How to remember a person's name: 11 steps (with pictures)

How to remember a person's name: 11 steps (with pictures)
How to remember a person's name: 11 steps (with pictures)

Having trouble remembering people's names? It can happen to anyone from time to time, but if it's a lifelong problem for you, it's time to do your best to improve this bad habit that is a bit of carelessness. If you are shy, nervous, bored, or around people who fear you, these are all reasons that may explain your tendency to forget names. These are not excuses, however.

There are ways to remember people's names and stay socially well-regarded. Knowing the name of a person can be a determining factor in opening doors for you and maintaining a first contact that could turn out to be a great friend of yours or a long-term working partner.


Remember a Person's Name Step 1

Step 1. Understand the importance of using people's names correctly

Sometimes it can be helpful to see the effects of using a name correctly instead of focusing on your own nervousness, temperamental memory, or a simple unwillingness to remember names. William Shakespeare said, "There is no sound sweeter than someone's name" and he was absolutely right. We create a bond when we use a person's name, which is a form of recognition that the other is respected and valued. It gives meaning to the meeting with the other (and for you too) and makes him feel good, because you recognize him. Basically, remembering a person's name is a mark of politeness and respect, furthermore, the first impression carries a lot of weight and you might not have another chance to make a good, strong first impression.

Remember what it does when someone else forgets your name. No one likes to be forgotten

Remember a Person's Name Step 2

Step 2. Realize that the main reason people forget names is actually very simple

Usually, it's because we're not really listening or giving it our full attention. Most of the time, this can be explained by nervousness and stress that you feel when you wonder what impression you are making on the person. The solution is to give the other person your full attention when you introduce yourself and focus on them, not yourself. If one of the reasons you're having trouble remembering names is that you're feeling nervous or wondering what topic of conversation you're going to be able to bring up, then you might want to take some time to learn how to get started. short conversations, so that you are really attentive when you meet someone and ready to listen to their name.

Remember a Person's Name Step 3

Step 3. Ask the person to repeat their name if you haven't heard them correctly

It won't be worth pretending to know someone's name if you haven't heard it right when you were told. Don't pass up your chance, though. Say right now that you didn't hear the name or something like that. This will make it clear that you need to hear the name another time, perhaps more slowly or clearly. Listen carefully the second time! This is a good method if you were nervous, distracted by noise, movement around you, or whatever. You must be aware that the name has already been spoken and therefore that you must immediately apologize for not having heard it correctly and for asking to repeat it.

  • If you don't understand how to pronounce the name, you have the perfect opportunity to ask the person to repeat it and then say it out loud to yourself.
  • If the name is unusual, have the person spell it out and possibly ask what its origin is. Expect to do this too if your own name is unusual or difficult to pronounce.
  • If you find it useful, swap your business cards and look closely at the person's name.
Remember a Person's Name Step 4

Step 4. Repeat

Repeat the person's name after they tell you, for example, “Nice to meet you, Valerie. Don't rush, say it softly so it's clear and pause to smile and show that you are truly delighted to meet this person. Repeat the name quickly in conversation, for example at the end of your sentences or questions. Say, "What did you think of dinner, Valerie?" »Repeating (at least three times) will help you remember the name. Your memory will associate the name and sight of the person in front of you.

  • Repeat the person's name to yourself at least ten times in your head once you know them.
  • Some examples of things you can say with the person's name: “What are your plans for next year, Thérèse? »,« What did you think of that, Frédéric? »,« It was a pleasure to meet you, Élisa. We remember it even better by repeating it while saying goodbye, it imprints it in our head until the next meeting.
Remember a Person's Name Step 5

Step 5. Find associations between this person and other people you know

Create a mental image of this new person next to someone you know well and who is called the same or has a similar name (works with famous people too!). When you need to remember that person's name, in general you will remember that image you created and with whom you associated it. For example "Marc is friends with Mathieu", "Aurore looks like Marion Cotillard".

It will be easier if the new person you meet already knows some of your friends, you can ask your friends to help you, and it will also be easier to associate that person with your friends

Remember a Person's Name Step 6

Step 6. Make associations with objects or animals

There are several methods to choose from, choose what works best for you.

