Conversation Skills Technique

When you don’t remember a person’s name it gives that person the impression that you are not important to them. In order to develop our network of friends and acquaintances, it is necessary to learn the names of the people we meet or else we cannot deepen relationships.


When meeting a new person shake their hand and make sure to repeat their name two times as you introduce yourself to them. Saying the name just two times is barely noticeable to the other person, whereas saying the name more times than this will stand out and may seem excessive or as if you are trying too hard..

In the first moment of meeting a new person, often we are overly concerned about thinking about what to say to the extent that we give little thought to the person’s name when we hear them say it. When this happens we will quickly forget the name of the new person. A good thing to do is to keep conversation very simple at this first moment of meeting them so that you can focus some of your attention on remembering their name.

The next step is to give the person an adjective/describing word that is the same letter of the person’s name. For example, ‘brilliant Benjamin’ or ‘jumpy Jade.’ If possible, create an image of the person in your mind’s eye that reflects their adjective (Benjamin wears bright blue sunglasses so I am able to imagine him as a brilliant superhero flying through the sky).

One final trick to use in order to remember a name is to associate the person with a famous person who shares their name. Making as many associations as possible will serve to embed your memory of the person’s names deeper and deeper, making it easy to recall whenever you need it in the future.

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Jade Joddle is an accent trainer and English teacher. She teaches her non-native speaker clients to Speak Well in English so that they thrive and succeed.

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