Sunday, May 17, 2009

How do you remember names?

I forget. Seriously, it takes work to remember someone's name; names are very, very important. People have always told me that I'm very good at remembering names so I'll share with you the tips that work for me.

(1) When someone introduces themselves to you, repeat their name immediately.
(2) Try to make a mental image of their name when they say it, i.e. Susan Capwell, SC. Now, if there is a roomful of SC alumns it could be a problem.
(3) If someone is walking toward you, smiling like they know you and you have NO CLUE who they are, hold out your hand first and say, "Hi, Pamela Hillings" and 99% of the time they will say their name. Repeat their name immediately.
(4) What about that 1% who don't say their name (I just walk past them). If you don't try to find out who they are then you'll never know the next time. Just say "I remember seeing you at the awards dinner for Paul Johnson. Please tell me your name again?"
(5) When you do find out their name, use it in the conversation a few times. It's very powerful.
(6) Never walk up to someone and say "I bet you don't remember who I am?" I'm inclined to say, "You're right, I don't. Next." But that's not very polite. People would do this to my mother in receiving lines when she was a Congressional wife. But she was very gracious and handled the greeting beautifully.

Just remember: don't forget.

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