Renown memory whiz Jon Keith to be featured at Oct. 9 HBA meeting

By: 
Oct. 1, 2012

Jon Keith has been featured on "The Early Show," "Live with Regis Philbin," in TIME Magazine and in the New York Times.

BY Mike Cavaliere | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

His first time on "Live with Regis Philbin," Jon Keith was handed a 170-page edition of the New Yorker and given one hour alone with it. Then, in front of a live audience, he was quizzed as to what stories and pictures were featured on what pages.

And Regis couldn’t stump him.

But for Keith, who once rattled off by memory the names of 644 people at a conference -- just to get their attention -- this wasn’t surprising. Memory is what he does. It’s his version of a magic show.

But one thing it isn’t, he says, is a trick.

“It’s a skill,” he says. “Magic (just) got me into the concept of performing. ... My profession became my hobby and my hobby became my profession.”

Today — after being featured on several other national media platforms, including "The Early Show," the "Howie Mandel Show," TIME Magazine, a front-page story in the New York Times, 450-plus radio spots and two other Regis appearances — memory training has become Keith’s business.

Ask him how he landed all of that initial national coverage, though, and he’ll answer slyly.

“It’s called luck, and it’s spelt W.O.R.K.,” he’ll say, with a grin.

For 35 years, Keith has led memory-training sessions with individuals and businesses, in order to build memory as a social and presentational business skill. He even conducts sessions over Skype.

The secret, he says, is making training fun, while also strengthening the right-hand side of the brain — since visual memory is 200% greater than verbal.

“Usually, training is so boring,” Keith says. “But fun is equal to skill-acquiring.”

Keith has lived in Ormond Beach 16 years. He has sold about 80,000 copies of two books he authored, and he is currently writing a third, to release next year.

Don’t forget

Jon Keith will put on a 15-minute presentation at the Hometown Business Alliance’s second monthly meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Performing Arts Center. He’ll hold a more intensive workshop 4-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at TGI Fridays, 24 Ocean Shore Blvd.

The cost for that seminar is $40 for HBA members, which includes a copy of Keith’s “Improve Your Memory Forever” audio book.