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A very simple trick on remembering people’s names after the first try

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“It was nice meeting you… Uh, well, have a good day!”

Have you ever found yourself stopping in the middle of a sentence because you forgot the person’s name? That’s a bit awkward. You can just make the conversation neutral by not mentioning their name, but you always want to make a good impression.

You’ve heard people saying:
“I’m so bad with names!”
“I can remember faces but not names!”

Your brain can play tricks on you! Especially in stressful situations when you have a million things to think about. This often occurs when your attention is scattered.

What should you do if you want to make a good impression and stay professional during an interview? Remembering your interviewer’s name could make you stand out but also make you a solid candidate.

Natalie MacNeil, a famous author, wrote an article on her encounter with Kwik, a memory and brain performance expert. He has taught many public figures, such as celebrities, entrepreneurs and leaders how to maximize their creativity, memory and abilities to retain information all at once. So yes, your brain can be “trained” to perform at its full potential. Kwik also had many workshops around the world where he conducted training sessions to help people memorize 100 phone numbers or names all at once.

If you want to be an expert at remembering names, Kwik suggests his S.U.A.V.E method for training. You can start little by little or even use this method when meeting someone as well as during an interview with your future employer.

Use the SUAVE method to train your name memorization:

  • S(ay): Say the person’s name out loud.
  • U(se): Use her name in a sentence, e.g. “Hi Sam, thank you for giving me the chance to have an interview with you!” Use the name three to four times in a conversation, but don’t overdo it or it will seem unnatural.
  • A(sk): Ask the person whose name you’re learning a question. Finding out the meaning of her name, or where she’s from, are great starting points.
  • V(isualize): Try visualizing something tied to the person’s name. For example if his name is Sunny, think of the sun.
  • E(nd): As you walk away from the conversation, use the person’s name one last time to say goodbye.

These points will serve you as a reminder for the different ways you can memorize a name. Try this method at a conference or networking event, or even a sales meeting or call. Another easy way of memorizing could be trying to remember the barista’s name when you go get your next coffee at Starbucks.