How to Remember Names

One of your favorite tunes just popped up on your music stream.

You’re singing along loudly. But you cannot for the life of you remember who sings that song, and it is driving you nuts.

All you’re trying to recall is a name.

The same thing can happen at networking events and when networking online. Group Zoom or breakout rooms anyone?

You remember her face, you think, but the name escapes you. And she is not wearing a name tag. Or you met through a Zoom event only this person had no video and shared only their first name on the screen. Shoot!

What s in a name? It’s the one word that’s music to your listener’s ears. If you’re great with faces but have a tough time remembering names. Here are some steps you can take to help make remembering names easier for you:

 

Introduce yourself first.

Use your first and last name. The person you re connecting with is probably having a tough time remembering your name too. Introducing yourself first will put him or her at ease.

 

Listen for, and repeat, the name.

You’ve given him your name, now it’s time to remember his. Listen for it. The reason most of us immediately forget other’s names is that we weren’t really paying attention in the first place.

For example, “Hi! I’m Wendy Terwelp, nice to meet you. And you are?”

“I’m Bob Smith, likewise,” says Bob.

Repeat the name immediately. Repeat it aloud if you are meeting someone, “Bob Smith? Great! What brings you to this event, Bob?”

Do not over-repeat. I once went to a networking event, and someone must have heard this tip. I think he said my name at least three or four times in a short amount of time.

It sounded like this, “Wendy, great to meet you Wendy. How s everything going, Wendy?”

I thought to myself, “Now that was a bit over the top.”

If you’re in a meeting where everyone is introducing themselves, repeat the name to yourself silently.

 

Anchor the name by attaching a physical action.

A firm handshake is perfect if the interaction is personal, but if you are simply listening to a round of introductions, spell out the person’s name with the forefinger of your writing hand in the palm of your other hand as you mentally repeat the name to yourself.

During meetings, I m a big note taker, so I’ll often write down people’s names if I am at a group meeting or participating in a group Zoom call or webcast. Writing the name helps me remember, plus I’ll make a note about the person, what they do (if it’s mentioned), what company they work for, and so on. This helps me reconnect with them later.

“Bob, great to see you again. How s everything going for you at ACME?”

 

Review all the names.

Mentally recall each new person during introductions. If there are more than 20 people, keep reviewing the most recent 20 people’s names as the introductions continue. If you are interacting with one person, use that person’s name several times, but don t be too obvious.

Another technique in reviewing a person’s name is to introduce that person to others.

For example, “Bob, have you met Janet? Janet, this is Bob Smith.”
 

Associate the names.

Alliteration is especially helpful for large groups or if more than one person has the same first name. Barbara in blue, Mary the mortgage broker, or Frank the financial planner can help you remember who is who.

I’ve also associated a person’s name with someone famous, “Oh Justin, like Justin Timberlake? Great to meet you.” “Ruth, like notorious RBG? Cool. Great to meet you.”

During your brief conversation you may discover interesting facts. Put this on the back of the person’s business card. For example, Mary speaks seven languages. Ramona used to be a professional juggler!

If you don’t get a business card or this is an online networking event, you can make a note on a notepad (writing helps with retention) or in your smartphone’s notepad section. You can also connect later via LinkedIn and mention what you learned in your personalized invitation to connect.

“Hi Jean, great to meet you at the BBB online networking event today! Fun to hear about your business and interest in live music concerts. Let’s connect here on LinkedIn and keep the conversation going.”

 

Follow up.

If you make promises to others during your networking event or meeting it is important to follow up promptly. If you promised to send them an article on their topic of interest, jot that down on their business card or in your notes, then do it the next day.

 

Coaching Challenge:

Time to test out your name recall techniques. Schedule your next networking event or Zoom group meeting and use the tips to ensure you remember attendees’ names for fast and easy follow up.

Share in the comments! What’s one of your best tips for remembering names?

© 1998 – 2021 Wendy Terwelp | Opportunity Knocks of Wisconsin, LLC | All rights reserved. | Excerpt from Rock Your Network®.

 

6 Tips to Create a Networking Plan that Works

Would you like to get more results when you network? Here’s how to create a networking plan that works:

1. Schedule a regular time each week to network. Without a plan, we all get busy, and suddenly, when we need it most, our network is outdated or scattered. By scheduling regular time in your calendar to network, it not only gets done, but you’ll feel more confident and comfortable in networking situations, avoid binge-watching your fave show, and meet people who want to help you propel your career. People want to help you and see you succeed.

Think about how you feel when you help others, whether it’s recommending a favorite restaurant or referring someone to your preferred service provider, like a financial advisor, lawyer, career coach, or other service.

