It’s something we’re all guilty of: exchanging introductions with someone new only to forget that person’s name moments later.
’Tis the season for holiday parties where you’re sure to meet new people — but if you’re dreading the introductions, worry not. One memory expert is putting an end to all stress-inducing introductions with a few simple tips.
Memory expert Harry Lorayne has shared his tips with live audiences, showing them he can remember the names of up to 1,500 people he’s just met. When it comes to making sure you never forget a name, Lorayne tells the Daily Mail it’s important to go back to the basics.
“Be sure you properly hear what the other person has said. It’s not embarrassing to say: ‘Sorry, I didn’t get your name.’ Try to spell the name… but what if it’s an easy-to-spell name, like Jones or Carter? Don’t worry about looking an idiot: The person will still feel flattered because you’re showing an interest,” he said.
Following those simple tips, he also suggests making a remark about the name and using it as a follow-up again in the conversation — or before saying goodbye. If these tips are not new to you and you still find yourself forgetting how someone introduced themselves, Lorayne has another way of tricking your mind to remember.
When someone introduces themselves, assign a visual to the person’s name.
“Say you’ve just been introduced to Mr. Pukczyva, pronounced puckshiva. You’re going to start by breaking his name into syllables — puck-shiv-a — and then forming an image in your mind. In his case, you might visualize an ice hockey puck shivering — and suddenly all those consonants would become memorable,” Lorayne explained.
For easier names, like Brown or Rivers, Lorayne believes the names have already done the work for you.
“There’s another category of names: those that automatically conjure up a related image. The name Caruso, for example, might well make you think of an opera singer. Hudson or Jordan might make you think of a river; Campbell might make you ‘see’ a can of soup.”
While this new method of memorization may be a bit of a challenge in the beginning, Lorayne assures readers that it will eventually get easier, with your brain automatically assigning images to common names from the moment people introduce themselves.
“After you’ve used my substitute words and thoughts principle for a while, you’ll form standard images for certain names. For example, I always visualize a blacksmith’s hammer for Smith, a garden for Gordon, an ice cream cone for Cohen,” he said.
Lorayne also has a method for making sure you connect the right face to the name. To do this, he suggests tying the person’s defining facial feature to the individual’s “substituted name.” Since we’re always better at remembering faces than names, you can easily combine the two so you remember both.
“Really look at that face. Now, connect your substitute word or thought for the name to the outstanding feature of the face. You want one to remind you of the other. … Mr. Robrum has bushy eyebrows. See a bottle of rum over each eye instead of eyebrows and you ‘rob’ them. Bushy eyebrows equals Robrum.”
Lorayne said that while his method is tried and true, it is only used to supplement the power of the memory, insisting we need to trust our minds.
“True memory tells you the correct name. Remember, my systems are simply aids to your fabulous God-given memory,” he wrote.
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