How to Remember Someone’s Name in Four Simple Steps

We admit this happens to the best of us. You’re at a work luncheon, networking event or happy hour and while talking to someone and he or she tells you their name. And then it happens. You quickly forget it! Was it Tom? No, wait he said Tim. Um, maybe it was Tommy.

Well, a piece on Forbes today pointed out how we can jump-start our memories when it comes to remembering new names.

1. Focus on the person. For starters, we should focus on the person and block out all distractions. Darlene Price, author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results, told Forbes, “Square your shoulders toward them, look them in the eye, shake hands, smile with your eyes, and listen—listen intently.” She added, “Make it a top priority to learn their name and engage in a meaningful way. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted; and don’t let yourself off the hook by blaming a bad memory.” 

2. Say their name aloud. Go ahead, do it! You know you want to and here’s why you should: Repetition will help your memory. Price explained, “After meeting a person, immediately say their name aloud at least twice; first as a question to confirm you heard it correctly and are pronouncing it properly, and second as a conversation starter.” Moreover, if it’s a unique name, simply ask how to spell it. Creating the visual in your head should help spark the name.

3. Say their name silently. The piece advised to repeat the person’s name silently at least 10 times in your mind. This tip can only help you and isn’t obvious at all, it’s just flexing that muscle to become stronger “Listen to what he or she is saying, and be sure to provide nonverbal cues to show you’re interested and paying attention. Then continue saying to his or her name silently in your head.”

4. Associate their name with something. In addition to saying the name silently, feel free to connect it to something that has meaning to you like Aruba Ann or Baseball Brian. And feel free to have fun with it! Price advised, “Caution: the more bizarre and exaggerated the visualization, the better. The other person will never know your image, so make it a memorable one.”

Publish date: April 5, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT