Nervousness and shyness can make it hard to remember a person’s name. Instead of focusing on the fact that you’re nervous, move past that to be present in the moment. It’s important to remember a person’s name. People love to hear their name, and if you go to the trouble of remembering their name, they will likely remember you. This can be extremely helpful when you’re networking at a business gathering.
The biggest mental block to remembering names is nervousness. It’s hard to remember because you’re not really listening and might not have heard the name. If you’re thinking about what to say next, how bad you are at remembering names or are overwhelmed by your shyness, you might even miss them saying their name. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Stop focusing on nerves and if you miss the name ask them to repeat it. During the conversation, repeat the name in a natural way. Use it at the end of statements or questions, but not too often, or it will appear odd.?
After you’ve heard the name, picture the person’s face vividly in your mind. Exaggerate one feature they are unlikely to change. Clothes, hair and glasses can change, but a person’s forehead, chin or nose will stay with them for life. Create a caricature of the person with an exaggerated nose or forehead. This will help when you see them again.
Animal or object association
If you link their name with an object, it will be easier to bring up their name when you think of the object. It could be anything that helps you to remember. A person named Ted could be Mary-Muffin. Lauren could be Lauren-Lego. You could rhyme the name with an object if that’s more helpful. Janet could be Janet-planet. The names do not have to be super creative. They are there to help you remember, so any name that makes that easier is a good one.
At times, it’s easier to link names with celebrities or television and movie characters especially if they have names that further link the association. A redhead with the name of Ann could be Orphan Annie. Any name that assists your memory is a good name to use.
The human mind is capable of remembering hundreds of names and faces, but we have to help it along. That means paying attention when you’re introduced to new people and grabbing one feature to help make the association with their name.