We tend to forget the names of those we meet. We remember their faces as visual images are retained better than auditory ones. There are many silly technique people use to show that they remember names. A leading politician used to ask those who came to meet him: ‘how is that old sickness of yours?’ The visitor gets impressed as he thinks the leader remembers everything about him. But who does not have an old sickness?
There are the others who ask: what is your first name? (As if he knows the surname) This is only a trick and cannot be substitute for remembering names. To remember the name of a person, try to hear and comprehend it properly. Usually you do not even hear the name clearly nor is it registered. You have to grasp how the name is pronounced properly and how it is spelt. It would do be good if you ask him/her to spell it for you. It is also good to know the surnames and expansion of the initials.
For effective recollection repeat the name a few times you speak to him/her. Take interest in your new friend (try to know about his work, family, interests and so on) and gather as much information about him/her as possible. Let each question beginning with his name. For eg, ‘Stephen, can you please tell me something about your people?’ Make sure you look at him and associate his name with the features of his countenance.
Another technique is to associate the features with something you already know. This is not very easy. You may connect a particular feature of his face to the thing represented by the meaning of the name, if it has one. Later, whenever you see him you will notice the feature and the thing associated with will come to your mind and the name will prop up just from nowhere. If you find the third one difficult, just follow verbatim the others and they will make you remember it without much problem.