Kwik Brain 085: How to Activate Your Multi-Sensory Learning with Jim Kwik

Jim Kwik
"Learning is faster and easier when several senses are stimulated."

Jim Kwik

By becoming a multi-sensory learner, you’ll be able to improve your focus, retain and remember information better, and become a more creative thinker.

Multi-sensory learning is based on the idea that we become better learners if we are taught while using more than one of our senses—the more senses we stimulate, the better we will remember information. Life is a multi-sensory experience—that is, to experience it fully we make use of all of our senses, including our vision, hearing, and smell—yet in traditional learning, we are so often restricted to the use of sight (through reading) and hearing (through lectures).

You might have had some experience with multi-sensory learning in school if you sang songs to remember science concepts or counted using your fingers. Marketers understand the power of multiple senses and create experiences, sounds and tactile sensations to hook us into their product.

Applying multi-sensory learning to your everyday life can improve your focus and heighten your performance at school or work—if you struggle with paying attention during long days, multi-sensory strategies can be used to keep your brain stimulated and in doing so, provide less opportunity for your attention to stray.

Today’s episode is a follow-up to our episode from a few weeks ago about how to remember numbers instantly—if you haven’t already listened, it’s worth checking out. My talk is cut from a client training I conducted as part of our Kwik Learning programs, where we train people how to read faster, improve focus, improve memory and become better thinkers, so today is a special opportunity for you to come behind closed doors and hear what we do.

You may also want to go back and check out our episodes about study skills and focus.

In this episode, I’ll explain why multi-sensory learning is so powerful, take you through the 3 main learning styles that can help to improve your learning and focus and give you some tips on how you can apply multi-sensory learning to your usual learning strategies.

Show Notes

WHY MULTI-SENSORY LEARNING?

  • Use 5 senses to interpret the information you are trying to learn and create a different representation of the information inside your mind
  • To remember numbers, Jim aims to optimize his sensory experience of the numbers
  • This means: different primary learning styles /
  • Remember: it’s not about how smart someone is, but how are they smart
  • Smart can mean how you process information, how you prefer to learn something
  • Can utilize the different learning styles to maximize your memory

VISUAL LEARNING STYLE

  • Looking at or reading the information
  • Strategy: look at the information, then visualize it
  • Research shows how you use your eyes will allow you to access different parts of your brain
  • Looking up helps you to visualize and access the visualization part of your brain—Jim uses this strategy even during his presentations
  • Use novel visualization strategies like imagining images, colors, fonts to associate with the information you’re trying to remember e.g. picture a date in a thick yellow font
  • This requires you to use more of your nervous system, which will take up more space in your brain and allow you to build a stronger memory

AUDITORY

  • Hearing: hear it from someone else, within your own mind or in your own voice
  • Auditory learning is based around repeating something e.g. saying to yourself 1972
  • Helps to have certain music on while you’re learning
  • Different brainwave states: delta (fast asleep), theta (very creative, imagination is flowing), alpha (you want to learn things in this state—relaxed awareness e.g. while you’re watching television or meditating), beta (most awake and alert)
  • Repetition itself is important
  • Repetition with different variations can help too—try repeating something with different volumes, tempos, cadences, and tonalities
  • Using novelty to memorize information is effective

KINESTHETIC

  • Body and muscle memory e.g. riding a bike, learning sports, dance
  • Strategy to remember names: picturing name on a forehead, then imagine handwriting it on their forehead to engage your kinesthetic sense
  • Writing things out will help you to remember
  • Encourage you to use all 3 senses to learn information

SYNESTHESIA

  • Synesthesia: people with incredible memories are often synesthetic—not only recall the information but see it associated with colors, hear it with sounds and so on
  • Apply the use of all 3 senses to your different learning techniques and it will become a magnifier and multiplier of your learning in your life
  • Linking information with different brain systems makes you more likely to remember it
  • Appealing to more senses make knowledge more sticky
  • Learning is faster and easier when several senses are stimulated

SHARE WITH US!

  • Take a screenshot of this program and share with us your big aha moment
  • Remember: teaching something allows you to learn something twice!

Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy

Episode 1: Learn ANYTHING Faster

Episode 19: Speed Study Secrets (Not Taught In School)

Episode 20: Hacking Flow for Faster Learning with Steven Kotler

Episode 81: Remembering Numbers Instantly