Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

Remembering People's Names

Remembering People's Names

Remembering People's Names

To be better at remembering people's names, do the following:

  1. When you meet someone new, decide IN ADVANCE of the introduction, to focus on getting and remembering their name.
  2. Give your name first and then ask for theirs, with the intention to mentally grasp it.
  3. When you hear their name, repeat it immediately out loud. "Hello, Michael. Pleased to meet you".
  4. Associate the new person's name to someone you already know with the same name. (Michael Jackson?)
  5. In your imagination, repeat the association so that the new Michael and the already known Michael are linked. For example: In your mind's eye have the new Michael do a moon walk.

Let us say a few words on each step.

1. When you meet someone new, decide IN ADVANCE of the introduction to focus on getting and remembering their name.

The main reason you don't remember people's names is that you don't really pay attention to the name when you first hear it.

Instead, you focus on how they look.

The key to remembering names is to PAY ATTENTION to the name when you first hear it.

2. Give your name first and then ask for theirs, with the intention of mentally grasping it.

Give your name and listen out for theirs in return. Listen with INTENT.

You must develop a keen intention to get their name. This act will, in itself, be sufficient for you to remember most names.

3. When you hear their name, repeat it immediately, out loud.

Repeat the name. Use their name immediately in the first few moments. This act of using the name triggers the short-term memory to hold onto it and keep it in mind.

4. Associate the new person's name to someone you already know with the same name.

Now use your imagination and memory to make an association between the new person and a person you already know with the same first name.

You already know most names. Associate the new person you have in front of you with the person who springs to mind, who shares the name.

Who springs to mind if I say the following names?

  • John.
  • Susan.
  • Donald.
  • Mary.
  • Mohammed.
  • Judy.

For me it goes like this: John Travolta. Susan Boyle. Donald Trump. Mary Magdalene. Mohammed Ali. Judy Garland.

5. Repeat the association in your imagination, so that the new person is linked to the one already known.

For example, if you are associating a Michael with Michael Jackson, in your mind's eye you can have the new Michael do a moon walk.

Link the new person with the name by giving the person a unique action that is associated to the famous name. In my associations above, I see:

  • John dancing in a Grease musical.
  • Susan singing on the X factor.
  • Donald as the president of United States.
  • Mary washing Jesus' feet.
  • Mohammed boxing.
  • Judy following a yellow brick road ("Wizard of Oz").

Who comes to mind with the following names:

  • Florence.
  • Jess.
  • Robin.
  • Lindsey.
  • Debbie.
  • George.

What actions do you associate with each person?

Now you can associate these actions and names to the new person, whose name you want to remember.

This method works well for most people.

Try it and see for yourself.

Personal Development Training Personal Development Training Course Logo

Personal Development Training

In order to improve your performance, you may need to develop your personal and professional skills: meaning: skills of communication, planning, prioritisation, motivation and personal confidence. If you want to learn more, then click here for personal development training.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Your Comments

Further Reading in Personal Effectiveness

  • What are the five Ps of peak performance
    What are the five Ps of peak performance? What is peak performance? Peak performance is the measure of your ability to consistently operate at (or close to) the top end of your genetic potential. Question To what degree do you consistently operate at (or very close to) the top end of...
    Read Article >
  • Distinguish Truth From Falsehood
    Just because a lot of people believe something, does not make it likely to be true! The truth has been argued about since the dawn of time. But how do you determine the truth?
    Read Article >
  • Problem Solving Skills
    Learning how to analyse problems and working out effective solutions is important to our survival. Teaching problem solving skills to employees will improve workplace efficiency and co-operation between co-workers and customers.
    Read Article >
  • Know When to Stop
    Everyone needs to know went to stop; waiting for things to change, talking or eating too much, working or playing too hard.
    Read Article >
  • Work life balance
    Work-life balance is important for all of us, isn't it? Work life balance is important because we have only a limited time and we have so many obligations and desires. You have to balance the needs of your work, the needs of your family, the needs of your health and your...
    Read Article >