The great Dale Carnegie once said that "A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language."  Remembering someone's name is one of the best ways to make a great first impression.  Unfortunately, it's not always easy.  You may be nervous or unprepared when you meet someone and, as a result, it can be easy to forget their name as soon as you meet them.  Remember someone's names is essential for meeting new people and networking so it's definitely an important skill to learn. 

The most important step is to make a commitment-a conscious decision, even - to remember people's names.  You need to believe that remembering person's name is important or else you'll continue to ignore them.  Before you attend a party or an important business conference, remind yourself of this commitment and strive to improve  during each and every function.  The bottom line is that you can remember a person's name if you really want to.  Concentrate on the person's name during an introduction as if it's the most important thing in the world and you'll easily get rid of any distractions.

Repetition is another effective way to commit someone's name to memory. Studies suggest that you need to say a person's name at least 7 times before you can remember it.  The trick is to make it casual and part of a normal conversation.  If someone named "John" introduces themselves, then you should also include their name in your introduction.  For example, your response could be, "Hi John, it's nice to meet you!" After introducing yourself, try to repeat the person's name as much as possible during the conversation without overdoing it.  "Where are your from, John?"  "What do you do for a living, John?"  You can also repeat their names silently in your head to reinforce your memory.  Lastly, say their name one last time during your goodbye and write the name down as soon as possible on a piece of paper or on your phone so you have something to reference, just in case you forget the name later.

No matter how committed you are to remembering names, there will come a time when your memory will fail you.  The good news is that there are several things that you can do when you forget someone's name.  If you feel embarassed about forgetting,  ask a friend or an acquaitance to introduce themselves so they instead can get that person's name.  If that's not an option, you could always just admit that you're having trouble remembering their name and re-introduce yourself.  After getting their name again, go back to the previously discussed tips and apply them again.  If you're still having difficulty remembering names, ask for a business card so you can have something to take home and review.

Remembering names is a learnable skill but it may take time and practice before it becomes natural.  Take every social opportunity to practice the tips in the article and before you know it you'll be networking with others on a first name basis and having a great time along the way.