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How to Remember Names

By: Diane Darling




?My memory is so bad that many times I forget my own name.? Don Quixote

Here are some helpful ways to remember names:

? $100 per name. Remember Benjamin Franklin and the ?club of mutual improvement?? His face graces the $100 bill. If I promised to give you a $100 bill for each name you remembered, would you try harder? My guess is you would indeed get a number of names right. Whatever motivates you to learn names, do it! Really try!

? Get it right the first time. When someone introduces himself or herself and you haven?t heard their name or can?t say it, simply ask them to repeat it.

? Spell it back. This shows you are genuinely interested in getting it right.

? Use the name. In the first few sentences, use person?s the name once or twice. Don?t do it too often or it appears pretentious and can quickly become annoying!

? Ask a question. If you know someone with the same name, ask if there is a relation. Or ask what the derivation of the name is. We have become so politically correct we don?t want to offend anyone, on the other hand we?re willing to walk around mispronouncing someone?s name (assuming we heard it to begin with.)

? Connect the name to something. If you know someone with the same name, make a mental note of the connection. For example, I used to work with someone named Susan Fleming ? just like Ian Fleming who wrote the Bond books. Remember who he or she is with when you meet and make the connection to that person.

? Be cautious about your word association. When I was teaching someone shared a story with me. There was someone named Chip and he couldn?t remember the nickname especially since it was for a woman. So he thought of his favorite chip ? a chocolate chip cookie. The next time he saw her, he smiled, and said, ?Hi Cookie!?

? Write the name down. When in a meeting and people are introducing themselves, pull out a piece of paper and write each person?s name with a few words.

? Tent cards. If you are hosting a meeting, provide tent cards. Bring an 8 ? x 11 piece of paper, fold it lengthwise, and use as a tent card. Construction papers works just fine.

? Create a system that works for you. If you remember things visually, mentally write their name down. If you are an auditory person, say it outloud. If you are a kinesthetic learner, write it with your toe in the carpet or image it in the sky.

? Make it easy for others. If for whatever reason ? logical or not ? others don?t get your name right, take responsibility and when you introduce yourself, make it easy. Typically I say, ?I?m Diane Darling ? just like sweetheart.? If someone is writing it down I?ll add, ?that?s Diane with one ?n?.? Others are not intentionally trying to clobber your name. However, they may be nervous, confused, tired, who knows. Make them feel better by helping them out.

Summary: Saying someone?s name gets their attention. When you have their attention, you can build rapport and make a personal connection.

As principal consultant for Effective Networking, Inc., she founded the company on the premise that everyone can learn to network, they just need to find their own style.

Combining interactive training, strategic planning and an exploration of the natural fears of networking, Darling demystifies the process by providing techniques that can be immediately implemented.

She has received rave reviews for her seminars and speeches and is increasingly sought after as an expert resource on the subject of networking.

McGraw-Hill commissioned her to write the definitive book on networking called The Networking Survival Guide which was published in April 2003 and went into a 2nd printing just 90 days after the book hit the shelves. The translation rights for the Korean version have been purchased.

She has appeared on NBC Nightly News, in The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe.

She has lived in the Philippines, Thailand, Colorado, Indiana, Alabama and now in Boston, MA. Her travels include all seven continents and approximately 60 countries.



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