How to Retain Content without Taking Notes?

Hello everyone,
I am trying to improve my ability to retain the content of speeches without taking notes such as quotations, references, dates, verses, and main points. I would like the have the ability to listen to a speech and summarize it with a lot of detail without referencing notes.


  1. I try to envision the words like a film before my eyes. So, for example, if a person said and they destroyed the city, I imagine a city being in flames, the sound of swords, it glimmering in the sun, the shouts of men in battle, and the smell of smoke erupting in the air.
  2. Exegerated Mental Movements. Example, "Destroyed the city, I imagine a hand swiftly destroying a city like a hand the quickly knocks down a house of cards. Then I shake the image up in my mind like water inside of a body.
  3. The use of colors: So, when I hear the word “judgment” I think dark-red, or happy, I think yellow and I “color” the parts of the speech.
  4. I try to be aware of my awareness. Am I paying attention? I try to imagine “attention” like a rope the expands across the grand canyon. The act of paying attention is the act of walking on a rope and balancing. If I shift to the left or the right and lose my focus, I will fatally fall into the depths of distraction.
  5. For remembering dates, I turn digits into images and create short stories the relate to the date mentioned.
  6. Breaking Down the Speech: I try to break the speech into parts, even if the speaker doesn’t. For example, Part 1 Introduction. Part 2. Point 1 - subpoints (1,2,3). Point 3 - subpoints (1,2,3) and so on. Each part has an image.

My difficulty my mind must move quickly and it is hard for me to use memory palaces for speeches. The points are sort of just “out there” like images floating the sky, that I can retrieve later during active recall. I listen to speeches often and I do not have 52 palaces, and I do not prefer re-using palaces. Also, sometimes it is hard for me to “break-down” a person’s speech if it is not structured so it’s hard for me to use a palace when listening at times.


  1. What are your techniques for retaining speeches?
  2. Do you use memory palaces, if so why or why not?
  3. What advice would you give to me?

SORRY: I did not know how to edit so you may have seen another post with the same question. I just noticed that it take 48 hours for a post to be deleted.


When it comes to lectures. It’s stupid to refuse notes. Even Ramon Campayo strongly recommends using them. Another thing is that there is a big difference between effective and smart cospecting and what we do in school. A real summary can contain the meaning of 1000 in ten.

As for memorization. For this, I use multiphase imagery. The bottom line is that I put one image in my memory palace for one loci, which speaks about the essence of a whole paragraph. Then I highlight the details in it and attach additional information to them.