Unless your career takes you to a deserted island, you probably will have to learn how to talk to other people. Communication skills are essential, no matter what your line of work is, and one rare skill is the ability to make your conversation interesting and memorable.
If you want another person to remember your name, your product, your story, or just the time you spend together, here are six tips to make your talk unforgettable.
1. Use their name often
Many people say they are bad with names. However, if you don’t bother to remember a name, why should they remember you? A person’s name, whichever they introduce themselves by, is something important. If you show them you remember whether they are Ann or Annie, you show them you are engaged and interested.
Using a person’s name often (but not in every sentence either) is a good way of establishing rapport and encouraging the other person to pay attention.
2. Let them talk: listen, listen, listen
We like to talk better than we like to listen. This is why being a good listener will make you very memorable. If you let the person talk as much as they want to, they will probably remember the conversation fondly.
However, not any listening will do. Show them that you are paying attention and not just ignoring their words. Nod, make eye contact and show that you are engaged through your body language. Don’t interrupt, but asking questions shows that you were listening in a way to keep the conversation going.
3. Share something personal
We tend to reciprocate the trust others give us, and it makes us feel special to know that someone chose to share personal details with us. Telling the other person a memorable experience, an endearing anecdote, something that hurt us or made us happy is a good way of making the whole talk more memorable.
There is no need to bear your trauma to just anyone, but if you have an experience or childhood story you can share, it will do a lot to advance the conversation. People like hearing stories, they like hearing personal information, and they are much more likely to remember you if you share something authentic with them.
4. Use your whole body
Your gestures and body language are important. If you try to show interest or tell a fun story, but your body signals that you are bored, the other person is unlikely to be engaged. Make sure that you are using your gestures, posture, facial expression, and tone to support what you are saying. It doesn’t have to be very exaggerated, but you should make sure that your body language and your words are in agreement.
5. Make it relevant to the other person
We tend to pay more attention to the things that concern us in some way. A good way to make a conversation memorable is to tie it to what matters to another person. If you know their likes or dislikes, their concerns or preferences, you can tailor your message or idea to them. Even if you don’t know much, you might bring in topics that seem relevant for other people of a similar age, gender, and so on.
For example, if they are interested in personal growth and your message is about the environment, consider how you could tie the two together. You might say it’s a great way of growing as a person or the change adopting this idea has made in your life. Make them care about what you are saying by connecting it to something they already care about.
6. Show kindness
We tend to remember conversations that hurt us, but we also will remember kindness and respect. If you are hoping to be remembered positively, show the other person kindness and empathy. We value those who can understand us and not judge us, give unsolicited advice, or criticize. Being kind and pleasant and showing the other person your positive disposition can be a good way of sticking in their memory.
Being a memorable speaker or conversationalist is a skill. Practicing the art of communication will help us get better and be remembered, rather than just a face in the crowd.