How to Remember Names and Faces of People?

Memory Discipline 3 of the Indian National Memory Championship 2017 by Squadron Leader Jayasimha, President World Memory Sports Council for India

As we know there are 10 Memory disciplines which the Memory Athletes need to compete for winning the Indian National Memory Championship 2017 to be held on 15th October 2017 at Jal vihar, Necklace Road, Hyderabad. As Registrations are in progress, please call 9866018989 or 8498005454 for any information and registration.

Further to explaining the 2 Memory disciplines earlier, here Squadron Leader Jayasimha explains the importance and how to Memorise Names and Faces … the 3rd Memory Discipline of the Indian National Memory Championship.

Why to Remember Names and Faces of People?

 Irrespective of the Memory Competition, in real life too, people are expected to remember names and faces of people.  A person’s name is the sweetest sound to that person in any language. People generally love their names. If we remember and call them by their name people generally will start loving us too. It means for a relationship, the starting point is calling a person by his/her name.  A research was carried out on people who generally buy pens from a stationery shop. After buying the pen, they normally write their names or put signatures to check if the pen is writing or not. Hence, for any leader or business person, memorising names will definitely help them to succeed in life.

If names are important, then why don’t we remember?

When someone is telling his / her name, people are either pre-occupied or busy in thinking as to how they can introduce themselves better than the other person. They don’t pay attention, hence they don’t register, and hence they will not be able to recall the name.

We will discuss, 3 step formula as to how we can remember names of People:

Step 1


Whenever you meet a new person, imagine a traffic signal is standing behind that person. Traffic signal will have three lights. Red, Amber (Yellow) and Green. First see the Red light, which means stop thinking and make mind free & receptive to listen to the person speaking. Yellow light means, observe the physical features of the person. In the Memory Competition, we only get to see the passport size photograph of the person. Hence, we have to observe the face, may be nose, mouth, ears, cheeks, hair, forehead and other parts and try to make out something which is bit outstanding or different or stands out from the rest. This has to be imprinted in the mind and we have to link to the name of the person.

Step 2


 Repetition is the mother of Memory. Repeat the newly heard name as many times as possible. In real life, when we try to call that person by name, the tongue will get used to saying this name and it will be reinforced in our subconscious mind.

Step 3


 As the person is leaving the place associate the newly heard person with somebody or something you know. Always link the new with the old or unknown with the known that’s how we expand our horizon of knowledge and memory base.

Specially, when it comes to the Memorising names and faces for the championship, what the participants need to do is to clearly observe the face and pick up some salient or outstanding feature in the face like mouth, eyes, nose, ears, hair, forehead, dress, male/ female, young / old etc.,

Then go through the name. Every name will have first name and the second name. you need to remember both parts correctly including the spelling.

The names could be Indian or foreign, doesn’t matter. We have to break the word and make a meaning out of it and associate this name with the face of the person. If we get a name, “Suresh”, May be I will break this and remember as “Shoe- lace”. If get a name, “Karthik”, we can break this a person going by a car – and it is making teek sound. If we have a name Anil, connect this name with Anil Ambani, Anil Kumble or Anil Kapoor or any other person whom you know. If you get the first and second name right, you will get one full point. If you get the name phonetically right but the spelling is wrong, then you will get half a point.

Little bit of practice, will help you to master this skill of memorising names and faces of people.

We, Indians can do excellently well in this feat compared to other disciplines. Scoring more points in this discipline will help to clinch the ultimate title.

National Memory Council of India is conducting a 5 days of special Memory Training program for the Championship from 24th to 28th September 2017 in Hyderabad. Interested participants can attend this training program to further sharpen their skills.

The rules for Names and faces of People is as given below :

Click here to read further

About the Author

Squadron Leader Jayasimha is the India’s leading trainer in Memory and Soft skills. He is the only Indian to hold maximum Guinness Records in the world (13 records). He has 21 years of rich experience in the field of Education, Training and Development in the Indian Air Force. He had won, “Sword of Honour” from President Sri R Venkat Raman for standing first in the Pilots’ Training at Air Force Academy. He had received many Awards / Medals including “Chief of Air Staff Commendation” for his exemplary service in the Indian Air Force. He is also the Graduate of Prestigious “Defence Services Staff College (DSSC)”, Wellington.

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