Five ways to remember people's names

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Are you bad at remembering names?

Most people are. And yet it's a business skill that's vital to master. People like hearing their name, and the more someone likes you, the more likely they are to do business with you.

So, how can you get better at remembering the people you just met? Motivational speaker Michael Angelo Caruso offers five suggestions in "How to remember names." Here's an excerpt:

2. Use “cluster imprinting” to learn names.
The goal of cluster imprinting is to imprint your brain with the person’s name eight to ten times within three minutes of meeting them. Listen to the person say his or her name. Then you might say “Catherine, it’s nice to meet you.” You’ve now heard her name twice.

3. Repetition is a form of practice.
After being introduced, you might say “Catherine, is that Catherine with a ‘C’ or Katherine with a ‘K’?” The person could answer “‘Catherine’ with a ‘C’.” Now you’ve heard the name five times and visualized it at least once. If someone approaches you and Catherine, offer to introduce the new person. “Catherine, do you know Tom? Tom, this is Catherine.” Now, you’ve been imprinted with Catherine’s name seven times.

One tip Caruso doesn't mention, but that I've used with some success, is to picture the person's name written across their forehead. If you're a visual learner (which I am), envisioning that text can help your brain connect the name to the person.

Of course, let's not forget tech. Armed with your smartphone, you can swap virtual business cards with new contacts, another good way to "imprint" on them.

In fact, check out Evernote Hello, an app designed expressly to help you remember people. With it you can not only jot down a person's name and the details of where/how you met, but also snap a photo -- and there's no better way to remember a name than having a photo attached to it.

Have you learned any other secrets for remembering names? Whether they're high-tech or no-tech, tell me about them in the comments.

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