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.
- 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.
- Restate what is left in your own words.
- Edit what you stated to make it as short and concise as possible.
- 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.
- 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.