2. Schedule 10 minutes each day to use social media. I say 10 minutes or you’ll end up down the internet rabbit hole. Determine what actions you’ll take online. Here are a few to try: status updates, relevant links that demonstrate your thought leadership, and quick emails to those who’ve updated their statuses with wins. For example, if you read your LinkedIn notifications and a friend has landed a new position or received an award, send her a brief congratulatory note.

3. Determine which offline, in-person groups you will join and how often they meet. Take an active role in the organization, such serving as the chapter ambassador. This helps you meet more people and overcome some of the jitters of being in a new group. Click here for ideas on which groups to join.

4. Set networking goals for yourself. For example, when attending a new group, set a goal to meet three new people. Three people who need to know about you based on your career or business goals. Write this goal in your calendar where you’ve scheduled the meeting.

5. Prepare and rehearse your sound bite. Networking can take place any time, any where. Be prepared.

6. Update your network regularly with the action steps you’ve taken. If a friend referred you to a contact and you set up an informational interview, let your friend know that you made the connection and got results.

You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up! Scheduling networking activities makes your network thrive. And regular contact with those in your network will help you achieve your career goals much faster.

Want more networking tips? Check out Rock Your Network®, the book.

Copyright 1998-2019 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp, author of Rock Your Network®, writes, speaks, and coaches on career management, networking, social media, and personal branding. Need a speaker for your association, company or private coaching to rock your career? Let’s talk!

How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Personal Brand

Personal branding on social media is an intimidating topic for some professionals and consultants. Maybe you’ve struggled with it, too. You want to be warm and approachable, but you don’t want to cross the line into oversharing. You want to be professional and polished, but you don’t want to be thought of as the boring guest at the cocktail party.

Choose Your Networks

The first thing to do when using social media to uplevel your personal brand is to decide how you want to be known. Pick one to three subjects you’d like to focus on, so you become THE Expert in those subject areas. And they should be things you’re excited about, because you’ll be sharing and writing about these topics for some time in order to become known as Subject Matter Expert.

You can have a profile on every social network if you want. But most professionals and consultants find their clients and cohorts stick to one or two social networks, depending on their industry or profession. If you’re in the training and development field, you’ll find Twitter and LinkedIn are traction builders. For someone in leadership at a design firm, you might find Facebook and Instagram are where your best clients hang out.

If you’re in a tech related field, you might find that your community prefers Twitter or Reddit instead. Don’t stress about this. Simply pick the two social networks where you get the most traction. These two social networks are ones to update daily.

Keep Your Social Media Profiles Consistent

Review your profiles on all your social media channels. Would someone who’s not familiar with your brand be able to tell you’re the same person? If not, it’s time to align your social media accounts. You’ll want to use the same profile picture, bio, and header image across all your social platforms. This makes it easy for visitors to recognize your brand, regardless of the social network they’re using.

Post Frequently

Maintain an active profile on the most popular social networks in your industry – and your target audience, those people who need to know about you. Some networks are better for posting multiple times a day (like Twitter), while for others posting only 2-3 times a day (or week) works better. This is another reason you want to choose only one to three platforms; activity helps you gain traction with your target audience. And you want to be able to effectively manage the social media channels you choose.

A dormant account can negatively impact your online brand.

To determine the best posting frequency, run a few short experiments. This will help you discover how frequently you should post and what times work best for your followers.

If you’re not sure what to post, follow the 4 out of 5 rule. This rule means posting 4 pieces of content that are useful to your audience to every 1 piece of promotional content. Don’t be afraid to promote great content to your followers, even if you didn’t write it. When you’re the one that shares the latest news in your industry, followers will view you as the go-to source on trends and news in your industry. Curating great content counts.

Join Communities

Once you gain some traction on social media with your personal brand, look for communities of like-minded professionals or your ideal client tribe. Facebook and LinkedIn have groups. Twitter has lists and chats, like #lrnchat for learning pros and #TwitterSmarter and #SocialROI for social media fans. But they all mean pretty much the same thing – they’re an online gathering of people around one central subject, whether that subject is learning and development, social media, HR, healthcare, etc.

The great thing about groups is that they give you a chance to form connections with other members and give them value. It’s also an easy way to do customer research and create your own professional learning network. You can discover what questions your audience frequently asks, what they struggle with, and what they would love to know more about.

Using social media to brand yourself and enhance your online reputation is a smart idea. Just remember to post and share valuable content that benefits your target audience.

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© Wendy Terwelp / www.knocks.com / All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career expert and personal branding strategist who works with high-performing leaders and organizations who want to advance careers, rock networks, and up-level their brands online and off. Click the link to get your free personal brand self-assessment.

We are an affiliate partner of Postoplan.

