Memory

Try This Simple Technique to Always Remember the Names of People You Meet

It's possible to 'train your brain' to improve memory.
Guest Writer
Author and Emmy Award-winning media entrepreneur
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"I'm so bad at remembering names."

"I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached to my body!"

"I'm sorry -- where did you say you were from again?"

Ah, memory. You're such a tricky beast.

Let's be real with each other: Being scatterbrained is a side effect of entrepreneurship.

We have a million tasks, facts and figures running through our mind at any minute of the day. So, whether we're we're at a networking event, meeting new clients, potential clients and colleagues, or just trying to pass along information, there always seems to be something that slips our mind if we don't write it down.

That's why I was so excited to spend time with the brilliant Jim Kwik for this week's #MondayMotivation.

Kwik is a memory and brain performance expert who's worked with a range of celebrities, leaders and entrepreneurs, to teach them how to maximize their creativity, memory, and ability to learn and retain information, all by "training their brain" to perform at the highest possible level. At talks and workshops around the world, he performs incredible feats of the mind, including memorizing 100 names or phone numbers at a time. So, you really don't want to miss this episode.

And yet, there's one fact that makes his skill set and story all the more fascinating: Kwik started teaching himself these processes after recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a child. After surgery, his prognosis was bleak. He struggled in school, had massive difficulties focusing and retaining memories, and was told he'd have learning challenges for the rest of his life.

Until he discovered: He didn't need to just accept that future. What he needed to do was re-learn how to learn. (And that's not something traditional schools teach.)

"We're told our potential is fixed, like our shoe size," Kwik says. "But, we underestimate the power of the human mind."

I couldn't agree more.

Watch the video to find out:

  • How much of your mind's capabilities are determined by genetics ... and how much is in your control. (Hint: It's more than you think!)
  • Which former U.S. president has a famously fantastic memory -- and Kwik's theory on why that is
  • Kwik's M.O.M. and S.U.A.V.E. memory techniques to help you become a name-memorizing wizard in record time

Ready for your challenge for this week?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Use Kwik's "S.U.A.V.E." technique this week to remember the names of new people you meet. Try to learn at least two new names a day.

  • S(ay): Say the person's name out loud.
  • U(se): Use her name in a sentence, e.g. "Natalie, it's nice to meet you!" Use the name three to four times in conversation, but don't "abuse" it.
  • A(sk): Ask the person whose name you're learning a question. The meaning of her name, or where she's from, are great starting points.
  • V(isualize): Try visualizing something tied to the person's name. For example, if he's named Matt, picture a doormat after learning his name.
  • E(nd): As you walk away from the conversation, use the person's name one last time to say goodbye.

Don't have a networking event or conference coming up? No problem. Consider finding a meetup happening locally, or test the S.U.A.V.E. technique out at the coffee shop to remember the name of your barista, or the next time you're out with a friend, strike up a conversation with a stranger to practice being S.U.A.V.E.

Just try to memorize at least two names each day this week. More if you can! But, make two the goal. And remember: I'll be playing right along with you.

Keep me updated here in the comments, or on Facebook or Instagram, and let's swap notes!

Good luck -- and stay suave!

Related: The Secret to Writing Anything Quickly

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