Remember Thy Name

WRITTEN April 20, 2017 Author: Jen Glantz

It is said that one of the best ways to build rapport with an audience is by learning their names. Sounds easy, right? Can you remember thy name?

Have you ever introduced yourself to people, shook a hand, and heard a name, just to forget seconds later? Chances are you have – it is human nature!

Remembering a name is harder than it seems. When you are greeting someone, you could be nervous about making a good first impression. That fear may distract you from fully listening to them when they say their name. Or maybe your memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be.

No matter what the reason is for forgetting names, there are tools you can use to help your brain remember. Here are three of them:

Repeat to Beat Forgetting

Say the person’s name after it is said to you. “It’s nice to meet you, (insert their name).” That will force your brain to pay attention when their name is told to you. Or, if you don’t have a chance to repeat their name out loud, say it again in your head three times, “Jen…Jen…Jen”. The power of repetition may help you beat the urge to instantly forget.

Use Association

If you are a visual person, associate their name with something else. Perhaps John is wearing a red shirt. You can then repeat in your mind, “John in red.” Maybe Susie looks like your cousin. Then you can repeat, “Susie and my cousin,” in your head.

Remember to Concentrate

Half the battle of remembering someone’s name is preparing yourself to remember it. Before walking into an event or presentation, where you know you will be meeting new people, remind yourself to concentrate on learning new names.


Using people’s names throughout your presentation is a great way to engage your audience. But remembering someone’s name seconds after they introduce themselves to you can be a challenge. Next time you’re faced with meeting new people, remember to concentrate, use name association and repeat their name in your head.


This information is from our Customer Service curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes


Photo courtesy of Bobbi Vie

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