Memorizing names can be a serious challenge for some people. The world is rife with all kinds of tricks for putting faces with names and the like. Most of them have various degrees of success. In a certain light, saying someone’s name three times during your first meeting can essentially be a type of brain game.
Most brain games are simple exercises to help your brain work better. Saying someone’s name three times is as much about memorization as it is about developing conversational skills and working on associations.
I must admit that I’m not the best when it comes to remembering names. I’ve tried a lot of different tips and tricks over the years and very few of them ever really helped.
Saying someone’s name three times is a simple brain game you can do when you meet people (and they will never know it). The goal is to be subtle about it. You don’t want to shake someone’s hand and simply rattle off their name three times.
What you want to do when you first meet somebody: at the first handshake you want to repeat their name. For example, if I was meeting someone named Jason for the first time I would say, “Hello Jason, how are you doing?”
As the introduction and conversation flow naturally, I follow up with opportunities. “So tell me, Jason, where do you live?” So, at this point, I’ve already said his name twice. My brain is getting used to that and it’s associating that person’s face, his demeanor, and everything in that environment at that particular time.
Within the next minute or so, create another opportunity to use their name again. Something along the lines of “So Jason, how many kids do you have?”
Not only are you repeating their name to put it into your memory, but you’re also creating associations that are relevant to them (i.e. where they live and how many kids they have).
Of course, there are a lot of different topics you could touch on. Family, hobbies, where they live, or what they do for a living are all common topics that help you learn more about them and create memorable associations that will stick in your mind the next time you meet them.
With regular practice, I think you’ll find that you can get to know a lot about people in a relatively short period of time. This is especially helpful if you’re involved in any kind of networking or social group, where you’re trying to learn as much as you can about someone in a short period of time.
The key is to drop their name into the conversation. As you say the name, really try to emphasize your focus on their face or their demeanor. This could also include finding the similarity to someone you know that has the same name.
Contributor Author: Dr. Michael Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Founder of APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC. For more information, please visit www.ApexBrainCenters.com/memory.
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