Whether it's subject knowledge for an exam that you're trying to cram, a maid of honour's speech that you're trying to remember, or that word that you can never spell, here's a few tips on how to be successful in whatever it is you're trying to learn.
Develop an interest in whatever it is that you're learning.
We're all remember the things that interests us. Very few people struggle to recall the names of people they are attracted to. If you're not really intrinsically fascinated by what you're trying to remember or are trying to learn, you need to find a method of becoming so.
Form a mental memory tree.
If there's a lot of facts that you're trying to remember, seek out a way to link them visually in your mind with a memory tree. First construct big branches, then the leaves. Leaves and branches should hold labels that have personal significance to you in some way. The arrangement of the facts, the "leaves", should be logical. It have been very well understood that ever since the 1950's, we remember the little "bits" of information to a greater extent if we chunk them. For instance, it's far simpler to remember 76543 as "765" and "543" than as six single numbers.
Connect what you're trying to learn with what you already know.
It appears that the more psychological connections we have to a piece of data, the more successful we will be in learning it. It is the reason why mnemonics (link is external)actually betters one's ability to recollect.