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Make a great impression; remember a name!

In his classic bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie says that their own name is the sweetest sound anyone can ever hear.

This is so true. Everyone lights up inside when someone remembers their name. (You feel, of course, remembered, but you also feel somehow significant to the other person, somehow special.) So the next time you meet someone in a social or business context, follow up your conversation by introducing him by name (instead of forgetting her name in a matter of seconds after being introduced, or—even worse—being so concerned with yourself that you never even take in their name in the first place).

Now if you’ve convinced yourself that you’re no good at remembering names, consider these techniques:

1. First, consciously listen. In first meetings, sometimes there’s so much going on that we don’t really pay attention. Slow down and focus. Of all the things to spend time on when you’re meeting someone, this is one investment that will yield great returns.

2. Next, make sure you heard their name correctly and repeat it for confirmation. This not only ensures that you get it right, it also helps you to remember it.

3. Then ask something about the spelling of their name (if unusual) or ask for a business card. When they give it to you, take time to study it. Repeat their name (again) by reading it out loud. The visual and sound will help you remember.

4. Finally, if an opportunity arises, introduce them to someone else.

By following these steps, you will remember their name, and the steps themselves will feel increasingly natural as you practice them.

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