Remember names and faces with ease
When I was on Brain Games they had me meet a room full of people, later as they came back into the room I repeated their names back. In five easy steps you can accomplish the same thing. These five steps are; focus, file, picture, action, and review.
Do you often find yourself shaking someone’s hand and two seconds later you forget their name? This is not because you have a bad memory, it’s because you weren’t focused. If you’re not focused you’re not going to remember their name. So how do you stay focused? When you’re walking towards someone and you know you will be told their name get into the habit of asking yourself “what is their name”. Repeat this to yourself right up to the point of them telling you their name. Remember though not to say it out loud, you may get some funny looks. This simple act will help focus you so that you can remember names.
Think of it like when you store something on your computer. When you have a document you want to save you save it to a file called my documents so when you need it later you go directly to that file and open it. Your computer needs files for you to be able to retrieve information and your brain is the same way. So in this step you need to select a file on their face that will help you remember their name. The files will be landmarks or locations on their face. For example Jay Leno has a big chin, it’s a feature that stands out and easy to remember. Those distinguishing features will become your files or locations you will go back to later to remember their name.
Now you need a picture that corresponds to that name. Have you ever said before “I’m so good with faces, I never forget a face but I just can’t remember names”? Well you remember the face because you saw the face, you didn’t see the name. The mind remembers what it sees so that means we need to create a picture for the names that way you can SEE the name along with the face. Let’s try a common name like Steve. When I see the name Steve I think of a stove. So my picture for the name Steve would be a stove, Brian would be a brain, Jason would be a blue jay, and for Clay would be…..you guessed it, clay! Pretty simple right?
In this step it’s pretty simple, our brain remembers action and emotions. Turn your pictures into action. For Example my friend Brian has a huge nose so to remember his name I would picture a brain dripping out of his nose. Take the distinctive feature of who you want to remember and place your picture for their name on it. That’s it!
The fifth and final step is review. At the end of every day get in the habit of asking yourself “who did I meet today?”. While do that also try to recall what their distinguishing feature was and what was the picture that you saw with that feature. You can do this before bed, or even driving to work. The important thing to remember is that once you create a picture for a name (i.e.: Steve = stove) that will be the picture associated with that name from now on. So the next time you run into these people instead of trying to recall their name ask yourself what stood out the most to you about them and what it was that was on/in that feature.