How to Remember a Person’s Name

While in a survival situation, remembering a person’s name can be important for getting by. This is no easy task when you’re surrounded by hundreds of people and the time to remember one name goes quickly.
Introduction: These are the three steps that will help you memorize someone else’s name (whether it is from personal experience or just watching TV).

The “can’t remember names disorder” is a condition that affects many people. It can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other health problems.

Vintage men in suits eating dinner at table.

You’re at a corporate conference conversing with a colleague when a man, the head of some important department, approaches up to you and introduces himself. He shakes your hand and says, “Hey there, Sam!” Then he sits there and waits for you to introduce him to your coworker. The only issue? You can’t recall his name for the life of you. As a result, awkwardness ensues. And a possible business opportunity vanishes.

You’re at a corporate conference conversing with a colleague when a man, the head of some important department, approaches up to you and introduces himself. He shakes your hand and says, “Hey there, Sam!” Then he sits there and waits for you to introduce him to your coworker. The only issue? You can’t recall his name for the life of you. As a result, awkwardness ensues. And a possible business opportunity vanishes.

Making people feel valued is the key to becoming a captivating gentleman. What better way to make someone feel valuable than to remember their name? Remembering a person’s name indicates that they were unique enough to leave an indelible imprint on you. And everyone wants to be treated differently. “You probably don’t remember my name,” you may respond with, “Of course I do!” There are few better, and simpler, methods to develop rapport than this.

And using someone’s name as a persuasive weapon is quite effective. It helps people feel relaxed and at ease. Dale Carnegie, the legendary success author and Mr. Charisma himself, famously remarked, “A person’s name is the sweetest and most significant sound in any language to him or her.”

But, if you’re anything like me, memorizing names isn’t easy. I can recall people’s looks and names, but I have a hard time putting the two together.

There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this universal human flaw.

Faces are processed differently by our brains than other types of information, such as names. Faces are considerably simpler to remember than abstract things like letters, numbers, and yes, even names, according to a 1971 research.

But don’t worry, gentlemen aspirant. You can overcome this disadvantage and become a master at remembering names with a little bit of insight and know-how. You can be the guy who goes into a party and knows exactly what he’s doing.

Today, we’ll go over some tried-and-true strategies for remembering people’s names, as well as some ways to use modern technology to assist in the process. Finally, we’ll go over how to cope with a scenario when your best intentions fail and you forget someone’s name.

How to Recall Someone’s Name

Make a commitment to paying attention and remembering what you hear. The majority of us are terrible listeners. We fall victim to conversational narcissism in social circumstances and are constantly looking for an opportunity to join in and contribute our two cents. When someone introduces themselves and you’re focused on what you’re going to say, their name will simply go in one ear and out the other. If you aren’t paying attention within that little time, the chance to discover their name will pass you by in a matter of seconds, and you will be doomed.

Prepare yourself to be as attentive as possible during introductions before entering any social scenario where you’ll be meeting new individuals. Simply having that additional mental attention might go a long way toward aiding your memory.


Early and frequent repetitions are recommended. When you meet someone for the first time, repeat their name as quickly as you can. This will assist you in remembering the person’s name. “Hi Jill, lovely to meet you!” or “Pleasure to meet you, Jill,” for example.

After that first repetition, utilize the person’s name as frequently as you can without sounding like a corny used car salesperson throughout the chat. “Jill, where are you from?” “How’s the weather like in Toledo right now, Jill?” “Jill, how did you meet the bride and groom?” You get my drift. Again, keep it natural and avoid overdoing it.

Make sure to close the chat by saying the person’s name one more time to thoroughly sear the name into your mind. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Jill.” I’m hoping we’ll be able to keep in contact.”

This strategy not only helps you recall someone’s name, but it also makes you seem pleasant. People, as previously said, like the sound of their own name.

Make them write it down. Hearing someone spell their name, particularly if it’s a strange name, might help you remember it. If it’s a popular name with many spelling variants, inquire as to which one the individual prefers. If a person’s name is Bryan, for example, you may inquire, “So is that Bryan with a y or Brian with an I “It’s Bryan with a y,” he says. “That’s Bryan with a y,” you may now think anytime you see that individual.

Use a mnemonic device to help you remember. Even having someone spell out their name won’t help much if their name is very odd or foreign. If that’s the case, try breaking their name down into genuine words that sound like the syllables. “I’m a dinner jacket,” Katie Couric famously said when asked how she recalled how to pronounce the name of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This method is really successful. I’ll never forget Couric’s name or how to pronounce it after reading his response.

Imagine the person’s name written on their brow. Imagine the person’s name emblazoned in large block letters over their forehead as soon as you hear their name. Keep that mental image on their forehead for the duration of their visit with you.

Associate the individual’s name with a memorable image. Make a person’s name as concrete as possible to you by linking it with an image after hearing their name. You may be as inventive as you want with this. There isn’t a right or wrong way to accomplish things. All that is required is for the connection to be significant to you. If someone’s name is Leif Bernstein, for example, you may image Papa Bernstein Bear carrying a large leaf.

