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No More Embarassing Name Game

Dec 27, 2007
The sweetest sound... the sweetest sound of all... is the sound of your own name. Everyone likes to hear his own name. Everyone resents being called by a wrong or mispronounced name. It is to everyone's advantage to learn ways to remember other people's names.

Before World War II, I was asked to speak before a civic organization in Nashua, New Hampshire. While waiting for the dinner to begin, I was introduced to over fifty strangers. Later, while we were seated at the table, waiting for dessert, the master of ceremonies discovered that I could recall the name of everyone I had met.

Accordingly, he suggested to me that, when I acknowledged my introduction, I should greet everyone in the audience by name. I doubted the value of this and questioned the reasoning behind it, but I agreed to try it. Frankly, it astonished and pleased the entire group. I have been doing this effectively ever since.

My fabulous memory for names has given me added prestige, personality, and income. By following instructions, you too, can become most adept at this necessary part of anyone's education.

If one really wants to remember a name, he can do so much more easily than if he has no incentive. Intense desire is the number one requisite for the retention of a name. The example that I like best is to use this: "You see a beautiful girl (or an attractive man), and the name stays with you." This is true, of course, because you really desire to remember it.


When you meet someone for the first time, repeat the name at the time of the introduction and then insert it several times into the general conversation. If the opportunity presents itself for you to introduce the new acquaintance to someone, be sure to use it.
Repeat the name; if necessary, ask how to spell it... Use it in conversation and upon departure... Associate it with someone or something... Note and exaggerate the most notable features... Later, write the name and read it aloud... Preferably, use last name only... Some time after meeting the person, test your memory of the name. .. Relate the person to others of the same last name.

Name Only

One of the most common mistakes is the attempt to learn both first and last names. Always - I repeat, always - pay attention to the last name only. A person never can be offended if called by his last name with Mr., Mrs., or Miss properly affixed. The first name can come later, and usually is given by the person himself. It is easier to have only one name to remember, and the fact that last names are generally much more distinctive makes your improvement in recalling names fall into line twice as fast.

If, sometime, you find yourself unable to recall a name, run through the alphabet letter by letter, and the name will come through.


One of the greatest guides to name retention is the singling out of one feature in a face. This can be amplified by the use of the caricaturing system. When you see a caricature in a newspaper or magazine, you find that the person has been caricatured by the amplification of the outstanding feature of his or her face. This method is highly recommended for the memorizing of names and faces on a permanent basis. This is one of the most important features in this entire publication.

You meet Mr. Jones. He has average features. You cannot find anything unusual about Mr. Jones. You could take the last four letters of his name, however, and scramble them to spell nose... n-o-s-e, and then see Mr. Jones pulled along by a J-shaped hook in his nose. The picture, so ridiculous and yet so vivid, will stay with you.

Practice of these methods will ensure you have success in remembering the name of everyone you meet.
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