Remembering Names: Quick Tips

Do you often take part in meetings or workshops? Do you have trouble remembering the names of new people?

In my job as a trainer, I often spend whole days running sessions with people who I have never met before. I make a point of remembering the names of all of the people. I am often asked how I remember everyone or if I have a great memory.

I don’t have a great memory, but I do work on remembering the names. How do I do it? There are two things I always do.

2 Easy ways to help you remember names

  1. As a trainer, when a new group of people comes into the room, I draw a map of the room in my notepad. I then ask the people to introduce themselves. I write their names on the map and try to include one or two extra details: job title, responsibility, etc.  If I am a participant in a meeting, I also look for an opportunity to find out who is who. If everyone introduces themselves, I write their names in the appropriate position on the map. If I am not sure who someone is, I simply ask the person next to me.
  1. Whenever I talk directly to someone in the room, I make an effort to use their name. Always! At the beginning of the day / meeting, I need to use my map of the room first. I check quickly on the map, note the name and then address the person. Once I have addressed someone 3 or 4 times, I find that their name sticks in my head. At this point, I no longer need to look at the map.       

Incredibly simple! First, I write the names of the people on a seating plan. Then, I use the name at every opportunity. The more I use it, the quicker I will remember it.

Why not try this yourself at the next meeting that you attend?  Let us know if you have any other tips for remembering names in the comments areas below.

1 reply
  1. Chad
    Chad says:

    Hi Nathan,

    I also use the seating plan technique in my training.

    Another tip I picked up in the past is to learn a fact about the new person you just met and connect the two together. So if you meet Julia and find out she lives in Berlin, you think, “Julia in Berlin” and hopefully that combination helps you remember.

    There are many ways to remember names, but I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that it really is key in business and can go a long way to forming new relationships.

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