What is the forgetting curve?

Ever attended a training or learned something new, only to find the details hazy just days or weeks later? As it turns out, this common frustration has distinct scientific reasoning behind it. First uncovered in the 1880s by researcher Hermann Ebbinghaus, "the forgetting curve" theory quantifies just how quickly our brains tend to shed newly acquired information without ongoing review and practice.

In this episode, Kerry shares insightful and entertaining stories highlighting the reality of the forgetting curve in action. Tune in as Kerry defines the core concepts behind the curve and shares data on just how drastic our memory drop-off often is shortly after learning.

Class Description

Explore effective learning and retention strategies in Kerry's talk, 'Overcoming the Forgetting Curve.' This talk addresses the challenge of retaining what we learn, explaining the forgetting curve concept that illustrates the decline of memory over time. Kerry offers practical techniques to enhance learning effectiveness, such as practicing memory retrieval, spacing out review sessions, and applying knowledge in diverse ways to test understanding and reinforce learning. This talk provides valuable tips for anyone looking to boost their learning efficiency and memory retention.


Kerry O’Brien is a 14-year veteran of Talent Development, primarily growing and scaling teams in the tech sector. This experience, combined with his Masters degree in Leadership, have led to a leadership practice that centers on self-care, transformational leadership, and goal achievement. Kerry is also a talker. A prolific speaker and podcast guest, you can hear him talking about everything from learning frameworks to storycrafting to energy management to being a better listener, usually with parenting stories thrown in for good measure.

Customer Service
Employee Training
Public Speaking
Training Delivery
Talent Development
University of Waterloo
Brock University
University of Guelph
Training Specialist
Learning Program Specialist
Senior Facilitator, Leadership Development & Onboarding
Learning Experience Designer, Leadership Development
Lead, Talent Development