die - skull,
Sleep - Sleeping Beauty

To memorise these items in sequence we need a structure, something fixed in your mind onto which we can attach them. Recall a journey that you know well enough to see, in your mind's eye, landmarks or locations along the way in order. Your front path, the garden gate, the tree in your street, the post box on the corner, etc. If you know the room that you will be presenting in you could even use positions around that.

In your imagination, place the objects that you want to remember, one per location, along the route. Strengthen the memory using the SEAHORSE principles.

To recall the speech, imagine taking the journey with the strange objects along the way acting as prompts. Review the journey a few times to perfect it. Banish your notes, you and your audience will enjoy your presentations so much more.

SEAHORSE Princples

Neuroscience News

Telekinesis, the ability to move objects with the power of your mind, is just the stuff of low budget horror movies or conjuring tricks. This soon may not be the case according researchers of Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St Louis. Daniel Moran and Eric Leuthardt have successfully shown that "electrocorticographic" signals from electrodes placed on the surface of the brain can be used to move a cursor on a computer screen with an accuracy of over 70%. Their aim is to build prosthetic hands that can be controlled purely by thinking without the complexity of attaching peripheral nerves or muscles. For the full story from The Institute of Physics click here.

Training in London, England

If you would like to learn how to Mind Map, improve your Memory and Speed Read then you may like to attend one of our public courses. Started in 1997 and developed ever since, this course is proven to improve your effectiveness. The philosophy is simple. If we know a little about how the brain functions we can work in harmony with it and improve the way we think. If we know how and why we forget, we can learn to remember more. If we understand how the eyes naturally move we can use this knowledge to read faster.

Conducted over a weekend in South Kensington, London, in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, you can take the time to invest in your future. The course is suitable for individuals or families and is open to anyone from 11 years old upwards.

So, whether you’re swamped with paperwork, want to breeze through exams or just gain a deeper understanding of your amazing brain, we can help. To accommodate people who travel long distances the course timings are 2:00pm to 8:00pm on Saturday and 10:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday.

For more details click here.


That's all for this month. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions. (Contact Details Here.) I look forward to hearing from you.

Phil Chambers