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How to improve your name skills

Remembering names is a vital part of being a great networker. The great Dale Carnegie said that a person’s name is the sweetest sound they’ll hear. The only thing worse than forgetting a name is to call someone by the wrong name!

We’ve all been there. At parties, networking events, and BNI meetings we are constantly meeting new people and sometimes there is that moment of panic when you’ve been introduced to someone and mere moments later you completely forget the name they just gave you!

Networking is about building relationships. The first step in developing a relationship is learning the person’s name and committing it to memory.

Here are some tips to help remember the name of the next new person you meet.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

The more times you can repeat a person’s name the more helpful it will be. It might seem awkward to say their name more than once in a short discussion, but you’ll be surprised how well it helps you remember. Try something like this:

“Hi, I’m Jenny.”

“I’m Pete.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Pete. What do you do for work, Pete?”

People won’t really mind because they love to hear their name! It’s the sweetest sound to them! Not to mention, the repetition will help to etch the name in your memory.

Use your imagination

Our brains love images and pictures, especially when learning new information. Try to match the person’s name with an image that has the same letter.

Larry: Larry likes to do the laundry. You might picture him holding a big basket of laundry.
Mike: Mike is holding a mic.
Rick: Rick likes to eat Ricotta cheese.
Patrick: Patrick floats on a parachute.

These are quick and vivid images that your brain can picture and, more importantly, remember! They will trigger your memory when you’re searching for a name.

Help people remember your name

Jenny Locklin of BNI Biltmore Power chapter in Phoenix AZ gives a personal example of how she might introduce herself:

“Hi, I’m Jenny, like Jennay from Forrest Gump.”

And yes, she pronounces and says it like Tom Hanks did in the movie.

If your name is Adrienne, you can say “Just like ‘Yo, Adrienne’ from those Rocky movies.”

Helping others to create a word picture will help them remember your name easily.

Connect their name with what they do

Jenny Locklin has a dentist in her chapter named Dr. Ken. She gives the example of linking his name with Ken and Barbie and their beautiful white teeth. That image helps you remember his name and profession at the same time.

Once you have that image, you won’t forget it.

And if all else fails, and you can’t remember their name, you can always ask, “How do you spell your name?” Jenny even gives a solution if they respond with J­I­M. You can smile and say, “Oh, that’s creative!”

This material was originally created by Jenny Locklin and posted to Art of Networking

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How to improve your name skills

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