Your first year of college and every year for that matter, you’ll be meeting a lot of people for the first time. If you’re like the average person, you’ll have a hard time remembering everyone’s name. Once you leave college and embark on your career, again, you’ll be meeting a whole new set of people. In fact you’ll be meeting people for the rest of your life, so here’s a quick tip on how to remember the names of the people you meet.
The toughest step to remembering a name is the first step – and that’s to PAY ATTENTION!
In conducting memory training for people around the world I’ve found that people lose a name so quickly that they never get a chance to use a memory technique to remember it. Harvard University among others have conducted studies and found that when we meet people for the first time we pay attention to about 7 different things about them – and none of them is their name!
In fact, when we meet someone, we’re thinking more of ourselves than we are about the other person. We pay close attention to our handshake, our eye contact, things we are thinking of saying, how do we look, how attractive we think they are (you know you do that), and more – but the person’s name is not on the list.
So how do you break this cycle and keep a person’s name from going in one ear and out the other? Simple… just ask yourself the question: “What’s their name?” By asking your mind questions, you arouse it’s natural curiosity and make it pay closer attention.
So right before meeting a new person – classmate, roommate, professor, counselor, etc. – ask yourself: “What’s their name?” If you enter a room full of people – let’s say like at orientation or at a campus organization meeting – walk around asking yourself: “What’s his name?” or “What’s her name?” Practice it this week and you’ll find that your brain will actually begin to nag at you until you find out the answer.
This tip won’t help you memorize an entire studio audience of 200 people live on TV like I did – there are other memory techniques for that – but just following this tip WILL raise your ability to remember by up to 30% – instantly! How? Because you’ll be training your brain to focus on their name and not their shoe size.
Few people are born with a great memory, but we can all develop one. Whether it’s remembering a name or increasing your GPA, the first step is to get your naturally curious and powerful brain into the game.