One powerful trick for remembering names

Never forget a name again.

In almost 30 years of delivering memory enhancement keynotes and workshops, without a doubt the number one issue I hear over and over again is remembering names, or rather the inability to recall someone’s name. I have a 90-minute keynote covering just this issue. We don’t have ninety minutes right now, so here’s an incredibly powerful technique to help overcome this problem.

I have said many times that all memory systems are based on associating an image of what you wish to remember, to an image of something you already know, a memory that you have already stored, and have instant access to. So when it comes to names, you already have access to images related to hundreds of common names. These can be images of famous people or people you already know. If I asked you to think of the names Donald or Hillary, whom do you think of? Of course Donald Duck and Sir Edmond Hillary…….no, you think of the politicians? Okay, let’s use them then.

This is how it works. When you are introduced to someone who shares the same first name as someone famous, or someone you know, you must quickly think of something about that famous person (or the person you know) which instantly reminds you of him or her, whether it’s a location, an action or something about him or her which stands out to you.

So you’ve just been introduced to someone named Donald, you immediately conjure up an image of Donald Trump, you now pick something about Donald Trump which reminds you of him, something which stands out, perhaps his hair, an image of a WALL, maybe Trump Tower in Manhattan, any number of things will work fine.

Here’s the powerful technique. You must now see this person, who you’ve just been introduced to, with a head of hair exactly like The Donald; of course you have to do this without laughing! Or you could imagine this guy sitting astride the top of Trump Tower (ridiculous images are ALWAYS stronger). Or you could imagine this guy literally building a brick WALL in the exact spot you are introduced to him.

When you next bump into this guy, your brain will do all the work for you, it will instantly recognize him with Donald Trumps hair, or see him building a wall and you will IMMEDIATELY recall his name.

If you meet a Hillary, you can picture her ignoring you while she’s checking her emails on her phone, or picture her giving a speech behind a lectern.

Here’s a real life example. I recently took an elevator ride in a hotel to give a speech. On the way down a guy in the elevator noticed my name badge and recognized me from the conference brochure. He introduced himself, his name was Roger, I immediately thought of Roger Federer and imagined him serving tennis balls inside the elevator. He came up to me after my presentation and I instantly saw him with a huge tennis racquet in his hand, he was so flattered that I recalled his name.

And by the way, our brain is so powerful at recognizing images; you don’t have to worry that you might end up calling him Novak, Andy or Rafael.

Try it, practice it, you will be amazed at how incredibly strong this one technique is for remembering names.

Download my new app for remembering names  BOB’S APP


Funny, unique and interactive in his entertaining conference keynotes and workshops, Bob Gray reveals the untapped potential in each of us. His empowering systems and their many applications in the business world give participants immediate ‘walk away’ value. Book Bob Gray today as your next conference keynote speaker.





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