“You can improve your memory by 500% OR MORE!” and “Switch on your mega memory!”: these are some of the quirky phrases written on Kevin Trudeau’s Mega Memory program package.
My dad purchased this expensive package for me when I was 10 years old. He’d seen Mr Trudeau on late night TV wow an audience with his ‘photographic memory’. But now, as an adult, I can’t help but feel a little cynical/skeptical as I revisit the Mega Memory program knowing that Mr Trudeau has recently released a book called ‘The Weight Loss Cure’.
Did I ever get a photographic memory from doing Mega Memory as a child? I’m afraid not.
Perhaps a better question to ask is, did the program help me to improve my memory? You bet.
Let’s face it, there was nothing new or particularly special about the information contained in Mega Memory. All Mr Trudeau did was package up a bunch of memory techniques (that have been around for a very long time). More importantly and impressively, he managed to get millions of people (my dad and I included) excited about learning more about the human mind and memory. He sparked our curiosity and got us thinking about how far we could push ourselves mentally. To be engaged in this kind of conversation as a child was priceless.
I have to hand it to Mr Trudeau, he knew a thing or two about effective learning. In lesson 1 of his program, he sets out some really smart ground rules for taking his program. These are:
Take a 10 minute break between lessons No heavy eating before going through a lesson No alcohol or drugs before going through a lesson No sugar or white flour before going through a lesson
Most of us know the effect of eating too much sugar or a greasy, heavy meal before studying or working. We can find it hard to focus and think clearly. Mr Trudeau’s ground rules should not be limited to studying memory techniques. They can be applied to all areas of our lives.
He also knew about the importance of taking baby steps to slowly build your confidence. One of the first memory techniques his program teaches is the Peg-Word Mnemonic. In my opinion, it is the simplest memory technique to learn (it takes about 5 minutes to learn).
I sometimes teach students this technique in workshops for several reasons. Firstly, it helps them to memorise lists of information really easily and quickly. Secondly, it shows students how they learn information best and thirdly, it builds their confidence. Once they realise ‘Hey, this actually works! I can do this!’, they are more open to learning about other strategies that will make a difference to their studies and life.
To sum up
I can’t say that I improved my memory by ‘500%’ by doing Mega Memory. But that’s okay. As skeptical as I am of charismatic salesmen like Kevin Trudeau, I have to say that his product (Mega Memory) contained some good ideas and techniques that did inspire me as a child to learn more effective ways to learn.
Update from June 2022: I recently completed memory champion Dr Boris Konrad’s online memory training course (SuperBrain!) and I highly recommend taking that course over Mega Memory.