Establishing a connection means personalization. If you can’t remember another person’s name, you’re going to struggle to form a relationship, whether social, business or otherwise.

No wonder corporations like Microsoft and Lexus hire Ron White, winner of the 2009 USA Memory Championship in New York, to conduct memory seminars. White, who can memorize a 167-digit number in five minutes, teaches clients to quickly recall names and product information.”The human brain is the best computer ever made,” says White.

Of course, if White’s brain is a NASA space computer, most of our brains look like abacuses. Many people leave keys at home, lose IDs, lock themselves out of cars and forget to pick up the kids from soccer practice — but that doesn’t mean that memory can’t be improved.

SUCCESS magazine, which aims to help its readers achieve both personally and professionally, offers these tips to train your memory:

– Keep your mind active. The more you involve your brain, the more easily it will function. Play memory games and crosswords to keep your mind sharp.

– Make sure you learn the information. You can’t recall what you haven’t learned. Focus when you need to learn something. Involve all of your senses. For example, read out loud what you want to remember. Physically write it down. Use pictures or color-coding in your notes to make a visual impression.

– Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. The more often you use information, the better you’ll remember it. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, try using their name several times in conversation. You’ll be more likely to remember it later.

– Take care of yourself. Physical health affects memory. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep and good stress management can help you stay sharp, while smoking can constrict arteries that bring oxygen to the brain, thereby harming memory.

– Stay confident. Tell yourself that you can’t remember anything, and you likely won’t. Believe in your brain power, and you’ll memorize names, faces and facts more quicklythan you think.

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