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“Remember, Remember!” How To Get A Better Memory for Names


In Britain at this time of the year we are encouraged to “Remember, remember the fifth of November”on Bonfire Night – and here at the Weekly Inspirer we want to give some skills to help your memory too.

People often say they have a terrible memory for names, so here are a few tips to help you fix firmly in your mind the name of someone you’ve just met.

Remember That Name

Tip 1: Shh! Be Quiet In There!

One of the mistakes a lot of people make when they’re introduced to others is forgetting to quiet down their minds and actually concentrate on the person in front of them.

Many are so busy assessing the other person (are they attractive, what’s their hair like, what are they’ wearing, will they like me, do I like them, have I met them before, what important thing shall I say to them… and so on) that they simply don’t pay attention to the person’s name when they say it.

If this is what you do when you meet someone, then you need to start a different habit of mind.

The first thing to do is BE QUIET IN THERE!


How? Before you’re introduced to someone, take a breath down to the pit of your stomach and relax. Do that three times. It will change your state and calm your mind. After a while it will become automatic.


Tip 2: Pay Attention – and Engage Your Eyes

Next, with your mind now wonderfully calm, look the person you are meeting in the face and notice what they actually look like.

Now, what do you do with this visual information? The following tip is one that Dr Richard Bandler, co-creator of NLP recommends:


Visualise a caricature of the person’s face. Accentuate any outstanding features: a long nose, big eyes, a wide mouth. Make the caricature vivid and funny if possible. Then imagine writing their name above the face, so you have a single image of the caricature with the name locked in your mind.


I use a similar trick, which I call “visualisation by association”:


I met someone a while ago whose name was Richard. I imagined him in full crusader outfit, with chain mail and crown and a shield. That is, I saw him as Richard the Lionheart.

This worked so well that even now, 2 years on, I still imagine the chainmail when I meet him! Remember: with this, it’s what works for you – no-one else needs know what image you’re using.


I used a different method when I was introduced to a woman called “Amanda Huntsman”. Coincidentally, I had two striking-looking friends, one with a long face whose name was Amanda, the other with red hair, whose surname was Huntsman. Here’s what I did:


I combined my two friends’ faces together, and imagined this strange composite friend standing next to the woman I was introduced to.

For me, this really did the job!



A friend of mine is a lecturer, and she used to remember people by a bright jumper or a scarf they were wearing. The problem? If it gets hot, they might take their jumper off! Choose something to remember them by that is part of them!

Tip 3: Engage Your Ears!

Listen closely to how someone says their name. Listen for the sound of the voice and accent. If they are of a different nationality, very often they will have a name which might sound similar to a name you already know. “Marie” sounds like “Mary”. But stick with “Marie”. TRY TO SAY THEIR ACTUAL NAME AS YOU HEAR IT, NOT AN APPROXIMATION OF IT.

The look of surprise and pleasure on a person’s face when you actually say their name as they say it can make it much easier for you to remember.

Tip 4: Repeat The Name While You Greet and Talk

Next, shake hands with them, if that’s appropriate. As you do so, fix them in the eye and say their name back to them. “Hi Marie. Pleased to meet you.” That way you tie together the sound of their name with their look and their touch. It all helps to impound their name into your neurology.

Finally, if there is an ensuing conversation, use their name a few times. Again, if they are of a different nationality or have a different name, make sure you say it as they say it. That helps to build rapport as well as impounding their name into your mind.

Well, that’s it for now. The next thing for you is: go off and do it!

Best of luck!

Bernardo Moya

CEO The Best You

Bernardo Moya

Bernardo is the founder of The Best You, author of The Question, Find Your True Purpose, an entrepreneur, writer, publisher, TV producer and seminar promoter to some of the biggest names in Personal Development. He is editor-in-chief of The Best You magazine – a fascinating voice in the Personal Development world.

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