The first technique is known as an acronym or intialism. The first letter in a series of words are put together to form one word that is easily remembered. For example, let's use the acronym IRS. It actually stands for the Internal Revenue Service. Another example is one that is used for remembering the name of the Great Lakes. The acronym HOMES represents Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie, and Superior. An example used for math would be the word PEMDAS. This acronym describes the order in which you would solve a mathematical equation. PEMDAS stands for parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. As you can see this can be a very helpful and effective aid in the art of memorization.
Another technique is referred to as acrostic. An acrostic is a made up sentence or poem in which the first letter in each words provides a clue. The most famous acrostic that comes to mind for me is the one that helped me memorize the planets. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles. This stands for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Pluto was reassigned as a dwarf planet back in 2006, but you get the idea.
The peg-word system is another technique that will effectively improve your memory skills. This is great for ordered list, but can be used with unordered list as well. First, you will need to issue an easily remembered word to a number that rhymes with it. For example, zero=hero, one=gun, two=shoe, three=tree. One you have established this system, then you can apply it to all sorts of list. Lets say that you had to memorize the order of the presidents. George Washington fired a gun that won the American Revolutionary War. John Adams can be pictured as putting on his shoes. Thomas Jefferson was the third president so you would associated him with a tree. An event that occurred during his administration was the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which will make you think of forest and trees and so forth.
The method of localization can also help you to retain facts. Lets say that you had to remember fruit in a specific order. The list of apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, and pears. You could imagine being sick in an orange room while taking purple pills in a yellow cup that made you turn green. Chaining is yet another concept for a series of words whereas you chain them together in sort of a visual movie. For example, if you were trying to remember the order of the presidents you could picture something like this. George Washington walked in and saw John Adams slap Thomas Jefferson because he said something about James Madison. James Monroe told John Quincy Adams that Andrew Jackson started the rumor. Martin Van Buren told William Henry Harrison that that was not so. John Tyler told James K. Polk that the fight was actually over his wife. You see how to effectively improve your memory using these examples. The crazier the visual image is the more that it sticks.