Five Moves to Rock Your Network® Online

Editor’s note: updated May 2019

How do you leverage social media to network effectively and stay top of mind? Check out these five rock star moves to get connected, get known, and make your network thrive:

1. Pick Three: With so many social media networks to choose from, I recommend picking three so you can manage them well. For career and business development, I recommend: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. As of 2019, LinkedIn has more than 610 million members, Twitter has more than 326 million users, and Facebook topped 2.38 billion.

2. Create a branded bio: Tell a story in your social networking bios. Let your personality pop. Don’t regurgitate your resume information or company bio. Know that chemistry helps you land and KEEP new clients and jobs. Likability counts, be interesting.

3. Know what you want: When you start networking online, it’s important to know what you want from the activity. If you want new clients, be sure your profile is on brand, up to date, professional, personal, and communicates your value and scope of practice. Have a professional, current headshot. For #LinkedIn, add a custom background image or color as well.

4. Join a group: Know that in order to make the most of an online group, you’ve got to take an active role. If you’ve got a business, join groups where your ideal clients will be, including niche and specialty groups. For job seekers, find out where your ideal employers hang out and join those groups. People like to do business with those having similar values, backgrounds, and experiences.

5. Be relevant and add value: Social networking gives you a chance to demonstrate your thought leadership and set yourself apart from your competition. As an executive and leader in your profession, it is even more critical to demonstrate your expertise online.

Take Action: Review your current social networks and identify at least three action items from the above list you can implement immediately. Schedule time to effectively manage your online network and communicate with your contacts regularly. It only takes minutes a day to fuel your network and fire it up!™ That way, your network is there for you when you need it.

Grab your free social media action plan here!

© 2006 – 2019 | Wendy J. Terwelp | All rights reserved.

How to RSVP to LinkedIn Invitations from People You Don’t Know

“Hi Wendy, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network.” Sound familiar?

This is the standard LinkedIn invitation sent when people hit “connect.” And there’s a good chance you’ve received many of these since you joined LinkedIn.

As a career expert who advocates LinkedIn as a tool for career management and personal branding, my clients frequently ask me what they should  do about LinkedIn invitations from people they don’t know.

When you receive the standard LinkedIn invitation from people you don’t know, typically one of two things happen, 1) it’s deleted or 2) you hang on to it because you don’t want to offend the invitee by not accepting. Translation: “invitation limbo.” And a full inbox. After a certain time, invitations are deleted automatically by LinkedIn.

Here are solutions you can use to take action on LinkedIn invitations from people you don’t know:

Step One: Review their profile.

  • Do they have a professional headshot?
  • Do they have a professional summary that communicates who they are and what they do? Is it interesting? Does this seem like a person who’d add value to your network?
  • Have they provided value added content? This could include media links, status updates that resonate with you, etc. Check out their activity.
  • Look at their groups. Do you share any in common?
  • Check out shared connections. How many do you have in common? Have any of the common connections written a recommendation for this person?
  • Is this person an alumni of your school? Or employer?

If all of these are a “go” and the person seems like they’d be a wonderful connection to your LinkedIn network, hit “accept” and write a personal message welcoming him or her to your network.

Step 2: But, I’m still not sure…

  • If their background seems intriguing, and you’d like to learn more prior to accepting, pick up the phone and make a personal connection or
  • Hit “message” and here’s what I say, “Hi! Thanks so much for your LinkedIn invitation. Refresh my memory, how do we know each other?” Or, “Hi, Thanks so much for your invitation, how might I be of service?” See if they reply and determine your next move based on their response. 
  • If they’ve written you a message, you can reply to the individual without immediately accepting the invitation.

Step 3: Notice Red Flags

If the profile is missing key ingredients, seems sketchy or that profile looks too familiar (hello, stock photo!), decline.

Step 4: You Get to Choose

It’s YOUR LinkedIn party and you get to decide who gets to join. You got this!

Let me know your favorite tips for LinkedIn invitations in the comments.

And if you or your company needs help with LinkedIn, let’s talk!

Wendy Terwelp is president of Opportunity Knocks™ of Wisconsin, LLC and author of the Rock Your Network® series. Dubbed a “LinkedIn Guru,” by the Washington Post, Terwelp works with organizations ready to take their employees to the next level with the right personal brand, networking strategies and online activities… to not only close more deals and attract more clients, but prepare emerging leaders for the roles you have to fill. Her consulting services, speaking engagements, and workshops serve audiences worldwide through conferences, associations, and corporate engagements.

Terwelp’s private coaching clients regularly win raises, promotions, and jobs. Are you a rock star at work who wants career success on your terms? Schedule a session to discuss your career, goals, and next steps.