If we can remember podcasts, and audiobooks, we can definitely remember conversations. Podcasts are harder. Podcasts great to learn things while driving, or while your eyes rest, or as training. So are audiobooks. If your environment allows you reading or video content, use that instead.
If you need to remember podcasts, it is advised to practice first with an A4 notebook. Once you are proficient, you will be able to do the same in your imagination. Some guideline below.
- Do not try to visualize or write down everything. If you will do this while driving I cannot vouch for your safety. Limit yourself to a couple of visualizations per minute or less.
- You are committed to remembering only the things you write down. Write down only the things you need. You do not need grammatic perfection, do focus on keywords.
- Since not every sentence is important, we write down something short after ~1 min of talking. That means you need to develop a certain buffer in your memory for 1 min of speaking and then summarize the stuff in your words. In other words, you might enjoy the same training as people working on simultaneous translation. There are many relevant resources online.
- Doodle a visualization for each ~1 min section of the content.
Again, if you do not want to remember something it is OK to skip writing it down.
Pausing and rewinding
During the training, it is OK to pause. Personally I do not like rewinding. Notice the timestamp when you missed something, and then rewind the entire podcast to the timestamps you want to remember.
After the training, you will probably not have this privilege, so try to handle the text right the first time.
If you learn to fast-forward the podcast and remember everything, you will have much more time at regular speed. Do not start fast-forwarding if the regular speed is challenging.
The goal is not consuming videos at supersonic speed, but multitasking during the podcast. You may want to train this specifically, trying to do some calculations in your head or watching TV while listening to the podcast. Typically multitasking is harder than simply speeding up. You should be able to consume content while doing other stuff, otherwise, why use podcasts?
Take some time off. Starting with 10 min, but later it can be a week or a month.
Try to remember the podcast from your memory.
Now read your notes and try to reconstruct the podcast again.
Listen to the podcast itself. Do you feel you need to modify your notes? Did you skip something? Why?
Many people including me phase out during podcasts. There are several reasons.
- Podcasts can be boring and we cannot control the speed, so some other thoughts occupy our minds. Maybe this is not so bad if we phase back properly.
- Our audio memory is limited. At some point, we stop remembering the beginning of the buffer or are unable to update the buffer. Fortunately, it improves with practice. Especially if you try to memorize music.
- The voice of the speaker is annoying. Maybe the particular podcast is not for you and you need to read a book. And maybe by adding some effects in your amp you can improve the situation. The voice sounds different through headphones and through different speakers. You may want to add some processing: remove the treble with females, amplify mid-tones with males, maybe even add some gain for thicker voice.
- The internet connection is unstable. In this case, maybe try to listen to the podcasts you can download.
- The visualization is too good. We can be tricked by our own memorization to skip what the author has to say. Fast and intuitive visualization is often better than a great and slow one. Try speeding up your processing. Do not get excited by your own tools.
The ultimate test for your memory is telling the podcast to some of your friends. Once you become proficient you will want to do this every day.