Next week, I’ll be attending two Careers Expos, very exciting! Countless opportunities and contacts in one place – definitely a must! My main intention is to make as many contacts as possible. However, I have a big problem: I can’t remember names…
I could forget a person’s name as soon as he/she is introduced to me! Then, for the rest of the conversation, I would be racking my brain, trying hard to come up with a ‘logical’ name for that person. Often, this would lead to a very disjointed and awkward conversation.
The following list is what usually works for me, maybe this will help you too?
Spell the name out
To counter my forgetfulness of names, sometimes I would just pretend that I don’t know how the name of the person is spelt and ask him/her to spell it out for me. In doing this, I’m consciously making an effort to encrypt the name into my brain.
Quite a good trick, except that when I tried it on someone with the name ‘Fin’ the other day, he looked at me with a puzzling look. “You can’t spell Fin?”. I was very embarrassed of course, and had to admit that I have actually forgotten his name.
…Thankfully, Fin wasn’t too bothered by my forgetfulness and even offered a solution: “Just think of fish. Fish – fin, fin – fish, Fish – Fin, easy!”. And sure enough, I have never forgotten his name since – whenever I see Fin, the image Fish will pop up and instantly I could remember his name is Fin.
Of course, there’s also the good old way of asking a person for his/her business or name card. This trick is especially useful for a professional event – you get to keep all the contact details of that person in one place – on the card, how good is that?
I also find repetition a useful tool. When someone tells me his/her name, I would usually try to repeat it back. And before closing off, I would conclude the conversation by mentioning the name again.
Set a goal/Challenge yourself
Setting up a goal and challenge myself or others around me has helped too. A game of ‘Who can remember the most name/people at this event’ or ‘how many name/people can I remember from this event’ could be helpful, and fun?
So, are you ready? Take up a challenge and see how many new names and people you can remember at the next event you are attending! An Expo would be a perfect place to start?
More? Also read: Mate! Buddy! Dude! Five tricks for actually remembering names