How to Remember Names

Many people struggle with remembering peoples names. I’ve always found it difficult to do, in fact until recently I’ve avoided using peoples names in conversation, and avoided conversations with people that I wasn’t sure of their name. Fortunately it’s a situation that can be mended.

Have you ever run into someone that you met briefly a month before, and they call you by your name? How does it make you feel? Important. You can give that feeling to others simply by remembering their names.

Your success cannot be had without the cooperation and support of others, and their opinion of you is greatly influenced by how you make them feel. If every time people are around you, you make them feel important you’ll be more likely to be invited to parties, and receive business opportunities.

It all starts with remembering peoples names. It’s a task that should be tackled seriously and consciously until you’ve developed the skill to recall names subconsciously. There are 4 things to focus on when trying to memorize someones name.

L – Look and Listen
I – Impression
R – Rhyme
A – Association

  1. When you’re introduced, make sure to pay attention to the persons name when you first hear it. Use their name immediately in conversation one or two times. If you’ve forgotten the name, make sure to ask for it again. If it’s a strange name, get the spelling, make sure they annunciate for you. Be sure to get it right the first time. If you need the crutch, write the persons name down on paper after you walk away from the meeting so you can review it later.
  2. Make a note of the persons impression that they give, are they tall or short? large cheek bones, pronounced jaw line? do they talk fast, are they funny? Thinking about this helps in a number of ways, it means that you’re thinking about the other person rather than what you want to say next. it helps make the person less anonymous in you mind, and thus you’re subconscious is less likely to throw out the information.
  3. Does the persons name rhyme, or can you think of a way to rhyme the name. A quick quip might help you remember someones name. ex. John Green is pretty keen if you can rhyme their name with an impression they give you even better.
  4. Association is a powerful way to remember any name. But it takes time to develop the skill to be able to quickly do it. Take the persons name, and dissect it pull apart the syllables and see if you can find visual things. ex. I visualize the name Greg with a giant egg, and the name Craig is a cracked egg. Create a scene in your mind visualizing the persons face in with the visual cues your using for their name. ex. for my name “Matt Warren” you could picture me scuffing the hell out of a well worn mat. At first this visualizing process is very tedious, but over time you’ll develop a library of queues to use and it’ll get easier and easier to do.

Remember, using someones name is the best little complement you can give.