Abraham Lincoln said that he never memorized a speech. Instead, he would re-write the speech down a minimum of three times. When he was done writing down the speech three times, he would then practice giving the speech several times and made sure to include certain gesticulations he wanted to use in his speech.
After this process, he said the speech was somehow committed to his memory.
A study conducted by researchers from John Hopkins University, found that writing something down significantly boosts retention and learning.
Why is that?
Here’s the science.
We actually have 4 Brains:
- Neo Cortex – Outer Brain Layer
- Limbic System – Mid Brain
- Brain Stem – Lower Brain
- Cerebellum – Lower Back Brain. Also Known As “The Mini Brain”
The Cerebellum has nerve fibers connecting many areas of the Neo Cortex, Limbic System and Brain Stem. The Cerebellum is directly involved in all brain motor functions. When you hear the term “Muscle Memory” what they mean is motor memory that is stored inside the Cerebellum.
When you write something down, that you want to remember, you are involving “The Mini Brain”, or the Cerebellum. Writing something down actually causes memory to be stored in not one, but two places: the Neo Cortex AND the Cerebellum.
Abraham Lincoln’s speech process was so effective in helping him “memorize” his speeches because his speech practice involved several motor activities (writing and gesticulating), which engaged his “Mini Brain”, the Cerebellum.