We move so fast through interactions that it’s no wonder why we miss pertinent information. Sometimes attention is diverted away from active listening because we are focused on making a good impression.
Other times we are overstimulated, for instance, at a networking event. In these spaces we are taking in loads of information in a short period of time. Catching the name, remembering it, and retaining it for quick retrieval later is much easier said than done.
Networking is key in almost any professional field. In fact, it is foundational for growth, knowledge, experience, performance, and career mobility and advancement. But you certainly can’t make any lasting or fruitful connections if you can’t remember the names of the people you are meeting. So, if slowing down isn’t an option, as it rarely is in business, what gives? How do we remember names at networking events or even in our day-to-day personal and professional lives?
The good news is, there are several tried-and-true strategies that you can practice to improve your ability to make more meaningful and memorable connections.
Networking and Community Building Success Relies On Memorable Connections
Having trouble remembering names is common. This is mostly because names are arbitrary pieces of information, similar to dates or addresses. However, research shows us that hearing our name engages our brain to react. It can feel validating and sets the stage to build rapport more quickly. And, when we forget people’s names, it can cause awkwardness, embarrassment and even be insulting.
Here are 3 effective tips to help you remember names at the next social or professional networking event.
A mnemonic device is a learning technique that can be very helpful in memorization. Think of it as a “memory aid” that will help you retain and retrieve information better by creating vivid imagery. When you are meeting someone, listen for their name and then make a connection.
This can be based on a distinctive physical characteristics or a topic of conversation. For example, “Sarah” can be associated with her “salt and pepper” hair. Or, “Frank” who likes to fish can be remembered as “Frank the Fisherman”.
Repeating the person’s name after they say it is an effective strategy to improve memory function. If our brains are generating the name for our voices to speak, it’s more powerful than just passively hearing it.
It’s also helpful to try using the name again in your conversation, but be careful not to overdo it. Consider slipping it in at the end of the conversation by saying, “It was nice to meet you, <insert name>.”
One of the main reasons we forget a person’s name is because we aren’t hyper focused on learning it to begin with. There’s usually a lot going on when we are meeting new people. There are many distractions— overstimulation is a common reason we don’t remember names.
An effective strategy that is often overlooked in its simplicity is the art of making a conscious effort. We choose our priorities. If we go into an interaction with the intention of remembering a person’s name, we will likely succeed.
Networking and Community Building Events Near Me
When you do your next search for “networking events near me,” take a different approach. Business networking events are the prime time to put your name game to the ultimate test. Whether it’s a webinar or an in-person convention, use it as an opportunity to employ your new memorization strategies.
It’s important to note that there are other tools and resources available that can aid in your efforts to remember names better. Networking and community building events means meeting lots of people in short amounts of time. Consider creating and using a digital business card at your next event.
The networking capabilities on most of the leading apps are phenomenal. You can share information seamlessly. Many of the apps will automatically Geotag when and where you connect with a person (prompted by the scanning of their digital card or even a paper business card). Then you can add notes about the person using the memorization strategies you learned today.
For more tips on remembering names and other effective networking approaches, visit StayTouch today!