Putting names to faces

Ms Manners,

I am really bad at remembering people’s names when I meet new people. Any tricks?


There are many tricks for remembering names. Someone’s name is the most important thing to them.


Try to put a lot of work into getting it right every time because if you get a name wrong it’s not just rude, it’s plain awkward.


Even if they don’t correct you, you will realise later and that moment when you realise you did wrong is like a painful and embarrassing lighting bolt.


There are many name memory tips and it’s about trying different things until something works for you.


It’s not good enough to have an excuse by simply saying: “I’m not good at remembering names” – comments like that will come across to the other person as sounding like: “I’m not good at being interested in you.”


Here’s what I do, it’s simple but works for me. I just say the name as much as possible when I first meet them – without sounding like I have a stammer of course.




“Danielle, this is Catherine from marketing.”


“Hi Catherine, it’s so nice to meet you. So, Catherine from marketing, it’s great to be able to put a face to the name.”


“Likewise. Did you enjoy your lunch?”


“Absolutely Catherine, the chicken was divine.”


Use the name in almost every new sentence to start with until you have it locked in your mind and always have eye contact when talking because it will help link the face to the name.


It may seem a bit weird to start with but it will help your memory and it will ease the other person – we all love hearing our names.


I recognise it when someone is using this trick with me and I think it’s great.


Do whatever you can do to respect your new relationship and a great place to start is with remembering their name.


Let me end with this comment and I guess it’s kinda like a community service announcement – let’s all do each other a favour and always say our own names a few times in conversations with new people (not in a creepy third party way, like “Danielle loves cheese as a dessert”).


What I mean by this is I always try and throw in my name in case the other person has forgotten and so there are no awkward moments. Try to add it into conversation.




“How did you get into teaching etiquette?”


“Well Catherine, I grew up with my mother who was always saying: ‘Danielle, tuck your wings in while eating’ and ‘Danielle you listen with both your ears and your eyes’ so I had no choice but to learn the etiquette way in ‘Mum’s charm school’ while growing up.”


The extra mention will be appreciated if they were only half listening because they were trying to remember your name.


Having full attention in the moment and in conversation will allow you to concentrate on starting a great relationship and showing respect.


That is what etiquette is all about.


Enjoy your new confidence and the game of etiquette.


Kind Regards,


Ms. Manners


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