If you’ve been using the techniques from our series on remembering people’s names, you should now be pretty good at setting them firmly in your memory. If not, that’s OK. Take a look at the posts below and begin using some of the techniques – you’ll need to know them before moving on to remembering groups of people.
Post 1: How to Remember Names
Remembering people’s names when you meet them one by one can be enough of a challenge, so what about those times when you’re at a party or a meeting and you are introduced to multiple people at once? Here’s my spin on an old technique that I call the DJ Hook.
Did you ever notice that DJs go by pretty unique names? Names like DJ Soul, DJ Shadow, or DJ Domino. They do this because Soul, Shadow and Domino stick in our minds more easily than names like Kathy or Brad.
We’re going to attach instant DJ names to people which will help us to remember them. (Sound weird? No worries! Just stick with me.)
As you’re introduced to a group of people, pick something about each one that immediately catches your attention. You may find this a little distracting at first, but with practice it will come easily.
With the DJ Hook, you can pick items that change over time such as
glasses, clothing, hair color or shoes. If the man you just met is
wearing a bright red cardigan, he becomes DJ Red Sweater. The woman
you meet who has platinum blonde hair is DJ Bleach Blonde. The guy
who has severely chapped lips turns into DJ Chapstick.
These DJ names become the “hooks” that you use to attach the real names. They make the names stick in your head.
You can easily scan a room and find something memorable about each person. Give everyone easy DJ names, then link their real names so they become permanently set in your memory.
Let’s Try It
You walk into a meeting room and each person sitting at the table introduces themselves.
The first man you meet is named Fred, and he is wearing a bright red sweater. He becomes DJ Red Sweater .
Using the technique you learned in The Ultimate Trick To Remembering Names, choose “fried egg” as the mental image for Fred. To do this, picture a big, gooey, oily egg being fried on his red sweater.
If something else comes to mind as the mental image for Fred, use that. It’s important to choose a reminder that is easy and means something to you.
It doesn’t matter that Fred will not be wearing a red sweater the
next time you see him. The image will be firmly ingrained in your
mind, and you will instantly recall his name’s image – fried egg
– which will give you his real name, Fred.
Next is a woman in a polka-dot dress. She becomes DJ Polka-Dot. She introduces herself to you as Sally, and you use the mental image “salad” to remember her name. Picture her eating a huge green salad with purple polka dots on the lettuce. (You could also picture her on the beach in a polka dot bikini eating a big green salad.)
These images will come more quickly and easily over time, and this will enable you to memorize multiple people in succession.
For the next person we’ll use both the first and last name.
This guy hasn’t put down his blackberry since he walked in the room. (You know who you are.) So, he becomes DJ BlackBerry. You’re introduced to him and find out his name is Dennis Roberts. Use “dentist” as the mental image for Dennis and “robber ” as the image for Roberts.
Picture this guy in a dentist coat with one of those lights that is worn on the head. It’s the middle of the night and he is breaking into the cell phone store to rob (robber) it of its Blackberry phones.
You can do this with each person until you have mental images for all of them. You may not remember every name in the beginning, but you will recall most. And as you use this technique, you’ll notice how easy it becomes to get the names set in your mind.
I would start with first names only unless you are really good at forming the image reminders. Then add in the last names when you can handle them.
It also doesn’t hurt to jot down the reminder image so you can go over it later (especially if it’s an important name that you want to remember in the future).
Fred – DJ Red Sweater – fried egg
Sally – DJ Polka Dot – salad
Dennis Roberts – DJ Blackberry – dentist robber
Whether you are at a party, networking event, conference, banquet,
or Sunday morning church, the tools from this series will train your brain to remember people’s names–which is an exceptional talent to possess. Good luck and let me know how it goes!