Je nais se quois.
That’s one of my favourite phrases in French.
Borrowed into the English language, it’s the phrase we use when we don’t know quite how to describe something that’s attractive, distinctive, or special in some way.
Something that’s memorable.
Each of us, at one point or another, has probably wondered how to have that certain je nais se quois - how to be memorable in the minds of people we meet.
Why? Because it’s something quite remarkable to live in the mind of another person rent-free. To have such an impact that people go on to think about you weeks, months, or years after you first met.
But the quest to become more memorable is much more than a shallow pursuit.
To be able to have any kind of positive influence on people, you have to be remembered.
Being memorable or having that “wow factor” will certainly help you make friends. It will also give you an undeniable advantage when it comes to attracting a romantic partner.
But more than that, being memorable will enable you to cultivate relationships that will help you and your loved ones go places you've never been before.
When you’re memorable, you'll find greater success in securing the attention of people who can invest in your business and professional endeavours.
You'll find it easier to spark the interest of both strangers and acquaintances, and gain support for the causes that mean the most to you.
Put simply, being more memorable can completely change your life.
So how exactly do you become the sort of person that people tend to remember?
Let’s consider five important tips that will help you become memorable and irresistibly unforgettable.
We're gonna get deep here - so get out your notebook and pen, or bookmark this page, so you can have these valuable tips for future reference.
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Within a few seconds of meeting someone, you gain a piece of information that's important to take note of and hold to - their name.
In the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie reminds us of a profound truth:
"Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language."
Though it sounds somewhat conceited, it's absolutely true.
It has been observed that the average person is more interested in his or her name than in all the other names on earth put together.
Why is this important?
Well, people who are charismatic and memorable know how to trigger dopamine - they know how to make others feel rewarded, positive and delighted in their presence.
One of the best ways to trigger a person's dopamine is to learn and use their name. When we hear our own name, our brain's pleasure centers are activated and we just light up.
In addition, remembering someone's name has been shown to make people more likely to help you and buy from you.
So, if you want to be memorable, make an effort to remember people's names. Repeat it, spell it out visually, use word associations.
Each time you recall and use someone's name, you pay them a subtle and very effective compliment - which they will remember.
Most of us don't really like small talk.
We get asked the same kind of questions every day, and we get used to reciting the same bland answers.
So it can really sweep us off our feet when someone is different and asks a question we didn't expect.
Now, I'm not talking about awkward questions that put people on this spot. I'm talking about meaningful questions that spark delight and lead to more intellectual conversations.
Questions like "how are you?" and "what do you do?" serve a purpose, but you should aim to get a little more creative in order to open up the conversation and connect on a deeper level.
Here are some examples of more interesting questions you could ask:
Of course, be sure to listen carefully and attentively to the responses you receive afterwards.
I've learned a lot about how to have more engaging conversations by taking the Master Your People Skills course by Vanessa Van Edwards.
In the course, Vanessa shows you how to be charismatic and memorable in social settings, with live demos and cheat sheets on areas such as "Killer Conversation Starters" and "Attraction Murderers".
I totally recommend it to anyone who wants to increase their confidence in social settings and gain a deeper understanding of what makes people tick.
Passionate people are memorable.
The most charismatic people live with purpose and intention - they're deeply invested in their life's pursuits.
Think about someone you enjoy talking to, and the way their face lights up when they're talking about something they love.
Being passionate is not about being fake or over-the-top. It's about being transparent and a little bit vulnerable when talking about the things that get you up in the morning.
It takes courage, but when you let people into your world, it makes you more human and more likeable from their point of view.
Many times we put barriers up by speaking in generalities rather than getting into the details of what we do and what we love.
It's not that hard to stand out from the crowd and leave a memorable impression - you just have to be yourself. So try to:
Of course, it's important to view the situation and make a realistic assessment. Moreover, when you first meet someone, it's better to listen and let them speak.
However, when it's your turn to speak, be sure to let your passion and enthusiasm shine through.
These qualities are both fascinating to others and highly contagious.
Another key thing I learned from Master Your People Skills is the importance of being a highlighter.
What does this mean?
Well, it's been said that if you want to impress people, you should let them impress you.
Don't try to impress them.
This means that if you want to be memorable, you need to look for the good in others, appreciate it, and make them look good.
Here are a couple of ways to do this:
When you become a highlighter and help people become the best version of themselves, you automatically become more impressive.
The way you exit a conversation has a powerful influence on how memorable you become afterwards.
We've all spoken to people who drag the conversation on for much longer than it needs to be - while we're just waiting there and desperate hoping for an exit.
None of us wants to be that guy or girl.
So, if you want to be memorable, you need to be socially and situationally intelligent so you can determine when it's time to smoothly wrap a conversation and exit.
Be attentive and look for nonverbal cues such as phone/watch checking, overhead gazing, or when the other person starts summarizing the conversation.
Better still, you can be one step ahead and end the conversation on a high note - by expressing how much you enjoyed talking to them, wishing them well, or making plans to follow-up.
Whatever you do, keep it classy and finish strong.
We're all more likely to fondly recall the person who left us wanting more from a conversation, than the person who said everything there is to be said.
There we have it - thank you for reading this guide on how to be memorable in social settings.
At the end of the day, being memorable is much more than being noticed.
We don't want to stand out like a clown in a grocery store - we want to be appreciated and remembered in a positive light, in a way that's reflective of who we truly are.
Each of us has the potential to be highly memorable.
When we tap into the above insights and pay attention to the characteristics of memorable people in our lives, we'll slowly but surely start noticing a difference in the impact we have on others.
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