memoryName recall is a life skill that has far more value than simply bragging of a good memory. You’ll soon be able to master this skill by using the CRAP technique described below.

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” -Dale Carnegie

The ability to recall a name is often the first step to creating a positive relationship. By using a first name in conversation after meeting that person only once before, you’ve created a positive dynamic in your conversation right from the start. First impressions are important in the personal and business world.

A great way to always remember a name is to CRAP the name. CRAP is an acronym for a four-part memorization method that will guarantee name recall every time. You’ve got to give a CRAP if you want to get good at this.

Step 1

letter cConsciously decide to remember. You must plan ahead and be relentless in your desire to be successful in remembering the name of everyone you meet. Anything less and you’ll find that you’re allowing yourself too much slack.. and that’s a sure bet to fail.

It’s far too easy to chalk up your forgetfulness to a “bad memory” while the truth is that anyone can be successful if only the desire is strong enough. Effort means everything.

Be especially mindful of your new goal before attending any new event where the likelihood of you meeting a new person is high. Challenge yourself before you even leave your home that will remember every new name and face.

Step 2

letter rRepeat the name over and over. Use it immediately if you’re still talking to the person or repeat it to yourself if the conversation ends quick.

Your brain can typically remember eight new pieces of information for about 25 seconds. If you were just introduced to three new people in the same circle (and possibly the same time), the challenge begins. It’s also likely that you’ll receive some additional new information in the conversation that follows.

Focus on the names first and foremost. Other details will be easier to remember because they’ll likely have visual associations with them. If Monica tells you that she’s a news paper reporter, you likely won’t need to employ a memorization technique to remember this because your brain will naturally create a visual reference when you hear it. If you CRAP her name, you’ll also have this visual reference, which occurs in the next step.

Step 3

letter aAnchor the Name. Creating a visual image is going to be the true secret of remembering a name for most people. Anchoring is taking the given name and immediately associating it to a feature of the person.

Anchoring takes a little practice but you’ll be good at it in no time.  The best way to practice is by using the method with people you already know and associate with on a daily basis.

Step 4

letter pPicture the name in action. This is the second step to anchoring and the last step in the CRAP method.  It’s not enough to associate the name to an object.  Create an action association in your mind.

In creating this visualization, one of the best techniques is associating the first two letters of the name with a feature and visualize the connection in motion. Picture Barb as “Balding” (as opposed to just being bald) or Matt as “Mall-Walking”. Two-letter visualization action clues are far easier to recall later on.

Visualization is also long-term. You’ll find that you will remember a name, even after a few weeks have gone by without seeing a person again. With a strong focus on CRAP, you can remember every person’s name that you’ll ever meet again.

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