Translator: Oksana MolodoriaReviewer: Marìa Antonella Grassi I wonder if you can relate to this.
Have you ever had trouble remembering information? Lines of writing like this? When I was at school, one way I used to learn was this: I used to read.
And reading's a great way to learn, isn't it? But you know, sometimes my expression would be a bit like this.
Because what I used to find was that sometimes I'd be reading all these lines and they just weren't going in.
Is this familiar to you? And I'd sometimes turn the paper over and try to remember it and my mind had just gone blank and I couldn't remember anything.
And then I'd start to get really worried.
I'd start to sweat and fret and get all anxious, especially if it got nearto the examination.
And I thought to myself, “I'm never gonna remember any of this!” And I also thought to myself, “There must be an easier way, mustn't there?” And there is.
Because if we take that information and we turn it into a picture with a drawing, we remember it.
Because when we draw, we remember more! But you know the only trouble with that? People say, “That's a great idea but I can't draw.
” But I believe everybody can draw certainlywell enough to make learning memorable.
And today I'd like to show you how to do that.
We're gonna start building up our visual tool kit with, firstly, a circle.
So get your paper ready.
Let's have a go.
Have your paper this way around like the flip chart.
And we are gonna start by simply drawing a circle like that.
Next, what I'd like you to do is draw two more circles and make them into eyes.
Then a nose.
And then a nice smile.
And now over here let's try another one.
Some more eyes, this time looking in this way and a nose.
And this time let's do a different expression a circle which we can shade in and we've got a shocked expression.
Let's try one more just down here.
Another circle! And this time draw the eyes, but looking upward, and then a nose.
And now watch carefully, if you blink, you might miss it.
(Laughter) A thoughtful expression.
So that's our first shape in our visual tool kit, a circle.
And everything we're going to do is gonna be as easy as that.
So just turn your page over and we're gonna build our visual tool kit up.
This time again have your page in portrait style and we're gonna begin over here.
And the first shape we're going to do is a diamond.
So just draw that.
Then we think, “What could we make it into?” Put a triangle on the end.
Now I'm gonna put a little eye there and a smile.
Got a little fish! Perhaps some bubbles.
There we are.
In the centre draw a circle.
Now connect the circle with a line to the fish.
We'll call that number one.
Now draw a line up here.
We'll call that number two.
We're gonna do a circle again.
Here it goes.
And next a couple of eyes looking that way.
And now a nose and a smile.
Two triangles on the top and next, three lines this way, three lines that way and we've got a cat! Let's go over this way.
Let's draw a circle at the top.
Now let's draw a line down and then another line here to make a leg.
Next, we're gonna draw a line at that way and now an arm to the side and the other one up like that.
So we've got a figure.
And if we put two little lines there could be a dancer.
Let's draw number four.
That's gonna be a triangle.
And let's see what shape we could make that into and what picture we could make it into.
It looks like a boat with another triangle and a little line underneath.
We could even put a flag on top and a bit of water there.
Next, come down here.
We're gonna draw a rectangle.
Just like that.
And let's put some circles here for wheels.
We could make a little bus out of that rectangle.
A horizontal line, two lines vertically for windows, and some people who are inside the bus.
Next, let's draw a vertical line.
A totally different shape this time.
Let's go with a shapethat looks a bit like a cloud.
But two vertical lines below and we can make it into a tree.
Finally, number seven down here.
We haven't done a square yet.
Let's do a square and we can put a triangle on top, so we combine the shapes in our visual tool kit.
A little door and a couple of windows.
So there we are.
We've used the shapes in our visual tool kit to create pictures and of course we could create many more different pictures with that.
But the wonderful thing is the amazing power of your mind to see pictures when they are not there.
Because as you look at the picture now by just taking a mental picture, it kinda going 'click!' in your mind.
You can actually remember not only the pictures but exactly where they are located on the page.
So just turn your paper over so you can't see and let's do a little experiment here and just have a look.
What I'm gonna ask you to do now: I'm gonna point to different places on the flip chart and only when I point to the fish, do I want you to put your hand up.
So do you think the fish is up here? No.
Is the fish over here? Is the fish here? Thank goodness for that.
(Laughter) What about the bus? Is the bus up here? Is the bus down here? You've got it, haven't you? So, in fact you could remember any of them that I'd asked.
And even if I'd made it more complicated, you probably could remember most of those drawings.
So drawing is a good way of remembering and there's some terrific research around this.
A particular study was done at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
And what they did was they asked people to remember 30 words and they gave them 40 seconds per word.
And they could either write the words for 40 seconds and list them.
So say a word like 'balloon'.
They were all simple words like that.
They wrote them.
Or the other task they were asked to do was draw a simple picture of it.
So there's my balloon.
Then they were given a sort of distraction task like a kind of filler task that was to do with music, so completely different, and then a surprise memory test.
What did they find? What they found was that people typically remembered twice as many pictures when they'd drawn them compared with when they'd written them.
