Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Your Verbal Intelligence: More from Head First & Tony Buzan

I'm somewhat obsessed with my brain, probably because my father died of Alzheimer's disease after suffering for years, and my mother ended her days not recognizing anyone. Tony Buzan's fun ways of keeping your mind working in Head First is very appealing to me--and obviously to millions of others. Without knowing how to Mind Map--something I want to talk about at some point--you can do some exercises to increase your "Verbal Intelligence." Buzan says, "Too many people feel that they cannot really improve their verbal skills--wrong! It is easy to become a Verbal Intelligence genius." 

Buzan says the the writing vocabulary of the average person is 900-1,000 words; the speaking vocabulary of the average person is 1,000-1,100 words; and the recognition vocabulary of the average person is 5,000 words. Shakespeare is the world record holder with 25,000 words!

If you're interested in increasing your Verbal Intelligence, Buzan gives you a Brain Workout, which I'll shorten, but it will help you to see the many things you can do to easily become more successful. Since the average writing and speaking vocabulary is 1,000 words, it would take only a few hundred words to greatly increase your verbal ability.  

1) Increase your Vocabulary
Every day, pick one new word that you wish to add to your vocabulary. Use it in different contexts 5-10 times a day. If you begin with a 1,000 word vocabulary, you'll increase your vocabulary in one year by nearly 40 per cent. The brain is capable of storing billions of words per year!

2) Play Verbal Games
Play games like Scrabble or do crossword puzzles or similar word games and puzzles. Play around with words with friends, make up poetry and stories.

3) Read Voraciously and Widely
Select a reading course for yourself. Choose books on different subjects--history, drama, fiction, travel, exploration, or whatever you like. Make sure that some of the books stretch your brain!

4) Buy a pocket dictionary
Keep it with you at all times so that you can look up any new, unfamiliar words that you come across during the day. And use a big dictionary at home for indepth background and explanations for all your new words.

5) Buy a Thesaurus
A thesaurus is a remarkable book that lists all the words that have the same or similar meaning for any word you choose. Great for expanding your vocabulary.

6) Learn to Speed Read
Simple techniques for improving your speed include:
a. motivate yourself to read faster and you will.
b. look out for key words and ideas.
c. take in chunks of meaning rather than individual words.
d. keep the book a reasonable distance from your eyes.
e. guide your eyes by using something as a pointer (a pencil, pen, etc.), which you move smoothly underneath the line you are reading.

7) Improve your Concentration
People often lose their concentration when reading, mainly because they don't take enough breaks. Give your eyes and yourself a break. Try underlining or highlighting key words with a marker pen as well...your concentration will improve.

8) Reading Words and Remembering Them
What your brain remembers are key words from what you read. This is where a Mind Map with colors and images can help you remember. Reviewing the information will also help you remember it.

9) Develop your Logical Thinking Powers
Make a game of finding relationships between words, such as brain teasers. Look out for errors in logical arguments in newspapers and magazines, etc.

10) Learn a New Language
Try learning a new language every 10 years or so. Now that you know that every language contains roughly a thousand words most commonly used, it isn't so daunting. Learn the vocabulary first and then add the grammar.

Buzan gives a few more suggestions, but you can start with these ten, if you think you'd like to improve not only your verbal skills, but your life. A good life it seems to me is an interesting life, and that includes all the things that go on in our world with words and pictures. I think I'm going to learn French, simply because Quinlyn is taking French this year, and I had a year of it in college. Or should I go back and learn German again? That was one of my majors in college. Hmmm...decisions, decisions. Of course, the important thing is to do something to improve your mind and keep your brain moving!

Have a good Tuesday. Remind yourself that every day is filled with so much good from God.


No comments:

Post a Comment