We’ve all been there. You’re in a loud room full of chatter. You can barely hear the person standing next to you, but then it happens. Your ears perk up. “Did someone just call my name?” Why is it that our name often sounds clear as a bell, even in the loudest of situations? Famed lecturer Dale Carnegie once wrote: “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
If hearing your name can create an innate feeling of importance, imagine how realizing that someone forgot your name makes you feel. Remembering a person’s name is not only a sign of respect, but it can also be a critical first step to forming a connection with them. Whether you find yourself at a networking event, or your next social gathering, use these tips to better remember each new person you meet.
Before you step into your next networking opportunity, make a pledge to yourself – a simple promise that you will make every effort to be an attentive person who remembers new people and their names. Often times, it’s so easy to give way to excuses like “I’m bad with names”; but in reality, if you focus on your goal of genuinely getting to know people, you’ll likely find that no excuse is necessary.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to commit someone’s name to memory is to repeat it out loud after they introduce themselves. I promise, this doesn’t have to be as awkward as it sounds, plus, it’s science! Repeating something you recently heard out loud triggers the auditory part of your brain and helps increase your chances of remembering your newest factoid. You can casually do this by repeating the person’s name when it’s your next turn to speak, like “great point, Nathaly! I will read your blog”. Or use the name of the previous person you spoke to in your next conversation, like “wow, I just had the most interesting chat with Nathaly”. If you can casually repeat the name 3 times in the conversation – without it being awkward – you’ll be even more likely to remember it in the future.
Ever wonder why videos on some social media channels are confined to no more than 60 seconds? Studies suggest that (to no one’s surprise) the average person’s attention span is dwindling. If you’re guilty of having trouble focusing, try to pay extra attention to the task at hand by locking eyes with the person you’re speaking with. While some people may become a little uneasy with direct eye-contact, experts say that maintaining eye contact when someone’s talking to you helps double your memory retention.
4. Be Present
Similar to my last point, when it comes to meeting new people, the journey is often just as important as the destination. When you first introduce yourself to someone (or vise-versa) do your best to be extra attentive right off the bat. Trick your brain into being curious and ask questions. Not only will this liven up the conversation, but it will create a feeling of excitement and wonderment that can trigger your brain’s memory.
Bonus: if you exchanged contact details with someone you just met, jot down some of the interesting tidbits you learned about them too. You can easily do this in the note section of your Uphabit contacts.
5. Spell It Out
Does the person you’re speaking with have a less common name? Whether you’re adding them to the contact list of your personal CRM, or just getting to know them better, you might want to consider asking them to spell their name out for you. Why? Well, just like my 2nd point, repeating the spelling or pronunciation of someone’s name is another trick to help you say it out loud, and will give you another contextual clue to help remember it.
6. Create an Association
Love a good pun or name game? Some people find it helpful to form an alliteration pattern with a new name they’re introduced to. Was Hannah happy to be at the event? Does Archie have an ache in his neck – sometimes creating small rhymes will trigger your memory for future meetings.
At the end of the day, take a mental audit of all the people you met and add as much helpful information as you can for each person’s contact within your UpHabit account. Try revisiting those notes the next time you speak to your new contact, and don’t be surprised at how easy it will be to build an instant rapport when you impress them with your great memory and attention to detail.