Forget Them Not – 4+ Tips for Remembering a Person’s Name

We’ve all had those awkward moments. The time arrives at a networking function or other public gathering when we Question markbump into someone we’ve met before, but when faced with the need to introduce that person to someone else, we draw a big, fat blank on the name. We immediately feel awful for the person whose name we’ve forgotten! We immediately feel awful for ourselves as we deal with the embarrassment!

And yet, after posting a short and sweet poll on Facebook and talking offline with a few people, I’ve discovered it doesn’t bother most of us very much at all if someone forgets our names.

Of course acknowledging that we personally don’t take offense to when our names slip minds doesn’t seem to make us feel any less like heels when we’re doing the forgetting.

So how can you keep yourself out of that precarious position? Here are a few tips that might help…

  • Be present

Not just physically there, but also mentally checked in when someone introduces you to someone else. If you give that introduction your undivided attention, you’ll be more likely to recall the person’s name on a future occasion.

  • Say it out loud

When getting introduced, say the new acquaintance’s name out loud when you meet them. “Hello, Miranda. It’s very nice to meet you.” Saying the name and hearing the name from your own self can help reinforce it in your memory bank.

  • Look them up after the event

When meeting new people, ask for their business cards, and then look them up on Linkedin. By all means, connect with them if appropriate, too. Taking your offline networking online, will help you become familiar with a person’s face and name.

  • Run the alphabet through your head

I know. It sounds strange, but it works for me most of the time. When I’m in a situation where I’ve run into someone I’ve met before, but just can’t put a finger on the name, I start (silently) running through each letter of the alphabet in my head. Almost always, the letter of a person’s first name jumps out at me, and from there I can figure out the rest. Though it doesn’t always work, that little trick has saved the day on many occasions!

As always, I don’t have all the answers and my solutions might not be the best fit for you. So be sure to check out these other resources for tips and ideas, too…

How to Remember a Person’s Name (And What to Do When You Can’t) – “Have them spell it out,” is a keeper from this Art of Manliness post by Brett and Kate McKay.

How to Remember a Person’s Name – on “Write it down,” is one that I hadn’t thought of.

Three Simple Steps to Master Name Recall – “The more visual and interesting associations you create to recall a name, the easier it is to do so.” According to this article, putting your creative powers to use can help you remember a name down the road.

And I’ll bet you’ve got your own tips and tricks! I welcome you to share them here!

2 comments on “Forget Them Not – 4+ Tips for Remembering a Person’s Name
  1. Nice list! It’s interesting how we ourselves feel so bad when we forget someone’s name but most of us don’t mind when other people forget our names. I make sure to look at their face, and ask to make sure I got it right, as in “Is it Carol-IN or Carol-INE?” or “How do you spell that?”

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