"I know your name but I don't recognize your face", said nobody ... ever.
Why is that? Why are we usually much better at faces than names?
Two of the ways your memory is tested on a daily basis is by challenging it to recognize something or to recall something.
When we recognize an image, smell, sound, taste or feeling it's because we've experienced it before. It doesn't require much effort - our mind does it automatically without us even trying.
That's why we're much better at people's faces than their names.
Remembering a face is all about recognition, but remembering a name requires us to recall it from our memory.
The first video above demonstrates the amazing ability of our mind to recognize images, even when we've only seen them briefly.
Over 80% of people recognize 29 or 30 of the images, and 100% recognize 25 or more. Wow!
So how can you get better at recalling names? It's all about visualization and association.
1. Focus on their name when you’re introduced (common sense but not common practice)
2. Give the name meaning. What does it make you think of?
3. Choose their most distinctive facial feature or characteristic
4. Link the meaning of the name and the facial feature in a mental image
5. Review the connection after you’ve finished speaking with them
Successful? Most definitely.
When you see a ‘memory expert’ recite the names of 100 people he’s just met, this is what he’s doing.
To memorize anything, the more connections you have to assist your recall, the better.
If you’re struggling to remember a name, try to recall anything else about the person. Where did you meet them? What’s their job? When was the last time you saw them?
The more connections you can bring to mind, the more help you’re giving your memory.
And if all else fails?
Be prepared. Create a diplomatic line now to deliver in your time of need. It might be a self-deprecating “Sorry, I’m having a ‘senior’ moment and I’ve forgotten your name”, or something more direct if that’s your style.
If you have a friend or partner with you, you can try a riskier strategy. Introduce your friend/partner – “This is my husband Kevin” – to the nameless acquaintance, but wait for them to introduce him or herself in return.
But you won’t have many of those awkward moments when you begin practicing and using the simple 5 step framework. You’ll remember and recall names like a memory rockstar.
All that’s left is to use your power for good – we all love the sound of our own name :)
If you'd like tips on giving meaning to names and turning them into images, download the free guide below.
Please give this video a like and share, leave a comment below and tell me how many images you recognized.