  • Find an animal or object or whatever that begins with the same letter as the person's name, for example: Charline-cat, Carine-carrotte.
  • If it's a name that refers to something visual, use it. For example names like Marguerite, Angel, Désiré, Rose, Prudence, etc. can be associated with mental images that you will remember.
  • Associate the name with a rhyming word, such as Jacques-braque.
  • Pair the name with something that has roughly the same meaning, like Marcel-tank top.
  • Associate the name with a word that resembles it, such as Mr. Puteaux becomes Mr. Poteau.
  • Change words or introduce celebrities for people you can't see a picture for. For example, to help your memory, Isabelle Manceau can become “Isabelle Huppert eats buckets”!
  • Of course, keep these associations to yourself, you might upset the person if they misunderstand and think you are comparing them to that!
Remember a Person's Name Step 7

Step 7. Study the person's features and their face

Of course, keep a low profile, but try to take a good look at her face, hair, or any other feature when talking to her. Try to find any distinctive features, like bruised teeth, bushy eyebrows, deep wrinkles, ladylike attire, or anything else noteworthy. Try to associate the name with this characteristic, so that you will remember it the next time. For example "Jean with the square jaw".

Try to remember the most remarkable characteristic and associate it with the name

Remember a Person's Name Step 8

Step 8. Ask your partner or a friend to help you

If you really can't remember people's names, ask your partner or trusted friends to lend a hand. You can tell them that you still can't remember people's names well and that you would like some help when you seem uncomfortable. Or, plan a code ahead of time that means you're getting your brushes tangled up. Ask them to introduce themselves or say the person's name right away if they already know it. Listen carefully!

  • You can discreetly ask someone you know to help you during the conversation, just be careful to keep a low profile. A friend or partner can also tell you the person's name before you meet them so that you have some time to think about it and practice your memory.
  • For example: “Did you know that Robert is a very good painter? Or "Sarah and I talked about it yesterday".
Remember a Person's Name Step 9

Step 9. Have confidence in yourself

It's easy to accept that you're bad at remembering names, but don't go around in circles thinking that of yourself! You are not "Benoit, the guy unable to remember a name". Don't tell that to the people you meet either, you will only make it into yourself that you are a hopeless case and people will think that you are not even trying to improve yourself which will make them misunderstanding. toward you. Believe in your ability to improve yourself and tell yourself that you can remember names well.

Remember how hurtful it can be when a person walks in and says, "I'm really bad at remembering names" just as that same sentence was on the tip of your tongue. Didn't it bother you that he announced that he was not interested in remembering your name? You have to take this as a wake-up call: the two of you aren't working on it enough, so prove to that other person that you can remember their name

Remember a Person's Name Step 10

Step 10. Write it down

As you work on your ability to remember names, you can take notes in a notebook (or use your smartphone or other phone if it has note-taking function). When you talk to someone new, write their name in your notebook. Do this right after talking to the person, you can also add some information about the person's look or character, where you met them, the day, etc. So you can take a look at your notes every day or week and try to remember each person. For example: “Jean, met at the office in May. Tall, slim, with glasses. Was a little condescending."

Do not write anything while you are talking to or in the presence of the person. Wait until you have finished your conversation before going quickly to write something in your notebook. It's worth it since people will appreciate that you put in the effort to remember their name

Remember a Person's Name Step 11

Step 11. Consider asking

As a last resort, if all else hasn't worked out, ask as politely as possible. Say something like, “I'm so sorry, but I forgot your name. Could you remind me? Smile, don't add too many details or endless excuses, take it lightly and assume. This time, you shouldn't forget that person's name anytime soon!


  • The exact name of a job is as important as an exact name. Take the different steps above to also remember people's jobs.
  • Try to remember only the first name, drop the last name if this is too hard for you.
  • If you are more likely to remember people's names if you've heard of them before, ask your friends to tell you about them ahead of time if they already know them.
  • View the person's name. Some people have visual memory and need to see things to remember them.
  • Find a remarkable characteristic and try to associate it with the name of the person.
  • If you really can't remember the person's name, try asking someone else before or after your conversation with that person. So next time you should remember the name if you use the correct mnemonic methods.
  • If you arrive with a conversation going and someone is saying the name, listen and try to remember it.
  • At least try to remember the first letter to increase your chances of correctly guessing the name later.


  • Don't repeat the person's name too much during the conversation, you might sound weird!
  • If you're in business, a public figure, or have career goals, forgetting names could cause you more harm than you realize. So practice remembering the names however you like best!
  • Calling a person by name has real power. If you don't, you are denying your own merit in pronouncing that name. Do not fall into this trap which will make you diminish your own merit in front of others.
  • Avoid diminutives. You can't know in advance what the nickname the person is using and it's wrong to assume that. Even if you hear a diminutive from another person during a conversation, skillfully ask what name they prefer to be called.

Popular by topic