How To Remember Names

and faces too!

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #057

When she was a young girl of eight, she knew she wanted to be of service to people. And her minister told her, “The most important thing you can do for another human is help them feel valued. And one of the best ways to do that is to remember their name.” He hooked it right into her little-girl life mission. Fortunately, she was still young enough that a substantial portion of her brain rewired itself in an instant, turning her into a crack name memorizer.

That’s the first key to name memorizing: you have to care enough so you stop, really engage your full attention, and take the time to do it right.

Find a Visual Hook: Find Something Unique About a Person

From what I understand, many of the best name memorizers use a visual hook. Really look at the person and notice what stands out for you. Is it the shape of her jaw? Her eyes? Physical features that don’t change much probably work best. Hairstyles come and go, and goodness knows, clothes appear and vanish all the time.

Concentrate on what makes the person distinctive for you. As you do, imagine the name tattooed on that body part. I use the forehead. I used to use other body parts, but sometimes people had other names tattooed on those body parts. I’d remember those names, instead. People don’t like it when you call them by an ex’s name that they couldn’t afford to get lasered off.

Once I have the mental image in place, I actually imagine the sound of a camera shutter going off. >>ka-chick<< Then clear your mind, look back at the person, and make sure the name comes up.

Say Their Name Out Loud

To help bring it home, also use their name out loud one or two times, preferably while you shake their hand or have other physical contact. Memory works better when you engage more senses, and this way, you’re hearing it, seeing it, and feeling it.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT. 

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