Names & Faces
“I know your face, but I just can’t remember your name.”
You will admit you’ve had to say it often—far too often. Every time you say it to someone, no matter how hard you try to remember the names, you are stating all too plainly, “We’ve met before, I know, but you didn’t make enough of an impression to make me remember you.”
And both you and he are painfully aware of it. The apology is perfectly sincere, but no one will ever really forgive you the crime of forgetting him.
From a practical point of view, consider the potential friendships, business contacts, sales, and general advancement that you lose when you antagonize people by admitting that they are unimportant to you.
For the very reason that the inability to remember names is so common, the man who has the knack of tying up names with faces has vast opportunities for getting ahead of others.
Later I will tell you how the success of such eminent personalities as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles M. Schwab, and James A. Farley was enhanced by their ability to remember names and faces.
I am going to teach you how to develop your memory for names. The system is simple, and its application will bring you real rewards in every field of your life. I want to give you four rules for remembering names and faces. Actually, they are more than just rules. They are four basic, fundamental principles that, regularly applied, will enable you to fix definitely in your memory the names of the people you meet.
If that sounds too good to be true, let me tell you of some results that I have actually obtained in my classes.
An executive of a large rubber company in Akron came to me with the complaint that he simply could not remember names, although he had been able to train his memory for other details in his business. He could rarely retain even two new names at one time. This was serious, for in the ordinary course of his work he frequently had to attend conferences where he might meet eight or ten new people all at once. They naturally remembered him; he was one of the best-known men in the industry. But his inability to remember them at a second meeting was causing him increasing embarrassment and vexation. He asked me if there wasn’t some technique, some secret I could teach him to solve his problem.
I introduced him to these four fundamental principles. He was a little doubtful at first that these simple rules could make so much difference in his memory for names, but he was willing to give them a try.
Within a few days, he was able to meet twenty people at once and remember their names later with practically no conscious effort. To him, that was the incredible part of the whole business—the realization that what had seemed a superhuman power could have become a habit almost as automatic as shaking hands.
Last season, when I was conducting a course in memory in New York City, one of my students was Miss Roslin Kennedy, daughter of the publisher of Yachting. Like the rubber executive, Miss Kennedy was chiefly worried about her poor memory for names. When she came to me, she had reached the point where she no longer even attempted to remember them, for she was convinced that she simply lacked any ability at all to do it.
Yet, when I gave a demonstration meeting, a week after she enrolled in the course, Miss Kennedy was able to get up on the platform and call eighty-jive people in the audience by name! Mind you, she had known none of them previously. They were all total strangers, who had simply given her their names as they entered the auditorium.
These cases sound fantastic, but your memory can accomplish as much.
Before we get into these four rules to remember the names, let’s ascertain just how bad your present memory for names is. I am going to let you test yourself. On the following pages you will find pictures of fifteen actual people. Each subject’s real name appears beneath his or her picture. Pretend you are being introduced to these fifteen people, one at a time.
Go through the group just once, but look at each picture and name once, play fair with yourself, and go on to the next person. When you have met them all, turn to the following section. There you will see the same fifteen pictures, with no names. How many do you think you will be able to recognize?
You have JUST met fifteen new faces. On the following pages you will see them again, appearing in a different order, just as you might run across them in real life. See whether you can write the correct name under each photograph. If you can recognize eight, your memory is good; if you get twelve, it’s fine. But if you remember the names of only four or five at this second meeting, bear in mind that there are many other people in the same boat with you. Of course, if you get all fifteen correctly, we’d still like to have you with us. If you’re that good to begin with, perhaps you can become even better with a few hints to make you remember the names faster and longer!
Make a note of the number of people you just recognized among these photographs, so that you will be able to watch your improvement to as you take further exercises in meeting new faces. Don’t look back at these pictures, for you are going to meet some of these men and women again later on, and a backward glance now may interfere with a correct check on your future ability to remember the names and faces.
Incoming search terms:
- conscious memory of faces and names
- improve memory of faces and names
- inability to remember faces
- memory test faces and names