Do you feel like people can’t seem to remember your name at a networking event? Do your ideas just get overlooked in business meetings?
Achieving success and being memorable go hand in hand. Charismatic people seem to make friends with everyone they meet, and those connections translate into real results in the business world. It might come naturally to some, but the secret is this: becoming more memorable can be learned and you can learn it, too.
I spoke with Vanessa Van Edwards, a published author, behavioral investigator, and expert instructor to over 91,000 students on global online learning platform Udemy, to discover how to best go about becoming more memorable.
“Vanessa, you teach workshops and courses about the hidden dynamics of people and relationships and one of your specialties is teaching people how to become more memorable. Why is being memorable important?”
Being memorable is extremely important. It allows us to forge meaningful long-term relationships with others. When we interact with people around us, they form opinions based on what we’re saying, how we follow-up on our promises, and the body language we display. Being aware and consciously controlling our body language in a positive way helps us become more likeable, memorable, and even trustworthy.
“What are the barriers that keep people from being memorable?”
Our brains have a very short attention span. Being intriguing and engaging by stepping out of the cliché conversations helps us become more memorable. Often, people stick to the same old mind-numbing social script: Where are you from? What do you do for a living? Etc. We hide our quirks and try not to make waves because we instinctively want to fit in. However, suppressing what’s unique about us also makes us a bit dull. I don’t think people are boring at all, they’re just hiding who they really are.
“What are your top 3 tips for helping someone increase their memorability?”
I take a scientific approach to helping people become more memorable. Here are three great starting points:
Show people you want to connect, talk, and start a relationship. Body language research has shown that techniques like keeping your torso, chest and abdomen open to the world and your hands where people can see them helps people to more easily trust you and make a connection. Open body language immediately attracts people.
Be verbally and nonverbally respectful of people’s ideas. It’s easy to get distracted when there are other things happening around you. However, it is important to dedicate your full attention to the person you’re speaking with. Make meaningful eye contact and point your feet at the person you’re talking to. If your feet are pointing elsewhere, you’re signaling that you’re thinking about exiting or that your mind is elsewhere. People enjoy talking to people who are fully engaged and present with them.
Connect emotionally. Dopamine is our brain’s pleasure/reward area that makes us feel warm and fuzzy. If you stimulate that part of someone’s brain when they’re with you, they’re more likely to both like and remember you. Ask about their personal passions or the best part of their week. I’m a big believer that personal, open-ended questions help break down walls and make connections because you show that you’re truly interested to get to know the person in front of you.
People might not remember exactly what you said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel. Show that you’re interested in other people and they’ll become more interested in you.