Tips & Techniques

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Does Size Really Matter?
Expand Your Vocabulary Using Memory Techniques By Chris Lyons


Apparently so.

Studies claim to show that there is a direct link between the amount that you earn and the size of your... vocabulary.

In fact, it is even claimed that vocabulary scores are the ONLY measure found to consistently correlate with income levels. (Admittedly, many of the people promoting these claims are also conveniently able to sell you a vocabulary improvement course for a business-like sum).

But putting that aside for a moment, it does seem to make sense.

What you say can say a lot about you...

People who excel at communicating, who express themselves clearly and precisely, are often thought to be more intelligent, better educated and more competent, even if it's not the case! So if you want to be even more successful, then expanding your vocabulary certainly won't do you any harm.

All good so far.

But my main reason for mentioning this is that I was somewhat bemused to read the advice of a 'vocabulary expert' (great job) on how to fast-track your business success.

The secret method to expanding your vocabulary and catapulting your way up the corporate ladder is this…

Say each new word and its meaning out loud - 25 times! Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then repeat some more and hope it sticks. Good old-fashioned rote learning.

Now I'm not saying this doesn't work. But I think I'd rather watch paint dry! (which by the way, if you haven't tried it recently, has many hidden benefits and is most definitely underrated).

Fortunately there is a faster and better way to fast-track your way to a million dollar vocabulary. And yes you guessed it... it involves using memory techniques and a little bit of imagination.

Here's how it works.

You mentally link the sound of the word to its meaning.

An example...

Acumen = keen insight

Imagine... A QUEUE OF MEN (acumen)... who are keen to hear your brilliant insights.

So you simply play with the sound of the new word then link it in some way to its meaning. A few more examples...

Innate = natural or inborn

Imagine... that you ATE at an INN (innate)... where they only served natural food.

Nexus = bond, link or connection

Imagine... a row of LEXUS (nexus) cars... all stuck together.

Enunciate = pronounce clearly

Imagine... SEEING EIGHT NUNS (enunciate)... and hearing them talking very slowly and clearly.

These are just a few suggestions.

If you play with the sound of the words you will find your own links and images which work well for you.

And if you create a good strong link - perhaps something bizarre or humorous - then you'll find the meaning hard to forget.

This method also works a treat if you are looking to learn a new language.

Some basic French for you...

le pain (pronounced 'pan') = bread

Imagine... a frying PAN full of bread.

le vin (pronounced 'van') = wine

Imagine... a VAN full of wine.

l'escargot (pronounced 's cargo') = snail

Imagine... a CARGO of snails.

Volià! Pas difficile eh?

You can even use this technique to remember capital cities - a kangaroo with a can of beer? Or even Paris Hilton and the Eiffel Tower. But I'll leave that one for your imagination.

The Final Word: Size does matter - apply a little imagination and boost your vocabulary.

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