How To Remember Anyone’s Name

man in white long sleeve shirt shaking hands with a woman
Photo by Yan Krukov on

1935 was just about the low of the Depression. Yet, it was during this year that Dale Carnegie began to build his reputation as an excellent public speaker. He attracted huge crowds when people had no money to spare…how was this?

Carnegie found that people had two primary interests: First, people wanted to learn about health. Second, they wanted to learn about human relations.

Carnegie looked into the prospect of “human relations,” and found that there was not a single book written on it. So, he wrote the first; and obtained substantial success. The book is called – How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is still widely recognized as being a highly influential and instrumental book today.

In this post, I will share my plan to implement one principle of Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, in my life.

Carnegie’s book was organized so that each chapter coherently and thoroughly covered one aspect of the many fundamental techniques in handling human relations ranging from the intentional usage of a person’s Christian name, to making the other person feel important, to the importance of persuasive speaking.

I have read his book multiple times, and each time I have read it I have gained a deeper understanding of the book and how I ought to deal with people. One technique I now regularly use and enjoy practising is the intentional usage of a person’s Christian name.

Carnegie explained that using a person’s name gives the impression that you think that the other person is important, and thus, makes the other person feel important, and therefore, makes the other person like you because of the feeling of importance that you have given them.

Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest sound in any language.”

It’s such a simple gesture, yet so often overlooked.

There are three ways to remember a person’s name: audibly, verbally, and visually.

When I pick up the phone or meet a person for the first time, I pay close attention to those first few seconds when a person introduces themselves, and I say their name right back to them. This greatly helps to engrave their name upon my brain so that I can recall it later when I need it next. This is because I have learned their name audibly – by hearing it.

Hypothetical situation:

“Hi, my name is John.”

You can also learn their name verbally – by speaking it.

Hypothetical situation:

“Hi, my name is John.”

My response:

“Hello, John! Nice to meet you!”

Lastly, you can learn their name visually – through sight.

Hypothetical situation:

“Hi, my name is John.”

My response: (Please don’t do this with a name as simple as “John.” He’ll think you are a kook)

“Oh, John! What an interesting/beautiful name! How do you spell your name?”

It is at this moment when you whip out your phone/notebook and quickly write down their name; in this way you learn their name visually – through sight.

Now, you had better like this person…or else you may have great trouble forgetting their name!

It is this process that I will be using to learn people’s names. The more I do this, the more instinctively learning and using a person’s name will become.

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