Simple Techniques to Never Forget a Name Again.
Do you ever feel embarrassed or uncomfortable because you forgot a name?
Would you rather confidently remember names, so you can be more likable, help people feel cared about and included, and foster valuable connections?
To remember names, simply be B.R.A.V.E.
E nd with their name
Use these techniques to remember the name of a new person, or even the names of a whole roomful of people!
Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. – Henry Ford
- Stop saying “I’m bad with names. No. There’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” memory for names. There’s only a good or bad memory strategy.
- Start telling yourself that you’re good at remembering names. Or at least not good “yet.”
- Belief = effort = mentally engaged = solid long-term memory.
Say the name a few times out loud to make sure you heard it right and to lock it into your memory.
- Pay attention, listen 100%.
- Repeat it back to them and ask them to repeat it as many times as needed to make sure you get it right up front, so you don’t learn it wrong. Show that you care enough to make an effort and get it right, which most people…don’t.
- Don’t give up or accept mispronouncing it.
- Use the name several times in your first conversation. But keep it natural – don’t force it.
Cement new names and help others feel special by discussing the name itself.
- Ask questions like:
- What does it mean?
- How do you spell it?
- Why were you named that?
- This extra focus and information helps you make connections and remember.
- I learned a coworker’s name means “light” in Hindi (which none of his long-time friends knew!), so if I ever need to remind myself of the name or its pronunciation, I just Google “light in Hindi.”
- Curiosity helps them feel how much you care.
Use mental imagery to link their name to their appearance.
Our brains are wired to powerfully remember visual information, including faces and imaginary images. So use their appearance to cue your memory of their name:
1. Make an image related to the name.
Ex: What images does the name Ronald make you think of? I think of Ronald McDonald, the McDonald’s clown mascot. See him in detail, then add sounds (clown laughter), smells (french fries), emotions (creeped out), etc.
2. Find a physical feature that stands out to you.
Ideally, it’s on their face, since our brains are excellent at recognizing faces, but elsewhere can work. Ideally, it’s unique, but any noticeable feature can work. Let’s pretend the real Ronald is bald.
3. Creatively combine the image and physical feature into a unique, dramatic, scene that you graphically experience in your mind.
Imagine Ronald the Clown’s red hair falls out, leaving only bald skin. See his dismay. Hear him screaming. Imagine your shock and disgust as the red hair falls into the Big Mac you’re eating!
- The next time you see the person, notice distinct parts of their appearance again so that the physical feature (baldness) can cue your memory of the ridiculous image (clown’s hair falling out into your Big Mac), which will remind you of the name (Ronald).
- If you can’t identify any distinct physical features, link their name to something else about them, such as:
- the location you met them
- the company they work for
- their personality
5. End with their name
Use their name when you say goodbye.
- This gives you one more spaced-out review of their name.
- It leaves them feeling good, impressed, and likely to remember you, especially if you nail the names of a whole roomful of people!
Next time you meet anyone new, remember to be B.R.A.V.E.
With these 5 simple techniques, you’ll be amazed how much more easily you remember their name, whether it be 5 minutes later or 5 months.
Even if you don’t use the skills perfectly, you’ll still:
- help others feel special
- become more charismatic
- enjoy more successful relationships
- feel more confident!
If you have questions or you’re struggling to apply these techniques to your specific situation, I’m happy to help. Just shoot me a message or get 1-on-1 guidance with a free brain coaching session.
Title image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik