Most of us recognize faces. For example, did you ever hear anyone say, Oh, I know your name, but I dont recognize your face? Its the names we have trouble with. Since we do usually recognize faces, the thing to do is apply a system wherein the face tells us the name. That is basically what a good memory techniques accomplishes, if it is applied correctly.
The first problem is the name. Well, that one is easily solved – simply apply the Substitute Word system of memory. You wont need it for many names that already have meaning – names like Hayes, Howe, Carpenter, Fox, Paige, Coyne, Paynter, Gold, or Knott immediately create pictures in your mind.
Other names may not have meaning, but will still remind you of something tangible. For example, the names Hudson, Jordan, and Shannon will probably make you think of a river, and the name Ruth might make you think of baseball. The vast majority of names, however, have no meaning at all. They are conglomerations of sound, just like a word in a foreign language. Thats where the Substitute Word system comes in.
Before we give you some examples, you should be aware of the fact that most people dont really forget names. They just dont remember them in the first place – often, they dont really hear them in the first place. Just think back and remember the many times youve been introduced to someone, when all you heard was a mumble. Theres no way on earth to remember a mumble!
For some reason, people are usually embarrassed to simply say, Im sorry, I didnt hear your name. Theres nothing to be embarrassed about. Since a persons name is one of his most prized possessions, its flattering to make even the slightest fuss over it. Asking him to repeat it shows that youre interested enough in him to want to be sure you get his name right.
Then there are those who dont bother asking the person to repeat his name because they feel that theyll probably never meet him again, so what difference does it make? Of course, they often do meet that person again – which is why half the world seems to address the other half as Darling, Buddy, Fella, Mac, Champ, Honey, or Sweetheart. Not because Honey is so special to them, but because they dont know who theyre talking to! Which is probably all right, because the chances are that Honey and Buddy dont know who theyre talking to, either!
Anyway, if you would like to remember names and faces, there are three steps involved; the first step takes care of the name, the second takes care of the face, and the third locks the two of them together. What you have to do is associate the name to the face in some ridiculous way.