By Renuka Rayasam
In the early 1990s Mark Channon was working at a London bar, when a friend taught him a technique to remember names. At the time, Channon, who was an aspiring actor, could remember lines for a performance, but had a terrible memory for names.
One of the most powerful things is if you are able to walk into a room and use everyone’s names
With the name-memorisation technique, however, he was soon remembering customers’ names and drink orders even during busy nights. Within a few years he designed a game show for the BBC called Monkhouse Memory Masters where he would teach contestants memory strategies and they would then compete in memory games. By 1995 he had come sixth in the World Memory Championships, becoming one of the first International Grand Masters of Memory.
Today Channon teaches workers these memory strategies to give them an edge in their careers. Business coaches like Channon say that the ability to remember names is an effective tool that can help CEOs build trust with employees and executives create rapport with potential clients. Being able to recall someone’s name shows that you’re paying attention to what they’re talking about and that you care about what they have to say, he explains.
“One of the most powerful things,” says Channon, “is if you are able to walk into a room and use everyone’s names.”