Tips to Help Remember People’s Names

“I call everyone 'Darling' because I can't remember their names.” -Zsa Zsa Gabor

Remember names

How many times have you run into someone you have met only a few times, and completely draw a blank on their name? Or, you are with a friend or colleague, and bump into someone and fail to introduce them because you can’t recall their name? Don’t worry! We have all been there. However, when it comes to networking, and establishing relationships, it is important to take note of these important details. It always feels nice when you see someone, and they instantly call you by name. It makes you feel valued and appreciated. Therefore, today, let’s chat about some tips to help remember people’s names. 

As we age, we are more likely to recognize faces, but struggle with recalling names. Research has found that about 85% of middle aged, and older, adults face this challenge. 

Rely on repetition  

When you meet someone, and they tell you their name, do your best to use it throughout the remainder of the conversation. Of course, this should be natural, and you shouldn’t keep repeating it to the point that the interaction becomes awkward. But take note of their name, and then say it a few times as you continue to chat.  

Spell it out 

This is a great trick, especially if someone has a unique name, or one you haven’t heard before. Ask the person to spell it out, and visualize it in your mind. This will help you recall the name by providing a visual cue for your brain. Another good idea is to always ask for a person’s business card, so that you have another reminder of their name. Once you have finished your conversation, be sure to record their name and contact information into your phone, as another way to help you remember. 

Activate alliteration 

Who hasn’t used a form of alliteration to help remember important facts or information? The same goes for name recall. When you hear a name, think of something related to that person that starts with the same first letter to help jolt your memory. For example, if you meet a lawyer named Clint, you could give him “Clint’s Court.” The idea is to think of something catchy that you will remember, and associate with that individual the next time you meet.  

Create a mental image 

Some people are visual learners, and associating people’s names with a silly or interesting image might help with remembering. In an article from Business Insider, Vivian Giang recalls advice she learned from the Dale Carnegie training course, “Picture images that sound like a person’s name — and combine it with other things you know about them. If you meet someone named Laura from Brazil, imagine her with a laurel wreath on her head swimming in the Amazon River.” 

Put in the effort 

In some cases, people don’t remember names because they aren’t truly engaged or don’t care. When meeting someone new, especially when networking, putting in the effort begins with learning and remembering the names of connections. The more you care, the more likely you are to retain important details. 

We would love to know your tips for remembering names! Find us on LinkedIn, and let us know. 

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