So double the number of words were remembered when they'd been drawn.
I thought that was terrific, of course.
And the other thing I thought was really fascinating about it was: the quality of the drawings didn't appear to matter.
In other words, people didn't need to be artistically brilliant in order to create a drawing that stuck in their mind.
And they even looked at other ways of remembering to compare with drawing.
For example, they got people to visualize words, they got people to write descriptions of words, and they got people to look at pictures of words.
In every single case drawing always came out on top.
So drawing was a great way to remember that list of words.
And in my experience, drawing can help us to remember much more than lists.
We can remember facts, we can remember abstract concept, even whole topics with drawing.
And I'd like to show you how we can do that.
One of the keys is to link a picture and a meaning.
So let me give you an example.
Here we go.
We've seen this before.
We've got our tree.
We could ask ourselves, “What does the tree mean?” It could mean lots of things, couldn't it? It might mean 'LIFE'.
It could mean 'GROWTH'.
It could mean 'STABILITY'.
And you could think of lots of other meanings.
And incidentally that's a fantastic thing about our drawing tool kit, because once we can draw something like that tree we can link it to many, many different concepts and ideas.
So it's useful to be able to use our visual tool kit in this way.
But of course, when we're trying to remember information, we don't get the picture first.
We've got the information first or the concept and then we have to think of a picture.
So we have to start getting used to thinking in pictures.
So, for example, if I said to you aconcept such as 'innovation', you might think, “What picture comes to mind?” When I'm thinking of a spark, or I'm thinking of a light bulb, we could think of many more.
So it's about thinking in pictures.
So let's get a bit of practice at thinking in pictures.
Now, I could take any topic and I'm gonna pick a topic from biology.
And incidentally I am not a biologist, but one of the things that I'm lead to believe is that white blood cells one of the things they are very good foris defending us against germs.
In fact, apparently they engulf bacteria and they render them totally harmless.
So really good to have white blood cells.
Let's think of what picture comes to mind.
You could think of lot's of things and, of course, what's important is that the picturethat you think of makes sense to you.
We're all individual.
But I was thinking of using my visual tool kit to create a little character.
That's a white blood cell.
There it is.
And why is he looking so happy? Well, he's looking particularly happy because he's got a shield same shape as the fish and it's got 'STOP' written on it.
And, there we are, he's holding it up.
And the reason he's holding it up is because he's defending us.
And he's defending us against.
See this shape? A little bit like the tree.
But this time I'm gonna make it into a germ.
There he is.
Give him some legs.
And he's looking particularly unhappy in fact, he's completely fed up because he's got his arms in the air, because he's surrendering.
He's been completely defeated by the white blood cell.
So once we've got a picture like that we'll remember it.
And we could do things like add colour to pictures which is great because the brain does love colour.
So let's take an example of an abstract concept.
We might think: “How could we possibly remember that or illustrate that?” And people often say, “You need to draw a handshake.
” Some of you might be thinking, “That's tricky to draw.
” A little tip from me: there's always an easier picture.
And I'm gonna show you a picture that somebody came up with on a workshop that I was running.
And it went like this.
Have you ever had the experience of someone else coming up with an idea that you'd wished you'd thought up yourself? (Laughter) Because as he started drawing this, I thought, “This is so simple!” You can see where I'm going with it, can't you? A little figure on the top, there we are.
Helping us to remember 'TRUST'.
And here we go.
I wonder how well you can remember those seven pictures that we had earlier on.
I'd like you to take a blank piece of paper and make sure you hide the original.
We'll do a little experiment here.
And I want you to just to draw the circle and the seven lines on that paper and have about a minute to just start drawing in all the pictures you can remember.
So I'll give you some time just starting from now.
Now, you may or may not get all of them, that's fine.
If you get stuck on one, just look at the flip chart and pretend they're all there.
Just see if you can see them in your mind.
You may want to put the numbers on.
There's a lot of concentrating going on.
Can help each other act a little bit there.
Just quick sketches are fine.
I can see a lot of activity down there.
Ok, so you've had about a minute, just wherever you got to, that's fine.
You may have got some or you may have got all.
Sometimes people draw in a bit more detail, it takes a bit longer.
That's absolutely fine.
So here we go.
What I'd like you to do now is altogether just hold your pictures up facing me.
Hold them up! All up! Fantastic! And I'm looking down here and wow! I can see.
We've got all on most I can see down the front here.
You can compare them with the flip chart here.
So there we are! (Laughter) Alright.
So, we can actually.
A bit of excitement about, isn't there? (Laughter)We can actually all get used to drawing and making information memorable with pictures.
And the great thing is what I'd invite you to do is to start using these skills for yourself and for others.
You might have children, friends or colleagues.
And you could help them to use drawingsto make learning memorable because after all, we're all life-long learners and the ability to draw can really expand our learning potential.
So I invite you to get your drawings out there and spread the word that when we draw, we remember more! Thank you! (Applause).