Remembering names is one of the simplest yet most important factors of interacting with people. A person’s name is the single most important word to them. As Dale Carnegie said, “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.” Use these 4 tips to remember names.
- Pay Attention: Be sure to pay attention as you are introduced. You’d be amazed at how little attention we pay to the person we are meeting. Clear your mind and focus on them not on you or what you’re going to say next.
- Repeat: As soon as you’re introduced, say, “It’s lovely to meet you, Jane. Repeat the name silently to yourself a few times. Repeat the name throughout the exchange. Try to also use their name during conversation and when the conversation is at an end.
- Mental associations: Make a visual connection with a person’s name to something memorable in your world. Try to connect the name with a familiar image or famous person. Associate the person’s name with a picture that is easy to recall.
- Did I mention Repeat? Use their name frequently: People typically like the sound of their names so this tips bears double mention. Try to use their name at least three times during your conversation: when introduced, during the conversation and conclude with their name.
After meeting the person, jot down notes with their name, where you met, how you met and the specifics of your conversation in a “new contacts” file (paper or electronic). Take a look at your notes prior to the next time you anticipate seeing that person.
Although it makes us uncomfortable, we all forget names. If you absolutely can’t remember a name, try to offer any information you can remember, such as where the two of you may have met. Alternatively, if you shake hands and introduce yourself, your contact will most likely follow suit.