Here are seven effective ways to do it, according to Scott Ginsberg, aka “The Nametag Guy” (www.hellomynameisscott.com):
1. Repeat a person’s name as soon as you hear it. “It’s good to finally meet you, Karen. I hear you’re an expert on ice hockey.” Then try to use her name again in the middle and at the end of the conversation.
“If you speak the name, hear the name and listen to yourself say the name, you will remember it,” says Ginsberg.
2. Show a genuine interest in the other person. Inquire about the culture from which the person’s name was derived, or ask how to spell it. Ask if the individual goes by a nickname. (“Do you prefer ‘Dave’ or ‘David’?”)
3. Dramatize someone’s face and associate those features with the person’s name. Examples: Brian has bright red hair. Lucy has a long nose.
“You want to make the associations and dramatizations memorable. Remember, that which is exaggerated and ridiculous is memorable.”
4. Forget about whether your handshake was cold. “If you try too hard to make a good first impression, odds are you will have no idea to whom you make a good first impression to!” says Ginsberg. So don’t think about yourself. Concentrate on the other person.
5. Silently repeat the name to yourself while the person pulls out a pen, takes a drink or laughs at a joke. It only takes a few seconds to think to yourself, “Samantha. Samantha. Samantha.”
6. Introduce someone else. “Have you met my co-worker Patty?” you ask the nameless person. “I don’t believe I have,” he says. “My name is Roger. It’s nice to meet you, Patty.” Roger. That’s his name!
7. Decide that from this moment on, you’re good with names. Combine this new attitude with your recently acquired skills, and all your conversations will become more memorable.