Forgetting someone’s name shortly after being introduced has happened to everyone. At a networking event or after meeting a potential client, it can not only be awkward, but you could come across as uninterested or unprofessional. Here are strategies to remember the names of the people you meet.

Make Associations

Surely you’ll remember Shirley with the curly red hair? Linking a name to a person’s look, a song lyric, a rhyme, or alliteration helps adhere it better to memory than trying to remember it alone.

Quiz Yourself

Who doesn’t want to ace a test? If you go into every introduction knowing that you will ask yourself what you heard, you will pay more attention. For an added incentive, when you get the correct answer, reward yourself.

Ask Questions

Finding out more about the other person makes it easier to find a connection. Knowing that you and Bill like the same coffee shop can give you a reference point for remembering his name.

Spell It Out

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of shaking hands and not actively listening. But by taking the time to spell it out in your head or type it into your smartphone, you are forced to focus and process it.

Repeat Repeat Repeat

Repetition is an excellent way of reminding yourself of something. Not only is it a helpful habit to repeat people’s names back to them or use a name to introduce a person to someone else, but it also makes you sound more personable.