You don’t have to attend a lot of networking events before having trouble remembering the names of new people you’ve met. Here’s how to keep the names of fresh connections alive in your memory.
Start the conversation the right way
“When you meet someone new, introduce yourself by making eye contact, smiling, stating your first and last name, and giving a firm but brief handshake. Then, listen for the other person’s name (believe me, it’s easy to miss when you’re nervous), then use it two times while you’re speaking. This will not only help you remember her name, but also appear sincere and interested in the conversation.”
Don’t be afraid to write things down
This strategy could make it easier to keep track of who you meet.
“Did you and Bob have an interesting chat about Game of Thrones? Did Sally have a great suggestion on how to train your troublesome puppy? Try jotting down a brief note about each person you meet on their business card. It’s typically best to do that after you’ve walked away, but I’ve definitely jotted things down on cards in front of people as well, playing it off by joking that it’s a tidbit I definitely want to remember (although that’s exactly why I’m doing it). A small note about what you talked about can be a great way to differentiate between the three guys named John you met when you come home with a stack of 100 cards at the end of the night.”
Look at their names on paper
“Use your eyes as well as your ears. When someone wears a nametag, for instance, look at the nametag as well as the face to create an association. As soon as you receive a business card, glance at the name and say, ‘Thank you, John.’ ”
Study their appearance
“Pick out a facial feature that may be easy to remember. Look at the person’s face and search for the most distinguishing feature, whether it is a small nose, large ears, unusual hairdo, or deep dimples. Often the first outstanding feature you notice is the easiest to recall later.”