Memory Tricks for Names

Do you have trouble remembering names, in particular? You’re definitely not alone! Many people have trouble putting names with faces, which can lead to embarrassing social and work-related situations. If you’re determined to get better at remembering names, these simple memory tricks for names can help you remember better. Memory tricks for names are particularly helpful because they’re geared towards just helping you remember names. So, next time you’re going through a slew of introductions at a party or a new job, use these memory tricks for names to help you get the names down on the first try:

Pay better attention

One of the main reasons we even need memory tricks for names in the first place is that we aren’t paying attention when we’re introduced to people. If you find yourself thinking about the last person you met, the food at the buffet, or anything else when you’re meeting someone at a party, bring your interest and attention back to that person. Listen carefully to their name and what they have to say during the introduction, and keep your focus mainly on that person’s face.

Attention plays a huge role in how well we remember things, and the better you pay attention, the more likely you are to remember anything – be it a name or a personal fact or a math question. Instead of letting your mind wander or considering what you want to say next, pay close attention when you’re meeting someone, and you’ll be more likely to remember his name the next time around.

Use association to make the name more vivid for you

When you meet someone, associate that person’s name with certain aspects of them. If you’re great with faces, you might associate the name with certain facial features. You might also want to use details of that person’s life for your association game, including their hobbies, professional attributes, or other features that you talk about when meeting them. One of the best memory tricks for names is to turn this association into a mental picture, which can make the memory more vivid and easier to access in the future.

Utilize that person’s name

It seems silly, but using that person’s name in the conversation and later on can help you remember the name better. Instead of a generic, “How are you?” when you meet someone, say, “How are you, Robert?” Try to use the person’s name several times during the conversation. This is one of the best memory tricks for names because rehearsing information aloud like this can help transfer that information from your short-term to your long-term memory more effectively, so you’re more likely to remember that person’s name in the future.

If you feel awkward using a person’s name several times in a single conversation, use these memory tricks for names a little differently: just rehearse the name over and over in your mind throughout your entire conversation.

Write it down

One of the greatest memory tricks for names seems like cheating, but it’s really helpful. After you meet someone, write down his name, and keep the notes around for when you might meet that person again. For instance, keep a professional notepad and a personal notepad, so you can review lists of names of people you might encounter at professional events or parties before you get there.

Writing it down is one of the great memory tricks for names because you may never actually have to pull out your list again. Just the act of transferring the information from your brain to the paper through your pen may solidify that name in your brain enough that you don’t need to pull out your list to go over the name again in the future – you’ll just remember it!