Five Brain Savvy Tricks for Remembering Names | Weird
LinkedIn: Five Brain Savvy Tricks for Remembering Names
How to Train Your Brain - Advice from Science House EVP and LinkedIn Influencer
From conferences to cocktail parties, how can you avoid the panic that can come from forgetting someone’s name almost as soon as you’re introduced? For those of us who wouldn’t list “good memory” as a skill on our LinkedIn profiles, Rita King, the EVP of Science House, is here to help.
King, a LinkedIn influencer, worked with US Memory Challenge competitors to create 5 Tips for Remembering Names – which is a challenge for most of us, since our brains evolved to retain critical details that affect survival (like the face of an enemy or the location of nutritious food) rather than individual names.
King’s five savvy strategies to trick your brain into remembering names include:
- Don’t psych yourself out: Most people tend to believe that they have a bad memory for names. If you walk into a new situation convinced that you won’t remember names, the extra stress will ensure that you probably won’t. Instead, go in believing that the room contains at least a couple of people whose names you can and will remember.
- Slow down and take it easy: Part of the reason names escape us is because there’s usually a lot of activity going on around us while we’re meeting new people. Loud parties, conferences and restaurants don’t make it easier to remember a blur of names during introductions. Take a moment during introductions to make sure you get a person’s name right. Repeat the names while making eye contact with each person.
- Ask questions about the person’s first or last name: Where are they from? Is there a story behind their name? If the name is difficult to pronounce, repeat it slowly and let the person correct you until you get it right. This will help you remember it, but it also serves the purpose of ensuring that someone knows you care enough to get it right. As business becomes more global, this is critically important.
- Use a person’s nameduring conversation, as often as is comfortable: They will appreciate the attention and saying it out loud will help to solidify the name in your mind, which will make it easier to put a name with a face later.
- Create an imageassociated with a person’s name: Sometimes it’s simple, like when you meet a Bill Baker and you imagine him in a chef hat holding a tray of chocolate cupcakes with dollar bills folded into the icing. Other times, you need to be creative to find a way to associate an image with a name. No matter how challenging a name may seem, you can break it down into phonetic syllables and create images that get close enough for your brain to remember the association. These images may seem weird--but the stranger they are the more your brain will remember them due to the novelty. These images exist in your mind only and don’t need to be revealed to anyone, so they are only for your benefit.