The ambush. We have all been there.
You are in the grocery store, pushing your cart around the corner when WHAM! You run into that woman with the big blue eyes. You met her at that local meeting or perhaps some business lunch. Either way, you remember that face. but what is her name? Before your mind can get any further than that thought, she smiles and says, “Hi Joe, how are you?” Now you are really trapped. She remembers your name!!
During my years as a professional memory trainer, I can not tell you how many variations of this story I have heard. The truth is most people have trouble remembering names. This is because our memories are not designed to learn names through verbal cues. Our memory works through image, action, and emotion.
Here are my six steps to never forgetting a name again:
1) Create Facial Files
When you meet a person for the first time, pick out something striking about their facial appearance. Perhaps it is their nose, large forehead, or lips. It is important that when picking out these features you stay away from hair (of any kind) or glasses because all of these can change over time.
2) Introduction: Stop and listen
Do not think about what you are going to say. Too often, we meet someone and immediately transition into another conversation. Next time you meet someone try these techniques:
- Pay attention
- Repeat their name back to them three times. Don’t overdo it.
3) Turn Names into Pictures
This converts the name into an image, which is the language of your memory. For instance when you meet Barbara think of a barbed wire fence. Attaching a picture to a name is simple and because you will run into so many people with the same names, you will need fewer images than you think.
4) Take the Picture and Glue the Image of the Name to the Person’s Face or Upper Body
This will sink it into your memory. For instance, if you pictured barbed wire for Barbara, now picture her wrapped in barbed wire. This links the image to an action, and that is the language of your mind. Make the picture vivid and the action memorable.
5) Tie the First and Second Name Together
Use a chain of visualization when you need to remember both. Just make sure you keep them in the correct order.
This step is dependent on how long you want to remember the name. You do not need to do this with every person. However, if you want to remember something long term, review it in one hour, one day, and one week.
More than anything, remember to be patient with yourself when you put these new skills to practice.
Tom Weber, aka The Memory Guy, is an instructor for Freedom Speakers and Trainers. He has trained everyone from CEO’s of Fortune 500 company’s to gradeschool students. He conducts memory workshops across the country and is the coauthor of the award winning CD – “Winning the Name Game”. For more information visit http://www.deliverfreedom.com/speakers_tom.html or call 888-233-0407 x 200. To order “Winning the Name Game” go to http://www.deliverfreedom.com/name.html
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