Saturday, May 1, 2010

How to Remember Names: 7 Easy Tips and Techniques to Help You Recall a Person’s Name

“If I could remember your name, I’d ask you where I left my keys.”
Bumper Sticker

“If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.”
Dale Carnegie

I could always remember a person’s face, but never his name. Does that sound familiar or what?

Then there are those awkward moments.

“I know we’ve been on a few dates already, but what’s your name again?”


“Peter, thanks for staying at work late today.” ——> “My name is Bill…”

Your name is one of the most important things to remember. It is the simplest representation of your identity. In fact, your name is so important that it’s on every single legal document and record of your existence.

At the same time, while remembering a person’s name is so important neither you nor I can seem to remember someone’s name even if our lives were at stake.

With high hopes to solve this problem, here are 5 tips and techniques I’ve found helpful.
in remembering someone’s name.

1. Use the person’s name immediately after introducing yourselves

When a person says, “I’m Kelly, what’s your name?”

You could say, “Nice to meet you Kelly, I’m SpongeBob,” though you might substitute your real name instead, like Aaron or something.

This will help to secure the person’s name in your memory.

2. Say the person’s name frequently throughout the conversation

I’m not saying you should use the person’s name every sentence, but do drop it in the conversation a few times here and there.

People love to hear their names, so don’t worry about the occasional use in the conversation.

You will make the person happy and it will help you to remember the person’s name better.

3. Focus on something unique about the person

When you’re talking to the person, find something that sticks out in your mind to help you remember his name.

For example, if Kevin is the only man in the world who can sing five notes at the same time, that would be something interesting to associate with his name. Perhaps Stefan is from Switzerland but hate Swiss chocolates, instead he likes Belgian chocolates.

Basically, anything unique or out of the ordinary can help you to remember a person’s name.

4. Get the person’s business card

Ask the person for a business card. Then write down some things to jog your memory that can help you put a face to the name.

5. Ask the person if you can take a picture of them

Most mobile phones manufactured today include some kind of camera. It’s nearly impossible to get a phone without a camera.

Depending on the person, this could be somewhat awkward. If you play it off right, however, you’ll be able to have a picture that’s associated with the person’s name.

You could make a quip about your old age and having a bad memory. Perhaps you could tell the person about how beautiful they are and that you never want to forget their name or face. Any other witty comment that brings a laugh or smile will also be adequate to save you from utter embarrassment.

6. Write the name down

People remember things differently. Some people remember by doing, others by listening, and some by seeing.

Writing the person’s name down is another tool in the chest to help you remember his or her name.

7. Use a descriptive that rhymes with the person’s name

Maybe Bill is a Barber, so Bill the Barber might help you to remember his name. Sally is silly. Mike rides a bike. Amy thinks quail tastes too gamey.

Admittedly, those are some pretty sorry examples, but you get the picture.

Find a quality or personality trait about the person, that rhymes with his or her name.

At any rate, even if you’re like me and can’t remember a person’s name to save your life, try and try again.

What are some other tips and techniques you find helpful in remembering people’s names?


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Just to educate myself.
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