Editor’s Note: We’re excited to let you know that our featured contributor, Patricia Rossi, has a NEW book out today! Everyday Etiquette: How to Navigate 101 Common and Uncommon Social Situations. We’re thrilled to bring Patricia, who has been airing on NBC, CBS, Fox, and ABC affiliates for the past 5 years, to Chicago this October for Make an Impact LIVE
In my hmmm hmmm years of living on this earth, I have never met one living soul that didn’t like to hear their name.
If you want to impress someone, bypass the diatribes about your oxford degree, surviving 30 days at sea on a raft made of shark skin, or how you won that contest in college eating the most hotdogs. Make an instant impact, the fastest and simplest way, by remembering and voicing their name.
But….what if you can’t remember the name of the person you’re speaking with?
Whatever you do, never say “I forgot your name,” or “I can’t remember your name.” Those kinds of statements will just make the other person feel unimportant, and forgotten.
Instead, say something like, “Your name is right on the tip of my tongue,” or “It’s been such a long day, could you tell me your name again?”
Of course, you’ll make an even better impression if you can remember the person’s name in the first place. Try these 9 simple techniques to help remember names:
- Listen. Really listen when someone is telling you his or her name. Sometimes instead of listening, we’re thinking about what to say next. Don’t do this. Listen to the person’s name and say it out loud as soon as possible, “It’s so nice to meet you, Tammy.”
- Repeat. After meeting someone new, say the person’s name a few times to imprint it in your memory. Use it while speaking to the person, but not so frequently that it feels awkward.
- Nickname. Give the person a nickname that helps you remember them (Tall Tammy, for example). If you use this technique, make sure you don’t say the nickname out loud, keep it to yourself!
- Write it down. Write down names and identifying information (or enter them in your Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, etc.). After you meet someone and go your separate ways, write down the person’s name, where you met them, and something that will remind you of what you discussed. This is especially helpful at networking events.
- Spell it. If a person has an unusual name or the name has more than one spelling, ask them how they spell it. If a name is generally spelled only one way, like Robert or David, you could ask if they prefer Bob or Dave. Always ask before shorting another person’s name. Don’t assign them a nickname.
- Become an artist. When someone tells you their name, spell it a few times (to yourself of course.) Picture it written out as you spell it. Or pretend that you are painting their name across the sky or drawing it on their forehead in black sharpie-for a visual reminder.
- Change focus. Sometimes we forget someone’s name because we are feeling socially self-conscious. Our focus is on whether we look, speak, or are acting in an acceptable manner. Turn your focus to the other person and on putting them at ease, then it will be much easier to recall their name.
- Reintroduce yourself. If you see someone you haven’t seen in a long time, reintroduce yourself. This may prompt them to tell you their name as well.
- You’re brilliant! When someone remembers your name and you just cannot remember theirs, you can say, “Wow, you have an amazing memory! Sometimes I can’t even remember my own kid’s names.” They will most likely enjoy your compliment and sense of humor.
If you have trouble remembering names, use these simple tricks to help names stick. Use them to make a bigger impact by calling others by name and making others feel as special as they are!
MEET PATRICIA LIVE! Building your business is a perpetual, constant, day-by-day process, most of which takes place out of the office. Everyday Etiquette shows you how to demonstrate your confidence, credibility, and connection through the simple tiny slices of social exchange you encounter and engage in daily.
Patricia Rossi’s “Manners Minute” has been airing on NBC, CBS, Fox, and ABC affiliates for the past 5 years and her advice has been featured in USA Today, Guideposts, Real Simple, Parade, Good House Keeping, HGTV Magazine and more. Join us LIVE in Chicago next month for Make an Impact LIVE! Use coupon code “PATRICIAGUEST” to take an additional $50 off registration before the convenient 3-pay goes away this week!