So you walk into the workshop you are hosting and meet two of the people who will be attending your event. You're thrilled! People actually showed up! They WANT to learn from you! OK… take the excitement down a notch and make sure you know what you're doing. Uh oh… a couple more people came up to introduce themselves. What was that one on the left's name again? Shoot… What was the woman's name that you met when you walked in with that adorable cashmere scarf? Ugh!
Don't beat yourself up. It's totally understandable that the first thing we forget is someone's name. I mean… there is a lot to take in when you first meet someone new, especially when you're trying to make a good impression. Your mind is in ten different places. Did you get the continental breakfast set out on time? Did you leave your curling iron on up in your room? Is that person wearing those new shoes you just saw at the mall last week?!?! Distractions are all around us!
If this sounds like you, than you sound just like me! I get so frustrated when I meet someone and 2 seconds later, I couldn't tell you there name if my life depended on it. I know how overwhelming it can be to meet 10, 15, 25 new people when you walk into the room of your next event. You want everyone to feel welcomed and included and you want to make sure you remember the name of every single person the next day when they show up for Day 2. You want to have a strong connection with each of your attendees, so what is the best way to do it? Try these quick tips to up the memory game and impress your attendees with how quickly you start calling them by name! And better yet? You'll stop feeling as embarrassed as I usually do when someone's name slips my mind for the third time in ten minutes! And worse case scenario… you'll stop making the people you're working with feel like you're completely apathetic to who they are as humans by no longer forgetting names!
1. Meet and Repeat
Yup, you got it. Repeat their name right back to them as soon as they introduce themselves to you. Plug it into the small talk that you're having with them and make a point to do it! Even better? As you're saying good-bye, repeat the name again. Now don't get all creepy and turn everything into a sales pitch, but look them in the face and let them know you are sincerely excited they are attending the event. What a better way to commit things to memory!
2. Make Connections
It may sound silly, but if you learn a new name from someone who is attending one of your events, it tends to help right away if you associate that person with someone else you know by the same name. Don't know anyone by that name? Think of a celebrity you may have heard about with the same name and associate this new person's name with them. It's been proven to help remember names right off of the bat, because you have personal experiences or feelings about the person that you are associating their name with.
Stuck with how to associate that person's name with anyone you may know or have heard of? Than work on associating it with something else to remember! For example, did you just meet Jamie? Is she from New Jersey? There you go… Jamie from Jersey will help to keep the names in place later in the day. Does the woman named Marge who just introduced herself to you work in Marketing? Ding, ding, ding! Marge from Marketing will help you keep her name associated to who she is!
3. Grab a Business Card
Ask for a business card when someone introduces themselves at the next event you host. It will help you to keep track of what they do and what business they work for or own. If you have a second, jot down some quick notes on the back of the card that will help you to remember their name. Maybe add some physical attributes that will help you keep the name associated with the face, as well.
And once you get back to your business, put those cards into your contacts with a few pieces of info that will help you to remember them. Perhaps if they have kids? Hobbies? Anything that might help you remember that name, add it in!
If all else fails? Just ask for their name again. Own up to your forgetfulness and most people will be happy to remind you. Most people are very forgiving and have a difficult time recalling names, themselves, so it won't be the worst thing in the world to ask for a reminder!
I hope these work great for you! It's always quite the feat to know the names of people who show up at your events, but I know you can do it! Remembering names can be so important. I know you want your attendees to feel good and pay greater attention because they feel that you've invested the time and energy into knowing things about them that you just learned. Wow the socks off of everyone at your next event! You'll even impress yourself!