Associate the picture that symbolizes the person’s name with a distinguishing facial feature. Most individuals can recall both faces and names; they simply have a hard time remembering both at the same time. Here’s how to make it right. Associate that graphic depiction of the individual’s name with an excellent physical attribute that the person has.


Let’s use Leif Bernstein as an example. Papa Bernstein Bear carrying a large leaf was our image for his name. Now we need to link that picture to a Mr. Bernstein characteristic. Assume Bernstein has large ears. Papa Bernstein Bear, with his gigantic Ross Perot ears and a leaf in his hand, comes to mind. Your affiliation may be whatever you want it to be, as long as it works for you.

Takes notes on the situation. If you work as a salesperson or in any industry that requires you to make regular and important new connections, have a pocket notepad with you at all times. After meeting someone new, jot down their name and some notes about who they are and what they do in your notebook. Take a minute to examine your notes before a meeting where you could encounter them again.

It’s all about practice, practice, practice. Put yourself in circumstances where you’ll have to learn new names since remembering names is a talent that requires practice to master. Make use of these methods as much as possible.

Tools to Assist You in Remembering Names

There are various internet resources that may help you recall the names of individuals you’ve met in addition to employing mnemonic methods. These are particularly useful if you haven’t seen the individual in a long time and know you’ll be meeting them at an event and want to be sure you can match a name to a face.

Facebook. A photo of the individual appears next to their name on Facebook. Isn’t that simple? Before I attend my ten-year high school reunion this summer, I want to study Facebook. I don’t want to be hugged by long-lost old school buddies while I say, “Hey you!” “It’s you!” exclaims the narrator.

Twitter. Yes, I am a Twitter user. [Insert obligatory statement about how unmanly Twitter is] It’s proven to be a helpful networking and name-remembering tool for me. I often check to see whether a new individual I meet at an event has a Twitter account. I’ll follow them if they do. People commonly use their own name (or a variant of it) as their Twitter handle and a photo of themselves as their profile photograph. I see that person’s name and face whenever they tweet anything. Bam. Review of the name

Rapportive. Rapportive is a fantastic gmail browser extension. Rapportive provides you with a full description of the individual with whom you’re conversing over email. Rapportive will display a photograph of the person if one is available. This has came in helpful when I’ve met someone in person for a short time but afterwards exchanged emails with them. I see their bright sparkling face every time I open an email from them. In the back of my mind, I have a name with a face.

What to Do If You Can’t Remember Your Name

You’re sure to forget someone’s name every now and again, no matter how hard you try. If this happens, just apologize and say, “I’m very sorry, but I’ve forgotten your name.” “What exactly is it this time?” Simple. As soon as you discover you’ve forgotten their name, ask them. The more time you spend together, the more irritated they’ll be when you don’t remember their name.


However, having to ask for someone’s name a second time might make you seem unprofessional. “You weren’t significant enough for me to remember you,” you’re effectively telling the individual. If your memory fails you, which we’ve all experienced at some point, here’s how to handle it as smoothly as possible in a variety of settings.

When you have to say your goodbyes.

If you can’t recall someone’s name as you’re leaving, see if they have a business card or a calling card you can take home with you. This is excellent because you’ll always have something you can take home and evaluate, not just because you now know their name without having to ask them, but also because you’ll always have something you can take out and review at home.

When you run across someone you’ve met before.

If you come into someone you recognize but can’t place a name with their face, don’t try to guess their name if you’re not sure. For some reason, it always seems more unpleasant and apparent when someone mispronounces your name than just being asked for it again.

You have a few of possibilities if you can’t recall someone’s name. The first is a simple method that has worked for me countless times.

“Excuse me, what was your name again?” you just ask the individual.

The person’s first name is more likely to be used as a response.

“Oh no, I meant your last name,” you replied, with a lovely giggle and a grin.

People seem to be more tolerant of someone forgetting their last name than they are of someone forgetting their first name. This method will allow you to get the person’s first name without them realizing you had forgotten it. Also, if you forget their last name, you now know it.

Of course, if they react by asking, “My first or last name?” this little ruse might backfire.

If you’re not a gambler, just stroll up, extend your hand, and introduce yourself. “Brett. Last year, we met at a Christmas party.” They’ll almost certainly answer by addressing you by name. Most likely, he or she had forgotten your name as well! By taking the initiative, you are also relieving them of their anxiousness. This is quite gentlemanly.

When you’re introducing someone.

What if you’re standing with a buddy and someone comes up to you and asks you to introduce them, but you have no idea who they are? “Have you met my buddy, Mike?” ask the individual. “No, I haven’t,” the individual will hopefully tell Mike. It’s great to finally meet you. “Hello, my name is Luke.”

Alright. It’s now your turn. What methods do you use to help you recall people’s names? Leave them in the comments section.



The “how to remember names in history” is a question that has been asked many times. It is not easy to remember someone’s name, but there are ways to do it.

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