Online Printing Company

How to Remember Names

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by No Comments

If you’re in business and you’re any good at it, chances are you meet people pretty frequently. Of course it’s hard to keep them all straight. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. People appreciate it immensely when you remember their names. They feel valued and they will, in turn, hold you in higher esteem for your efforts.

The business card exchange is a great opportunity to create memories of your new contact’s name. Business cards can also be used as a tool to help you recall. Use them. Here are some tips to help you remember more names of business associates with more ease.

  1. Pay attention

Most people can’t  recall memories later mainly because they never formed them in the first place. We often bumble through life half asleep, and don’t take notice when a person tells us his or her name. Instead we’re thinking of how we look, whether our socks are sticking out of the bottom of our trouser legs, or what to order for lunch. If you want to remember names better, you have to make a decision right now to actively stop all these distracting thoughts. When a person introduces himself to you, look him right in the face and hear every syllable of what the person is telling you. Let it echo in your mind a few times. Now you stand a chance of forming a memory.

  1. Say the name again

Whether the name is John Smith or Mikhaela Hortonovovitch, say it out loud back to the person. “Mikhaela Hortonovovitch, what a pleasure to meet you.” Why do this? Well, by actually having used the name once already, while looking in the person’s face, you have incorporated the memory in yet another way. Again, do this with your full attention to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

  1. Look at their cardSpot UV Business Cards, square corners

When you receive a business card, look at it. The person who gave it to you wants you to – that’s why they bothered to have cards printed in the first place. Read the name on the card again, this time hearing it silently in your head. Now quickly look back up at the person’s face. Do this one more time if you can get away with it. All of these repetitive actions are working toward forming a solid memory in your mind of that person’s name for future reference. Plus, now that you’ve read the person’s name on the card, you’ve experienced the words by a) hearing them, b) saying them, and c) reading them. You are likely to retain them now.

  1. Create a memory device

While you’ve got the person in front of you, use these moments to create a “mnemonic” or memory device – a trick so that you’ll remember the person upon seeing them next time. Let’s say that Mikhaela Hortonovovitch has a heart-shaped face. In your mind, see that heart shape exaggerated on your new acquaintance’s face. Now, in your mind, hear the word “Heartonovovitch.” When you see Mikhaela again, that heart-shaped feature you’ve concentrated on will again stand out to you, and you will remember “Heartonovovitch,” which will then remind you of her real last name, Hortonovovitch.

  1. Cheat

This tip is not really cheating – it’s more like actual studying. Sneak away with the business card and make some notes on it. Write, “heart-shaped face, tall, has two kids who both play soccer for the local school,” as added information on Mikhaela. At the end of your day, go back through the cards you picked up that day, look at Mikhaela’s, and read over your notes one more time. You’ve now spent half a dozen moments thinking about this name in conjunction with your image of this person. You are extremely likely to remember her name the next time you encounter her.

As you can see, the main point in remembering more names is being more attentive and forming memories in the first place. Even if you don’t immediately start remembering every name you hear using these tips, you’ll surely see some improvement. At worst, you’ll remember a few key things about the person thanks to all the attention you paid during your meeting with them, which will also be appreciated.