More ways to remember names

September 26, 2006
  1. SIMPLE STRATEGIES

    1. Pay Attention
      1. Decide to remember.
      2. Ask for a repetition if necessary.
      3. Realize that people are flattered when you take an interest in their name.
    2. “Save” method
      1. S – Say the name 3 times in conversation.
      2. A – Ask a question about the name (e.g.: how it is spelled) or about the person.
      3. V – Visualize the person’s prominent physical or personality feature.
      4. E – End the conversation with the name.
    3. Make a Simple Association
      1. Same name as someone you know.
      2. Celebrity or famous person – Monroe, Wayne or Moses
      3. Occupation – Singer, Smith, Gardener
      4. A thing or animal – Kane, Woods, Cooper (coop), Swan, Fox, Paige, Rose
      5. Brand name – Campbell, Ford
      6. Rhyme it – Kwan/Swan
      7. Convert to other words: Askew (ask you); Honeycut; Slatsky (slat sky); Cameron (camera on); Carson (car son)
      8. Note the nationality, if obvious – Lombardi, Sanchez, Wong
      9. Translate – Morgenstern is morning star
      10. Adjectives with characteristics: toothy Ruthy, dapper Dan, jaunty Jack. (You don’t have to tell the person how you are recalling their name.)
    4. When convenient, make notes on calendar, note pad, roster, program, etc.
      1. Name and prominent feature
      2. What you talked about
      3. Person’s interests, job, family, etc.
      4. Can keep permanent notes in rolodex, address book
    5. Review the next day and week until the name is known.
    6. Use your friends’ names daily in conversation, even if silently.
  2. REMEMBERING GROUPS OF NAMES

    1. Acronyms – first letter of each name spells a word.
      E.g.: Mary, Alice, Margaret and Evelyn = MAME
    2. Acrostics – first letter of each name stands for a word in a sentence.
      E.g.: Fred, Lois, Pauline, Ida = Find little pickles immediately.
      More bizarre sentences are easier to remember.
    3. Keep a file or notebook of names for each of your activities or groups. Review before each meeting.
  3. IMAGE NAME METHOD

    1. Note the person’s prominent facial or personality feature.
    2. Make a simple association or find substitute words in the person’s name.
    3. Link the person’s prominent feature with their substitute word in an unusual mental image.
      1. E.g.: Elizabeth is very fat; imagine her as a queen at an Elizabethan Feast.
      2. E.g.: Jack is a very big man; imagine him as Jack the Giant Killer.
      3. E.g.: Mr. Steel has steel gray hair; imagine brittle steel all over his head.
      4. Bizarre or unusual images are easier to remember.
    4. If their prominent feature does not directly fit their name, find a substitute word in their name and imagine it interacting with their prominent feature.
      1. E.g.: Valerie has a dimple in her chin; imagine a valley there.
      2. E.g.: Mrs. Gianelli has curly, long hair; imagine Ghiradelli chocolate dripping from her hair.
    5. These techniques are abstract and take practice. Just trying will focus your attention and improve your memory.
  4. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS – when meeting someone you know and cannot remember their name

    1. Try to recall the situation in which you met them or saw them last. “How long has it been?”
    2. “I remember you well, but your name has slipped my mind.”
    3. If introducing them to another person, say the name you do know and hope the person will volunteer their own name.
    4. “Oh, hello there; I didn’t recognize you at first. How have you been?”
    5. Some people use the alphabet effectively to cue themselves.
    6. Remember, it is unrealistic to remember everyone’s name! Decide not to be embarrassed. Everyone has the same problem.
  5. SUMMARY

    1. Pay attention.
    2. Repeat the name.
    3. Note the person’s outstanding feature.
    4. Find substitute words in the name or make a simple association.
    5. Link the facial feature and substitute words in an unusual image.
    6. Make notes when convenient.
    7. Rehearse, practice and have fun!
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How to remember names

September 25, 2006

1. Face association
Examine a person’s face discretely when you are introduced. Try to find an unusual feature, whether ears, hairline, forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, complexion, etc.

Create an association between that characteristic, the face, and the name in your mind. The association may be to link the person with someone else you know with the same name. Alternatively it may be to associate a rhyme or image of the name with the person’s face or defining feature.

2. Repetition
When you are introduced, ask for the person to repeat their name. Use the name yourself as often as possible (without overdoing it!). If it is unusual, ask how it is spelled or where it is comes from, and if appropriate, exchange cards. Keep in mind that the more often you hear and see the name, the more likely it is to sink in.

Also, after you have left that person’s company, review the name in your mind several times. If you are particularly keen you might decide to write it down and make notes.

Summary
The methods suggested for remembering names are fairly simple and obvious, but are useful. Association either with images of a name or with other people can really help. Repetition and review help to confirm your memory.