Memory Techniques – Names – Dear Abby…

Names and dates are hard to remember.  There is no shortage of strategies to help in this task.  One of the most popular is, upon being introduced to a new person, linking the name with a defining characteristic, feature, or unusual piece of information.  “Ted is tall…check!”  “Sam sounds like ‘sum’ and he’s the mathematician, that’ll do!”

Publishers have been aware of this fact for a while.  Take the “Dear Abby” requests for advice.  One inquiry might be from “Stressed in Seattle,” and another “Visually Challenged.”  I just ran across a letter about tension between a leader and subordinates in the workplace in Workforce magazine penned by “Personality Clash, executive trainer, HR services, Mercer Island, Washington” 1)Workforce July 2015, page 10 These characteristics, or brief summaries of situations, are infinitely more memorable for readers than a name alone.  The reader would have to establish their own link between name and context, as described above.  Someone browsing a magazine simply will not take the time to do this.

Good strategy for magazines as well as for you.  Give it a try and see how much better your memory becomes!

References   [ + ]

1. Workforce July 2015, page 10