4 Simple Tricks to Remembering Names

4 Simple Tricks to Remembering Names

A How many times have you been introduced to someone only to forget his name as soon as you have shaken hands? In addition to being frustrating and embarrassing, forgetting names can end up costing you in your professional life. When you take the extra care to notice and remember a person, calling him or her by name, you are showing that they matter to you. This also gives you an edge over your competition. There are a few things you can do to help you with this.

[pullquote align=”left”] The most surefire strategy is to repeat the person’s name[/pullquote]

A  A  A A Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. The most surefire strategy is to repeat the person’s name–both in your head, and out loud–as soon as possible after you’ve been introduced. Then, try to use the name two more times before parting. An excellent way to commit a name to memory is to introduce the person to one or two others. You can take this a step further by asking them to spell their name or asking them the origin of their name. This extends the conversation and provides more mental ‘triggers’ for you to recall the name at a later stage. It also builds rapport because you are showing an interest in their name. Remember to only ask these questions if it makes sense to do so (i.e. the name is unusual). People may question your intelligence if you ask them how to spell common names like ‘Dave’ or ‘Kate’.

A  A  A A Picture it written on their forehead. Franklin Roosevelt continually amazed his staff by remembering the names of nearly everyone he met. His secret? He used to imagine seeing the name written across the person’s forehead. This is a particularly powerful technique if you visualize the name written in your favorite color marker. To take it a step further, neural linguistic programming experts suggest getting a feel for what it would be like to write the name by moving your finger in micro-muscle movements as you are seeing the name and saying it to yourself. A  A [pullquote align=”right”] We all remember ROY G. BIV, the colors of the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) as learned in Elementary School.[/pullquote]

A  A  Use Mnemonics. A mnemonic is a word association technique that can help you remember things. It comes from the Greek word for “memory aid.” Such phrases may have little or no actual relationship with the information you’re trying to recall, but they can nevertheless jog your memory. In a Name Mnemonic, the 1st letter of each word in a list of items is used to make a name of a person or thing. We all remember ROY G. BIV, the colors of the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) as learned in Elementary School.

A  A  A  Write it down. Write down names and identifying information (or enter them in your Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, etc.). After you meet someone and go your separate ways, write down the person’s name, where you met them, and something that will remind you of what you discussed. Even better, ask for their business card. When you meet someone in a networking situation, ask for their business card. Jot down a few notes about the person and his appearance so you can differentiate him from the other people you’ve met. You can always refer back to the card if you forget someone’s name.

If you have trouble remembering names, use these simple tricks to help names stick. Use them to make a bigger impact by calling others by name and making others feel as special as they are! Besides, no one wants to go through life like baseball legend Willie Mays, who was known as the “Say Hey Kid.” How did he get that nickname? Because when Willie first came up to the big leagues, he had a lot of trouble remembering names, so when somebody spoke to him, he would say, “Say…hey you.” Don’t be “that guy”!

Dawn Krovicka