How to memorize lecture on the go

Hello everyone!

My name is Lingga and i’m new to this forum but fairly familiar with memory techniques. I want to ask your opinion on how to memorize lecture on the go like real time. I want to develop this skill to help me study a lot of information.


You memorize the lecture just like you memorize a book!!! The technique is same in both cases:

  1. Focus on the main points and collect them
  2. Convert those collected main points(words) into images(and make stories with them/link them if you want)
  3. Put the converted image into a ‘loci’(either Memory palace or pre-made visual pegs)

That is all there is……….

However,this needs a lot of practice and preparation!! But it is very much doable!


Thank you for replying me! I also have a question about reusing memory palace. Is there any particular tips and what not to do when trying to use the technique?

By “reusing,” do you mean repeatedly using one location to store a variety of information temporarily? Like a weekly grocery list or, in your case, a new lecture every other week? Or, do you mean storing different kinds of information in the same location permanently?

I’ve done the former back when I was experimenting with playing-card memorization. For me, it didn’t work well; there was too much “ghosting” from one trial to the next. I think that would have been solved if I’d had several “standard” palaces that I rotated through as I was trying to memorize cards; in theory, by the time I was back at the first palace, the cards I’d put there would have vanished from my memory completely and I could use it fresh. If that’s the kind of “reuse” you had in mind, I might suggest starting there, with a couple of palaces you rotate through. You may not need them all; you may be fine reusing one location over and over again. But if you do need them, you’ll have them.

I don’t really recommend the second approach, especially if you’re just starting out with memory palaces or the information you’re adding is in any way similar to the information you’ve already stored there. (I think it could get confusing to distinguish between the images.) That said, I’ve never tried it; those who’ve used it successfully may have some recommendations for maintaining some kind of division between the layers of information they’re storing on top of one another. My only suggestion would be to make sure the subjects you’re storing there are as different from one another as possible, to make it much easier to keep each set of images distinct from one another.


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I think lectures present a unique challenge, though. Unlike a well-written, edited book, a lecturer may not always have a logical flow to her or his presentation. Many won’t deliver material that’s conveniently divided into logical chunks, like chapters/subheadings/paragraphs in a book. They may go off on tangents that you don’t recognize as irrelevant until they’re over. Most significantly, perhaps: There’s no lingering over a page to come up with the right image. There’s no rewind. You may have a lot of information being presented all at once, which may or may not be well organized, and you have to create memorable images about the important information, while discarding all of the irrelevant information—and do it all on the fly.

So I can’t help feeling that memorizing a lecture isn’t just like memorizing a book.

Part of me really wants to say that you’ll need to take some notes to help sift wheat from chaff and create some kind of order for the material being presented. But another part of me says that taking notes should be the absolutely last resort for folks who study memory techniques!

All of that to say: I think lectures present unique challenges.



I agree. It is very tough to memorize a lecture on the fly… However, I have seen someone does it using the techniques I have outlined above. I learned the idea from him,though I didn’t practise it myself.

However, I have used the techniques while listening to videos and in office meetings.

I use a pre-made Alphabet peg(PAO) technique to quickly convert the words into images. So,converting is easier for me…

I feel,it is all about practice…

But I don’t think,math,science lectures are easy to memorize on the fly.

Ah, that’s interesting. What types of lectures/presentations lend themselves better to memorization, in your opinion/experience?


I think,the following types are very easy to encode in the memory(on the fly)…. Jordan B Peterson’s this lecture series is full of vivid,colorful stories! Lion King movie,Curl Jung, Freud, Concsciousness,Good and Evil, Shadow Self-all are easy to imagine in this lecture!


RMBittner, I very much agree with the ideas you started expressing about this.

Memorising lectures on the fly just because it is possible seems like a rather bad idea from my perspective. I have tried this at times and sure, it makes it possible for you to tell your friends or yourself about the lecture in detail afterwards, but so does taking good notes.

As you write, lectures do not usually come neatly packaged for a good memory palace. I believe it is much more effective to listen carefully during the lecture - while taking (physical) notes - and afterwards sit down carefully picking out the important stuff, putting it in systematically designed memory palaces if needed and add it into Anki. Knowing what is worth keeping is not always clear until you have a bigger picture of it all.


Hey Bob,

What i mean about reusing is the former. The main function of the memory palace is just to ease up my working memory to hold complex ideas. I also hope that this technique will increase my attention span, which is extremely short due to my ADHD. In the end, i’ll always take notes (sorry for not addressing this earlier).

So yeah, thank you for replying me and also to share some of your experience with this approach!

I have used loci to memorize some speeches on the go. It is very tiring but it works.
It is tiring because I have to select the object to memorize, transform it into a memorable image, put it in the locus, and at the same time (and this is the difficult part) review constantly all the loci that I have filled so far, otherwise I will not remember after the speech is finished.

Lectures sometimes are a bit redundant, repetitive, disorganized, so I do not find it useful to put effort to remember something like that. Unless I want just to remember the main concepts or ideas.

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I agree…A lot of practice is also needed for this type work.

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I would write it all down - as much as I could then go home, make sense of it, and rewrite it

In those days there were no laptops. I’m a fast typist, I could probably record a lecture that way. But there was a study at one of the big schools that showed that students who wrote notes, retained more than those who just took dictation.

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Great reply, Bob. Have wondered myself about the reusability of locations.