Remembering Names

Using a person’s name appropriately during a conversation tends to increase his or her attentiveness and lends a special importance to our information or request.

To new acquaintances, it sends the message that they are important to us.

Also, asking a friend or co-worker about a family member by name projects a deeper level of interest or concern.

With all these benefits, we are still unlikely to use people’s names if we don’t:

  • Realize the impact of using names
  • Feel confident recalling the person’s name

In a business or social gathering, such as a networking event or a sales meeting, to remember a person’s name,

  1. Focus on the individual and listen fully, giving that person your full attention.
  2. Form a vivid impression of the person, noticing facial attributes and outstanding features.
  3. Verbally and mentally repeat the person’s name to associate it with your visual impression of them.
  4. Develop a visual “handle” for the person that embodies the attributes you see and associate it with the person.

We summarize these activities with an acrostic called LIRA


  1. Look and Listen

  2. Impression

  3. Repetition

  4. Association

The importance of a person’s name is one of the human relations principles we cover in the Dale Carnegie Course.

Specifically, how do you remember a person’s name when you are in a business meeting? Go to our Facebook page and add your ideas.

Larry Prevost
Dale Carnegie Instructor, Social Media Evangelist
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