I'm the worst at this one. You know how you forget someone's name IMMEDIATELY after you're introduced? Don't worry, we all do it. But there are ten ways to remind yourself without looking like a jerk . . . if you're slick about it.
#1. Ask them to put their number in your phone. Usually they'll enter their first and last name. And they'll probably be flattered, because it makes them think you want to keep in touch.
#2. Ask for their email address. Most people have their name in it somewhere, or at least a first initial. Hopefully enough to jog your memory.
#3. Introduce them to a friend. If they're polite, they'll introduce THEMSELVES to your friend, and you'll get the name a second time for free.
#4. Ask them how to spell their name. If you try it with a Tom or a Mary, they'll see right through it. But most names have at least a few alternate spellings, so it won't seem weird if you ask.
#5. Get their business card. People love to give them out, and they'll be thrilled if you ask for it. Plus, if you forget the name again, you'll always have the card to remind you.
#6. Ask about the meaning behind their name. Again, only try this one if you're pretty sure the name isn't something really common.
#7. Get creative. Compare driver's license photos, or get people talking about the different ways kids used to make fun of their names back in school.
#8. End a conversation by reminding them of YOUR name. Usually they'll give theirs right back . . . unless they don't care enough about YOU, in which case you shouldn't feel bad that you forgot.
#9. Wait until they leave and ask a friend. A little risky sometimes, because the longer you talk to someone, the bigger the chance that a situation will come up where you're supposed to use their name.
#10. Just be honest and apologize. If nothing else works, you can ask someone a second time. If you're nice about it, it's not a big deal, because it happens to everyone sooner or later.