5 steps to truly absorbing knowledge from books and speeches.

Ever read a book and promptly forget it once you’re finished? How about a speech? Here’s a way to capture the information and retain it.

  1. Remove the anecdotes. Go through the book or speech transcript and “redact” everything that is an anecdote, or a metaphor, or a personal story. Just go at it with a sharpie! If that makes you queasy, try just creating a new word file and copy the non anecdotal or metaphorical parts down word for word.
  2. Restate what is left in your own words.
  3. Edit what you stated to make it as short and concise as possible.
  4. Write your own personal anecdote or metaphor. Relate it to your personal history, or something you read or understood in literature, a movie, or on TV. “Its like when Homer Simpson … ” is even a good exercise.
  5. Share your edited version of that simplified concept on social media and ask others to provide their own personal anecdotes and stories as in step 4 above.

This exercise is a great way to not only read a book, but to truly understand and adopt its value into your own life and see the result. Try it on even just a page or two and comment below about the result!

Note: When listening to a video or podcast you like, try being a “transcriptionist”. Write down the words being said or type them on your laptop. Its great typing practice, and it also really helps you absorb and retain what’s being said.

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