10 Effective ways to remember names

Sigmund Freud said "a person's name is the single context of human memory most apt to be forgotten."

Feelings of embarrassment and social ineptitude are conveyed through this forgetfulness, and, unfortunately, the problem persists daily. The ability to remember names is an important skill that gives you an advantage in social and business settings. However, the way you associate and remember names is based on your learning style and personality type.

The following list of ten effective ways to remember names combines visual, aural, and strategic techniques. Once you find the best fit for you, it will become easier to avoid muttering the most awkward and impersonal sentence in the English language: "Hey you!"

1. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

As soon as you hear a name, repeat it back to the person. "It's good to finally meet you, Karen - I hear you're the expert on mufflers."

If you don't do this, you will forget her name within ten seconds of meeting her. Also be sure to repeat the name aloud in the beginning, during and at the end of the conversation. This will allow you to widen various areas of your memory circuit.

"That's a great story Stephanie!" "Wow Tony, you obviously know your hockey." If you speak the name, hear the name, and listen to yourself say the name, you will remember it.

2. Inquiry

The number one rule in interpersonal communication is to show a genuine interest in the other person. So, ask your new colleague to explain the personal significance of their name. Ask if they go by a nickname. Inquire about the culture from which their name was derived. The spelling question is also effective. Even if Dave or Bob is only spelled one way you can always ask if they prefer "Dave," "David," "Bobby" or "Robert."

In so doing, you show them you care about them as a person. You also transform their name from an arbitrary fact into a meaningful representation of them. Ultimately, you will flatter them and make them feel appreciated.

3. Dramatize Faces

NOW PLAYING:
10 effective ways to
remember names

or right-click HERE to download
audio file for mp3 players

Visit Archives HERE

You probably remember faces better than you remember names. Great! This will only make it easier when you dramatize someone's face and associate facial feature with their name. For example, if their nose or hair is particularly memorable, make a connection using alliteration with their name. Brian has bright red hair. Lucy has a long nose.

The trick is to make your associations and dramatizations memorable and interesting. Remember, that which is exaggerated and ridiculous is memorable.

4. Forget About You

"Did I give him the 'cold fish' handshake?" "Did I even look into her eyes?" "Do you think she noticed the logo on my company briefcase?" If you try too hard to make a good first impression, odds are you will have no idea to whom you make a good first impression to!

So don't think about yourself! Forget about you! Concentrate on them. When you become too self-conscious and nervous during the moment of introduction, it will interfere with your memory.

5. Write Them Down

If you are a visual learner, write down the name of the person. This is a flawless method to remember. Most networking functions and meetings take place where tables, pens, and paper are available.

Throughout the conversation, look down at the name in front of you, and then look at the person. Maria. Then look at the name again. Maria. Then look at the person again. Maria. You'll never forget.

The additional benefit when you do this, unbeknownst to you, is that at least one other person in your group will see you write the name down. Talk about a good first impression!

6. Inner Monologue

Imagine you've already used Samantha's name during the conversation. You seem to have it committed to memory. Then again, you don't want to overuse her name aurally. Even if a person's name is the sweetest sound they will ever hear, you don't want to make it too obvious that you use the repetition trick.

Fortunately, there are countless opportunities during the conversation to quickly say the name to yourself while you look at their face:

  • while they get a pen

  • while they take a drink

  • while they get something out of their desk

  • while they laugh at your hilarious joke.

    It only takes a few seconds to look at someone and silently think to yourself, "Samantha. Samantha. Samantha." Don't worry; you won't miss anything if you choose to do this at the appropriate times.

    7. Introduce Someone Else

    "Have you met my coworker Patty?" you ask the nameless person. "I don't believe I have," he says, "My name is Roger. It's nice to meet you Patty." Roger. That's his name! You thought it was Antonio! Thank God you introduced him to someone else or you would be floating up the eponymous creek.

    Furthermore, if you introduce someone you just met to another person, it allows you to:

  • take control of the conversation

  • show your willingness to encourage connections, and

  • expand someone else's network of colleagues.

    8. Listen and Look for Name Freebies

    More often than not, you won't be the only person who knows the name of your new colleague. This means that other people will say their name, and you will be reminded. No charge. All you have to do is pay attention.

    Also remember to keep your eyes open for subtle, visual reminders such as business cards, receipts, nametags, jewelry, table tents, and personal papers. Without getting too nosey, it will be easy to identify these name freebies that paint you out of your memory corners.

    9. Practice. Practice. Practice.

    That's the hard part. But over time you will learn how these different techniques for name memory will work best for you.

    10. Attitude. Attitude. Attitude.

    That's the easy part. However, while practice enhances your name memory over time, it only takes a few seconds to decide to change your attitude. Don't let yourself think that you can't remember names. In fact, from this moment on, you are no longer bad with names. Combine this new attitude with your recently acquired skills, and you'll never have to say "Hey you!" again.

    These ten effective techniques to remember names will be helpful to cross the chasm between you and a potential colleague or associate. When you identify and amplify someone's name, you won't suffer a loss of face. Ultimately, your interactions and conversations will become more personal and comfortable.

    AccountingWEB would like to thank Scott Ginsberg for sharing this valuable information with our audience. Scott Ginsberg, aka "The Nametag Guy," is the author of three books and a professional speaker who helps people maximize approachability, become unforgettable, and make a name for themselves. To book Scott for your next association meeting, conference or corporate event, contact Front Porch Productions at 314/256-1800 or email scott@hellomynameisscott.com.

    Bloggers crew

    Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.

    42353

    Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.

    74542

    Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.

    47333

    Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

    86922
    Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.
    19866

    Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".

    54443

    William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.

    79077

    Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.

    24495

    Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

    62827

    Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

    33869
    Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
    100781
    Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.
    25116

    Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

    51289
    Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
    26940
    Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.
    31247

    Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

    98131

    The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.

    32442

    FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.

    109020

    Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.

    59518

    Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

    38510
    Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.
    65411

    Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.

    91218

    AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish AccountingWEB.co.uk share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.

    52301