Thursday, July 07, 2005

What's In A Name

When you are actively networking and meeting new people, on occasion you will run into trouble remembering people's names. While sometimes you can easily fake your way through this embarrassing situation, other times you just feel foolish. If you have previously met them and are put into a situation where it is clear you do not remember their name, I suggest that honesty is the best policy. Appologize and let them know that you cannot recall their name.

To avoid this problem, it is best to learn some memory tricks that will help you remember names and other information of the people you meet in your networking activities.

To begin with, repeat the person's name silently to yourself after you are introduced. Then find a way to work their name into the conversation. Repeating it outloud or introduce them by name to someone else. By articulating their name it will help your future ability to recall their name.

You can also invent a relationship in your mind between their name and their physical characteristics. One example for Shirley Temple could be "her curly (rhymes with Shriley) hair is cut short near her temples". Finding things about them that remind you of other people and them concentrating on that relationship can also be a good trick.

Always get a business card. Getting the person's card is a tool to help you remember things about them. After your intial meeting with someone, take a moment and jot down some information you discussed on the back of their card. If they mentioned their company was planning to go public or their love for modern art, write it down. The act of writing information will help commit the topics of you discussion into your long-term memory.

The following day, review what you wrote on the card, repeat thier name (silently and outloud), and remember any unique connections or rhymes you made about them. Then send them a follow up note in which you recap your conversation.

Immediately add people to you database or file their business card in a card file. Regularly review the names of everyone you have ever encountered. Out of sight is out of mind, by reviewing the information about your contacts regularly, it will stay with you.

Have a great day.

Thom Singer

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