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Memory Tips: How to Remember Someone's Name

Memory tips come in handy when networking, especially when it comes to remembering someone’s name. It’s flattering to someone when you remember their name, and it helps you put them in your mental database of contacts.

Here are six tips to help you remember someone’s name:

1. Repetition, repetition, repetitionWhen first introduced, repeat your new acquaintance’s name. First, repeat it directly. “It’s nice to meet you, Tom. How do you do?” Then repeat it twice during the course of your conversation. Using their name while conversing will help cement it into your memory—but don’t overdo it, or you’ll seem odd.

2. Association/MnemonicsAnchor their name to a particular feature. In your mind, a simple “Tom” might become “Tom with the eyebrows,” “Tom wearing blue,” or “Tom with the crazy hair.” Next time you see them, that feature will remind you of their name.

3. Rhyme it. Try making a simple rhyme out of their name. This can be as silly as you like because, remember, it only needs to make sense to you. Tom could be “Tom went to the prom.”

4. Ask someone else. If you forget, discreetly ask a mutual friend. You needn’t be embarrassed. It’s far better to do this than to call them by the wrong name.

5. Introduce them to someone else. Introduce your new acquaintance to a friend to prompt them to give their own name: “Have you met Peter? He’s a good friend of mine from the polo club.” Hopefully they will introduce themselves, giving you the opportunity to hear their name again.

6. Just ask. If all else fails, simply ask them again. Politely say, “I’m terribly sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.” Everyone forgets names from time to time, so don’t be embarrassed, and don’t make a big deal of it.

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