Memorizing pairs is far easier than memorizing single items
Suppose you have a list of things you want to memorize (like the first-initial-to-conversation-topic list from The Art of Mingling):
A - Art
B - Baby
C - Cat
D - Danger
E - Energy
I was getting frustrated trying to keep these 26 items in mind: "OK, A is for Art, B is for Baby, C is...shoot (looks) Cat, D is for...shoot (looks) Danger, E is...shoot..."
Well it turns out that if you double up the words, they become a lot easier to memorize:
It then took only took a few minutes for me to master the list. I suppose it's because pairing up the words forces us to create an association between them, and associations are naturally "sticky".
Here's the rest of the list. Great triggers for conversation starters; trigger them off the first letter of someone's name, of something you see in the room, etc.
quiz, real estate,