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Memory Strategies

As we discussed last week, speech-language pathologists often work with individuals who have issues with their memory to help strengthen and support their skills. Memory is an integral part of our day-to-day lives, and can play a huge role in everyday functioning and communication. When someone has difficulty with memory, it can impact most facets of their life.

Speech-language pathologists—also known as speech coaches, speech therapists, or, in the business world, corporate speech-language pathologists—are trained to help remediate memory difficulties. One way in which they do this is by assisting in the development of compensatory memory strategies.

External compensatory strategies utilize outside resources to assist in recalling information. One of the most common external compensatory strategies is to use a day planner. By recording specific tasks and events in a day planner, you not only aid in remembering future events, but to help you recall those that have passed as well. Day planners are ideal for remembering basic events with few details, but there is some information that is best recorded in depth. For this type of information, a daily journal or similar strategy may be more appropriate. For example, one client experienced significant stress when talking to his boss or colleagues in one-to-one or small-group meetings. He found that in the days following the meeting, he would have extreme difficulty recalling exactly what was said, and would worry about being redundant or inappropriate in their next conversation. Together, we developed a book of “conversation notes.” Immediately after meeting with someone, the client would jot down a quick, bullet-pointed summary of what was discussed, each party’s stance, and the outcome. The content was similar to minutes received from a typical, more formal business meeting, but tailored to the individual and his conversations. The client found that by referencing this book before a scheduled meeting, he was much more confident in his interactions, and able to express his viewpoints and suggestions in a clearer, more professional manner.

Stay tuned: next week we’ll discuss a different way to help augment your memory—internal compensatory memory strategies.

Want to improve your communication and speaking skills? Give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com. Let our team of corporate speech-language pathologists help you turn communication into your most powerful professional tool. Don’t live in NYC? No problem! Our services are Skype ready, so CSS can help you improve your communication from anywhere in the world.