How to Never Forget Someone’s Name Ever Again (With Video)

April 8, 2019

Never forget someone's name again with this trick.

Want to have people instantly like you? And be more convincing when you talk with them?

Here’s a hack – say their name when speaking to them. There is a hardwired part inside people's brains that makes them like you more and believe you more if you mention their name while speaking to them.

The opposite is true as well. If you cannot remember somebody’s name, they are much less likely to like you and be persuaded by you (instead, you often get a reaction similar to the one pictured at the top of this article).

And yet, all of us have had that awkward moment where we’ve forgotten someone’s name. It’s embarrassing to you and insulting to them.

Paul Nowak wants to help. In his LinkedIn Learning course Improving Your Memory, Nowak dedicated a video on techniques for remembering people's names.

LinkedIn Learning Instructor Paul Nowak gives tricks to use so you always remember people's names.

In his course, Nowawk said these hacks will ensure you don't forget someone’s name:

1. Pay attention when they say their name.

The most obvious, but also the most overlooked and the most critical: you must listen when the person says their name.

We’ve all been in this situation thousands of times: we meet someone new, they say their name, and we don’t pay attention when they say it. If you don’t pay attention when they say their name, it means you don’t know it, which renders all these other techniques useless.

So, pay attention when someone says their name. You know generally when they'll say it – when you first meet them. Force yourself to focus when they do.

2. Repeat it back to the person after they say it.

Once they say their name, repeat it back to them. The reason: the more you repeat something, the more likely you’ll remember it.

Example: “Hello, my name is Susan.” You respond: “Hello Susan, nice to meet you.”

You also can say the person’s name throughout the conversation, as the more you repeat it, the better. Not only will that help you remember their name, they’ll appreciate it and will listen to you more if you use their name while speaking with them.

Another way to get repetition in is saying their name a few times after you meet them. Say you have a short introductory conversation with a person. As you walk away from the conversation, repeat their name a few times to yourself to help you remember it.

3. Then, make some connection to their name.

This is key. If you can make some connection in your mind to their name, you are much more likely to remember it.

“You want to hook that name to something you already know,” Nowak said. “The way we learn new things is by associating new memories to those that already exist.”

A few ways to do this are:

  • Link their name to either someone you already know with that name or to a famous person with that name. If their name is George and you already know a George, connect that person to your friend. Or, connect them to George Washington. “Try to develop the following habit,” Nowak said. “Whenever you hear someone's name think to yourself, okay, Sarah, same name as, and then think of a friend or celebrity you're familiar with, and try to picture them standing next to that person.”
  • Link their name to your first impression of them. Say you meet someone who is tall and his name is Todd. Link those in your mind – Tall Todd. Or, say you meet someone who has a lot of energy and is named Emily. Energetic Emily. You get the idea – doing this will help you remember their name. Just keep the adjective neutral or positive!
  • Rhyme their name to another word. If their name is Jen, in your mind tell yourself it’s Jen Ten. If it’s Eddie, Steady Eddie. Again though, keep these rhymes positive! As in, no Scary Gary. Of course, you shouldn’t say these rhymes aloud, but still good just in case they slip out.

Sounds silly, right? But all of these are really effective.

“If you use one or a combination of these tips, you'll do a good job at remembering names,” Nowak said. “Like anything else this takes practice; the more you implement these tips, the more automatic they become and the better you get.”

Want to learn how to improve your memory? Watch Paul Nowak’s full LinkedIn Learning course, Improving Your Memory.

Videos within the course cover how to:

Topics