We meet a lot of people over the course our lives. Depending on where we work and how we socialize, that number may be tenfold. Do you often find yourself in a room full of people that you have met before but you are struggling to remember their names? There are some tips you can use when meeting people that will help their names stick in your memory.
Pay attention when you are being introduced. Don’t be thinking of what you plan to say next or how you plan to make small talk once the introductions are made. Listen attentively and be interested in the name of the person you are meeting. Too many of us are wondering if we left something on at home or how we look or what someone across the room thinks of us. Be mindful of the introduction and give your attention to the person across from you.
When you are first introduced to someone, repeat their name. Repeat it often. You are imprinting it on your brain. Ask them by name how they are doing. Ask them by name what they do for a living. Use their name in the sentence. This helps you to verify that the name you heard is their real name.
Some names are easier to picture than others. Picture their full name and study their face while you are talking with them. Some people actually imagine the name of the person written across their face. That means they have learned the name and the face and are able to associate both correctly. Again, this works best when you are focused on the person across from you and not the one hundred things left on your to do list. Be in the moment and take the time to associate the name with the face.
Another tip to help remember someone’s name is to associate a word or words with the person. If the person has characteristics that remind you of someone use those to help you remember the name. Associate the name of the person with what they do for a living if that helps you, or with where you met them. Anything that helps you associate the name with the person is what you are looking for– no matter how silly it may seem.
If you meet this new person in a business setting and it is possible you are going to have future dealings with them, it is best to keep a file of new contacts. As soon as you can write down the names of the people you have met and even a note or two from the context in which you met the person. This will help you trigger your memory as well and will also provide you with valuable information should you need it in the future.
If all else fails, or if you met a lot of new people on any given day, you can ask someone what their name is. Don’t be afraid to ask. You can even explain that there were so many people at whatever event you were at and that you want to make sure you have remembered it correctly. It shows an interest and will also help start off a conversation.