Dear High Achiever:

Is your memory an asset? Or a liability? Think of the times when you’ve been introduced to someone at a business, social or even family function and, within 5 seconds of meeting that person and hearing their name, you forgot it.

Embarrassing? No doubt.

And … If it’s the third time you’ve meet the person at the monthly chamber meeting and you’re still relying on that name tag to “remember” their name, I’d call it bad business.

Does your memory serve you or make you like silly. (In business, how about adding “unprofessional”?).

Oh that’s right, you just laugh it off and explain that you are great with faces but you are horrible with names. But what you are really doing is covering up for your inability to pay attention to detail and listening skills. Further, you are exposing a personal weakness and making your new acquaintance feel unimportant and less than OK.

Take it from the expert: In his classic personal development book How to Win Friends and Influence People the legendary Dale Carnegie says, “The sweetest sound to a person’s ear is their name, and if given a choice, a person’s favorite topic of conversation is … themselves.”

So within five seconds of meeting someone and trying to gain rapport, you’ve already forgotten the most critical component toward engagement.

Then, to add insult to injury, you ramble on about you, your business or your last family vacation — totally abandoning the second most critical component to engagement.

So, I’d say it’s a very big deal.

How do you feel when a new acquaintance or business contact remembers your name?

I bet you feel pretty good. I know I do.

I realized just how very powerful and important remembering someone’s name was when it was presented to me in a context I could really relate to.

Here’s the story: As a speaker/trainer and a business person, I am always looking for ways to differentiate myself, improve my presentation skills and engage the audience and/or prospect.

In 2004, I was introduced to memory training expert Ron White (Fans of funny: Different guy. Our Ron is not moonlighting as a comedian, although he’s entertaining and has a great sense of humor) while listening to Jim Rohn’s Excelling in the New Millennium program. That CD series and introduction to Ron White’s memory training strategies literally changed my life.

I sat in amazement as Ron instructed the audience to yell out a number between 1 and 99. Without ever seeing the numbers or writing them down, he memorized 60 digits and then proceeded to repeat them back to the audience. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he then repeated the same 60 digits in order, backwards!

That’s called RIDICULOUS!

Then for his next feat of miraculous memory, he had all 80 attendees stand up and place their hand over their name badges. He went around the room and as he stated their name he asked them to be seated. He remembered everyone’s name in the room!

FYI Takeaway: I knew right at that moment that I’d found a very powerful way to differentiate myself as a speaker. I’ve seen hundreds of presentations, but had never seen a speaker remember everyone’s name in the audience, it was impressive and memorable, to say the least.

I was so impressed with Ron, his presentation and his strategies that not only did I buy his Memory in Month CD Program but I also hired him to come to New Jersey to present at a half-day memory training program. Ron and I have become good friends and have even shared the platform at other events around the country.

By learning and practicing Ron’s memory training techniques I can now remember up to 250 names in a seminar. It still amazes me how powerful this one skill can be.

Yes, it is definitely impressive from the platform and the technique truly amazes and engages my audiences.

But here’s the kicker: The one person who has been impacted the most and has benefited tremendously by developing this skill is - me!

My self-esteem has increased. My confidence while networking and in social functions has grown stronger. I realize how important it is to make other people feel important. Just by remembering someone’s name you see their face light up, they become more receptive and open to sharing their business and life experiences with you.

It’s an axiom because it’s true:

People don’t care to know until they know you care.

“Oh, but Eric …” you want to insist. “I’m different. I really, really do have a bad memory.”

You don’t have a bad memory. You have an untrained memory.

FYI ACTION IDEA: Caring enough to master the skill to simply remember someone’s name will dramatically increase your ability to Win Friends and Influence People.

Let your memory serve you by giving it the tools to help you build your network and your net worth!

Go Out and Make it YOUR “Best Year Ever!”

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.