Call people by name | Kate Forrest | TEDxBozeman


Translator: Brian Vuksanovich
Reviewer: Natalia Ost William Shakespeare said:
“There’s no sweeter sound to a person than the sound of his or her
own name.” 400 years later,
studies published in brain research show Shakespeare was right. Did you know that hearing
the sound of your own name activates your brain almost more
than any other type of input? Let me demonstrate. When I greet someone and call him by name, “Hi Ted!” this section of the brain,
the middle frontal cortex, is activated. A similar greeting
without calling him by name, and you get nothing. Calling people by name
can literally light someone up. But, for most of us,
remembering names is hard. It takes effort to train the brain. In fact, raise your hand if you recently had somebody
introduced themselves to you, and you forgot their name
the minute they said it. [Laughter] Maybe even today. But imagine if you could remember,
not just today, but years from now. Are you aware that 8th century Greeks could memorize
up to 16,000 lines of poetry? Thirteen centuries later,
I’m using their techniques to teach students
how to memorize anything, from spelling to geography
to entire books of the Bible. Let me show you how to use
one of their techniques to memorize names. First of all, I want you
to think of Muhammad Ali. Alright? His last name, A-L-I, is going to be the acronym
for our 3-step process: Association, Location, Imagination. Alright, let’s practice. Let’s pretend we just met
Mike and Lucy at the swimming pool. Now, to remember Mike’s name, we’re going to associate it,
or link it, with an image. So when I hear the name Mike,
I think of my brother Mike. What do you think of? Maybe the microphone?
The candy “Mike and Ike”? Or maybe someone famous like Mike Wallace? Alright, next: Location. Choose a location that make sense
with the image in your mind. So, for instance, I thought of: with my brother Mike,
I will think of his house as a location. But if your thought of a microphone, then you want to use
a stage as your familiar location. And finally: Imagination. Now, even though we met Mike
at the swimming pool, I’m going to imagine him playing a game of pool
with my brother Mike at his house. However, we need to make it outrageous. So, instead of playing pool, let’s picture them dancing
on top of the pool table, and just so we don’t forget
the daughter’s name Lucy, let’s picture them singing
the classic Beatles song: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” That’s outrageous. So outrageous that I’ll never forget
Mike and Lucy from the swimming pool. Now, perhaps some of you’re thinking, “Well, Kate that’s interesting,
but still not worth my time.” Maybe it doesn’t matter
to remember people’s names. Or does it? Oskar Schindler, you probably recognize the name as the man who saved 1,100 Jews
during the holocaust. Many people witnessed Schindler change from this man who, well, planned to make
a lot of money off the Jews, to someone who spent his own money
in order to save the Jews. But why? Why the change? In the book “Empathy,” the author believes the change occurred because Schindler started seeing
the Jews as human beings. He learned their stories,
he learned their names. Schindler himself says: “I knew the people who worked for me. When you know people, you have to behave
toward them like human beings.” If knowing people and calling them by name
had this kind of impact on Schindler, what kind of impact might it have on you? Or maybe a better question to ask is: What kind of impact
can you have on others? Commander Fitzgerald. Commander Fitzgerald was just about
to officially take charge of SEAL Team One. Unbeknownst to the men, the commander had memorized
all 200 of their names and ranks, so that upon meeting them
for the first time, he could shake their hand
and call them by name. My husband was one of those men. It left such an impression on him,
he told himself: “I will follow that man
through hell and high water.” That’s impact. That’s influence. Use Association, Location,
Imagination tool to remember and call people by name. It can change how you see others, and, perhaps, how they see you. Call someone by name today, and make them light up. (Applause)

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