"Remembering People's NamesOne of the most important things we use our memory for is to recall people’s names. Althoughit’s important, most of us put ourselves in embarrassing situations where we can and doremember the face, but cannot remember the name. Our recent ancestors were lucky enough notto have this problem. It was common knowledge that people who baked bread were named"Baker." The same is true for "Blacksmiths," "Carpenters" and "Tailor’s."Today the name game is a little more complicated. In college, we meet people in large groupsettings and it is extremely difficult to remember just a few of the names for any real length of time. Thankfully, there are two systems that can help us remember and connect the face to thename. Used correctly, each system builds and strengthens the other. The first system derivesfrom the early colonial rules of social etiquette, and the second is taken from the MnemonicMethods we have learned about earlier in this handout.The first or Social Etiquette System follows a series of steps that progress to the goal of remembering names for social interaction purposes. Whether for social or professional purposes,the steps will set an easily learned pattern that can help you start associating a particular namewith the corresponding face.1. Don’t "know" that your memory is terrible and not attempt to really "hear" how each person’sname is pronounced.2. Greet people by looking them straight in the face. Look for one distinguishing feature such ashair, eyes, lips, nose, forehead, wrinkles or facial hair. Find something that makes this personunique.3. Listen to "how" this person’s name is pronounced.4. Always ask to repeat the name. "Did you say Joe Smith?"5. If the name still puzzles you, ask for the correct spelling. If you were panicked by introducingyourself, this is a good way to hear the name again without being totally obvious6. Find closure with steps #4 and #5. Make sure that you can spell or say their name.7. Exchange business cards if you can. You then have a hard copy for review.8. Repeat that person’s name in conversation as much as possible. "John, do you know JoeSmith? Joe is a business major from Houston."9. During any pauses in the conversation, internally repeat that person’s name to yourself.10. During longer breaks, step back and recite each persons name along with the facialcharacteristic that helps you to remember them.