5 Simple Tricks for Remembering Names


Why is it that something so simple is such a challenge? We struggle with it even more as we “age gracefully.” We all know someone who is fantastic with remembering names and we’re impressed. What’s their secret? It’s easier than you think.

If you want to make a person feel special, follow these five simple tips to remember their name!

1.  Listen

Told you it was simple! Although we seem to be listening, often we are not really and truly hearing what others say to us. When a person tells you their name, make sure you use both ears to listen. And make eye contact! Not sure why the eye contact seems to help so much, but trust me on this one. It does.

2.  Repeat

As in..repeat their name once it is said. As in…“Hi Alicia. It’s nice to meet you. My name is Kelly.” Saying a name out loud helps our busy brains grab-hold of the information. Drop their name occasionally during conversation – which keeps it fresh in your mind. BUT don’t make name dropping patronizing. Isn’t that right Kelly? Kelly, can you tell me about your company Kelly? Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. STOP!

3.  Associate

Association is a key memory technique. Associate the individual with something. Might be an animal, a person, a color, a song, an object or their business/company. Maybe something they mentioned about themselves: their vacation plans, son who plays the drums or college they attended. You may even want to write your association – and what you talked about – on the back of their business card. That will help you next time around. See tip #5.

4. Review

When handed a business card, do exactly as the Japanese taught us when it comes to business card etiquette. Look at it as a gift. That means take a moment, look at the card, their name and company. Say once again with excellent eye contact, “Thank you Alicia.It was so nice talking to you”  Looking at their name on a card burns it further into your brain. Review also includes reviewing the cards or names of those your recently met before you head off to the next networking or PTA meeting. You might see them again and can make that person feel like A#1 when you greet them by name.

5.  Write it down

This one doesn’t work when a person is right in front of you. But it works SO WELL when people are doing self intros in a group setting or meeting. I use this tip regularly. After the introductions and meeting conversations, I approach the new person, say their name, give them a friendly welcome and introduce myself. Instant connection!

Future blog: what to do when you forget a name.  THAT will be useful!

What are your tricks for remembering names?


Mind Your Manners,


  1. #4 is a good tip.

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