10 Effective Ways to Remember Names
Sigmund Freud says "a person's name is the single context of human memory most apt to be forgotten." Feelings of embarrassment and social ineptitude are conveyed through this forgetfulness, and unfortunately, the problem persists daily. The ability to remember names is an important skill that gives you an advantage in social and business settings. However, the way you associate and remember names is based on your learning style and personality type.
The following list of ten effective ways to remember names combines visual, aural and strategic techniques. Once you find the best fit for you, it will become easier to avoid muttering the most awkward and impersonal sentence in the English language: "Hey you!"
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
In so doing, you show them you care about them as a person. You also transform their name from an arbitrary fact into a meaningful representation of them. Ultimately, you will flatter them and make them feel appreciated.
The trick is to make your associations and dramatizations memorable and interesting. Remember, that which is exaggerated and ridiculous is memorable.
Forget About You
So don't think about yourself! Forget about you! Concentrate on them. When you become too self-conscious and nervous during the moment of introduction, it will interfere with your memory.
Write Them Down
Throughout the conversation, look down at the name in front of you, and then look at the person. Maria. Then look at the name again. Maria. Then look at the person again. Maria. You'll never forget.
The additional benefit when you do this, unbeknownst to you, is that at least one other person in your group will see you write the name down. Talk about a good first impression!
Fortunately, there are countless opportunities during the conversation to quickly say the name to yourself while you look at their face: while they get a pen, while they take a drink, while they get something out of their desk, while they laugh at your hilarious joke.
It only takes a few seconds to look at someone and silently think to yourself, "Samantha. Samantha. Samantha." Don't worry; you won't miss anything if you choose to do this at the appropriate times.
Introduce Someone Else
Furthermore, if you introduce someone you just met to another person, it allows you to: take control of the conversation, show your willingness to encourage connections and expand someone else's network of colleagues.
Listen and Look for Name Freebies
Also remember to keep your eyes open for subtle, visual reminders such as business cards, receipts, nametags, jewelry, table tents and personal papers. Without getting too nosey, it will be easy to identify these "name freebies" that paint you out of your memory corners.
These ten effective techniques to remember names will be helpful to cross the chasm between you and a potential colleague or associate. When you identify and amplify someone's name, you won't suffer a loss of face. Ultimately, your interactions and conversations will become more personal and comfortable.
Practice. Practice. Practice. That's the hard part. But over time you will learn how these different techniques for name memory will work best for you.
Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. That's the easy part. However, while practice enhances your name memory over time, it only takes a few seconds to decide to change your attitude. Don't yourself that you can't remember names. In fact, from this moment on, you are no longer bad with names. Combine this new attitude with your recently acquired skills, and you'll never have to say "Hey you!" again.
© 2005 All Rights Reserved.
Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com.
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