Just read this online:
The trick: Exercise your eyes.
Before you walk into your next cocktail party, move your eyes back and forth horizontally for 30 seconds. Yeah, you might look weird, but British researchers say the exercise can help you retain words (including names) you’re about to hear. The horizontal movement makes the brain’s hemispheres interact, and that’s important in memory retrieval, the experts say.
I really think the only way to get this done is to practice it. I don’t have a ton of oppertunities, but I think of 43things.com and this thing every time I hear a new name, and especially when I’m in a meeting or something and a bunch of people introduce themselves. I try all the tricks as fast as I can remember them, but I’m not where I want to be.
It gave me the idea of a webpage where you can practice this – an image of a person, and some text pops up and you have 2 seconds to read it, and then another comes up – and you have to learn to remember.
Here’s a website with some memory techniques:
I’ve never heard this one before, but I’ve been trying it latley: When you first hear a name – imagine someone’s MOM using that name as a scold – like when your mom would yell your full name when she was upset or something – this seems to be working for me.