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How to Never Forget a Name Again


What’s in a Name? The world is a much smaller place today, with greater modes of transportation and faster means of communication. And in such a scenario, forgetting someone’s name is embarrassing for both parties. In fact, in a business environment or social circles it is even considered disrespectful. Remembering names is a small yet significant way of showing respect and creating a healthy relationship with clients in a global market.

Believe in Yourself: If someone keeps telling themselves that they’re bad at remembering names, they will most likely excel at it and even forget their own! Lack of belief in oneself is the only thing that ever deters us from succeeding at any task. Only if you tell yourself that you can do it, will you be able to be good at remembering names.

Make An Effort: You cannot expect yourself to remember a name if you don’t hear it in the first place! Whenever meeting a new person you should always keep your eyes and ears open, don’t give in to distractions; pay attention when the introductions are made. Business-related meetings are very important and making a good impression on the client is of top priority. You should make the person feel important and show ample respect.

First Hearing: As soon as a person is introduced by name, you must say it to yourself twice or thrice before saying it out loud at least once. You should try to say it exactly as you hear it. If you hear a unique, foreign or heavily accented name, you should not feel shy of asking for a clarification. Remembering names is possible only if you understand them, so familiarize yourself with the spelling and specially the pronunciation. For example, Henry is pronounced as [hen-ree] and also [awn-ree]. Pay special attention to the accent used by the person saying their own name. Always try to repeat the name after them and not just say, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say that again!” as it can seem impolite. If you show sincere effort in trying to learn their name the person will surely appreciate it.

Repetition: Repetition is the key to remembering names. You should try to use names in the conversations. Saying the person’s name over and over will help you familiarize yourself with the name. Using the person’s name and making eye contact is a very important part of communication tips as your brain will automatically start associating the name used with the face seen while talking to the person.

A Name with a Face: The human brain has a special region for processing faces, so often you would recognize a person from his face but will end up short on syllables when it comes to their name. Visualize the name, imagine the letters in the name float above the person’s head and imagine them bounce along as you talk to them.

Show me the Meaning: It is easier to visualize names which mean something. For example, names like Summer, White, etc. are easy to visualize. Just imagine Ms. Summers wearing bright summer clothes, or Mr. White wrapped in a white bed-sheet. For names that don’t exactly mean anything, try breaking up the name, for example ‘Hillenberg’ can easily be broken down into and-berg (iceberg).
A Quick Jotting: Writing something down is the simplest way of remembering something for later reference, similarly for remembering names you can simply write down names on business cards or small notebooks.

Remembering names can be face saving in social arenas, help build contacts in the business world, and help you in your business communications. Nobody likes to be called by the wrong name, but with small techniques and a little effort this task becomes second nature.

Andrew Clayton is a writer with a passion for great speeches, communication tips, & public speaking skills who enjoys sharing insights about his passion with others