Some parts of my job come very easily to me. I don’t have stage fright (luckily), I’m able to create customized magic for clients and I adapt well to problems on stage. But, like anybody else, there are skills that I am working to improve. This includes remembering names.
I can’t tell you how much it matters, because audiences notice. I’ve had shows where I kept calling the volunteer the wrong name, and it hurts all of us. I’ve also had shows where I memorize everyone’s names over the entire evening. It is one thing to perform an incredible show, and it is another to perform an incredible show while making a deep connection with each audience member. This begins with memorizing everyone’s names.
This skill doesn’t come easy to me, and I’ve been working hard at it. Harry Lorayne’s Remembering People has provided some incredible exercises and techniques to practice this skill. Lorayne is a memorization genius, and his book can help anybody looking to improve their memorization of names, lists, numbers or anything else under the sun.
Below are just a few of the amazing tips I’ve received:
- Pay attention when somebody introduces themselves. So many of us (including myself) go into auto-pilot at the handshake.
- When somebody tells you their name, repeat the name back to them.
- Ask them how to spell their name, even if it’s obvious. This helps to form a connection with the name and the face.
- Create a story with the name. Is his name John? Picture him eating a Long John doughnut. This sounds weird, but it helps.
- Say their name when you say goodbye. This helps match their name to their face one last time.
Each person’s name is precious. It announces who that person is all in one instant. A person’s name connects them to their personality, accomplishments, work and so much more. After all, wouldn’t you like your name remembered?