Members of BOMA -- the Orlando chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association -- listen to a discussion on speed reading and memory retention. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

LAKELAND – Most people don’t fully comprehend this, Alan Mong notes, but their brains are capable of storing a massive amount of information.
“Our brains, they are made to operate like a file cabinet or a computer,” he said. “I’m sorry to say people only use about 3 percent of their brains daily.”
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, he added. Think of it this way: any business owner with a file cabinet knows they only have to pull out the files needed on that particular day. It’s the same with the way our brains work, Mong said: we pull out only what’s necessary at any given moment.
“Your brain, it works like a cabinet,” he said. “It’s always what to know, when you need it.”
But what if there was a way to maximize the use of your brain, and make it work faster, and more efficiently? It’s easier than it sounds, Mong said – and highly effective.
He calls it “the winning edge theory – a small change that leads to a huge result.” He compared to sailing, when a small shift in the direction of wind can set the boat on a different course. The same is true, he said, with how we utilize our brains.
Mong operates workshops for Freedom Personal Development, a firm based in Wisconsin that helps business owners find ways to become more successful, but in unique ways. It was founded by Eric Plantenberg and Roger Seip, who had backgrounds in sales and sales management. They started offering workshops on sales training, but later expanded their outlook by partnering with The Memory Training Institute, a memory development school. Their goal is to help corporations and individuals achieve higher levels of personal success, primarily by maximizing their potential.
Mong offers the workshops in Lakeland, right near the Lakeland Airport.
“My market is Tampa to Orlando, and I picked a place in-between,” he said.
One of the things he offers is a memory workshop. The goal: to help people get rid of the clutter in their brains, in the same way someone might toss out unwanted reports in an old file cabinet or delete old files on their computer.
“People always ask me about long term memory,” he said. “We show you how to get rid of stuff in your long term memory.”
He calls this the “mental file folder system,” the way we store – and then look for – information housed within our brains.
A good test of how well people use their brains, he said, is how fast we read. He recommended that people several take hours during the week to read something – it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as they’re reading. And while they’re doing it, try to pick up the pace of how quickly the chapter of a book is read, he noted.
“I understand a lot of us don’t have a lot of extra time to read,” he said. “But the question is, how much do you retain? As your speed increases, your comprehension increases, even as you’re thinking about a lot of other things.”
It’s important, Mong said, it develop a “purpose and urgency” while reading, because “It forces your brain to grab the information the first time.”
That’s another one of the workshops that Mong offers, on speed reading.
“We do a seven hour ‘reading smart’ workshop and a memory retention workshop,” he said. “The way that we teach maximizes the way you learn. You see results while you are there.”
Mong made a presentation this afternoon about his company’s workshops at the monthly meeting of the Building and Office Managers Association, Orlando chapter. The meeting was held at the Sorosis Club in downtown Orlando.
Mong said the next sessions are on Nov. 1-2, and then Feb. 7-8.
“Reading Smart is a doubling of your reading speed, and you learn all 15 techniques,” he said. “Speed reading increases comprehension, and reduces by 70 percent whatever your reading load is, monthly or weekly. You’ll reduce it right off the bat by 70 percent.”
The cost is $899 each for the workshops, or $1,798 for both the speed reading and memory workshops combined.
He said learning these techniques will make business owners operate in a far more efficient and effective manner, and it will pay off handsomely in the long run.
“The impact on your business is going to far exceed $1,798,” he said.
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