1. Repeat in your mind.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of meeting people and simply nodding when they say their name without making a conscious effort to remember. However, remembering names is crucial in the business world. You don’t want to seem impersonal and like you don’t care! Therefore, the first step is to make a conscious effort to remember their name when they introduce themselves. You can start by repeating their name in your head or simply including it in your next sentence. For example, if their name is Brittany, continue the conversation by saying, “It’s nice to meet you, Brittany.” or ask a question with his name at the end, “How long have you been working in PR, Brittany?”
2. Spell it out.
Psychiatrist and memory expert Dr. Gary Small suggests that asking someone how to spell their name, specially if it is complex, can really help you remember them. Whether you’re an auditory or visual learner, once they spell it out, you will be reinforcing the different ways you can remember something. Not to mention if its a very unique name, you definitely won’t forget!
3. Associate the name.
Whether you associate their name with a color, city, state, or even someone you know, the rule of association will definitely be a key ingredient to remembering someone’s name. For example, if someone introduces themselves as Avory, you might associate this with ivory, leading your brain to think of ivory when recalling their name.
Another way association can be helpful is to make a connection between the person you’re talking to, and someone else you know with the same name. For example, if they introduce themselves as Ryan, you can associate them with your brother Ryan.
4. Choose to care.
Most psychologists and memory experts point out that one of the main reasons we forget someone’s name is that we’re not really focused on learning it in the first place. Author Keith Ferrazzi’s first piece of advice for remembering names is to decide to care. “If you make a conscious decision that you are going to remember names,” he explains, “because you care about the people you meet, you will immediately become much better at doing it!”