The Blog

6 Ways to Make Yourself More Memorable in 2016

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

People try to be memorable in a variety of ways. In 2014, Russian Vitaly Zdorovetsky streaked to the World Cup pitch in front of millions of watching fans. Kanye West, never a stranger to comments that are memorable, announced in August 2015 at the MTV Video Music Awards that he would run for president in 2020.

1) Smile and say please and thank you and use people's names. Peter Handal, chief executive of Dale Carnegie Training told the Financial Times, "Make eye contact, smile and use people's names. They're basic and common sense, but not always common practice." He adds that first impressions count. "If you start positive, people are more receptive, you engage them and you get their attention." And included with this advice is to follow up after first meetings. Sending a quick note saying, "Meeting you was a pleasure. I look forward to ways we can work together..." takes very little time but furthers the initial connection.

2) Send a card or a thank you note via USPS... the old-fashioned way. On the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development is an article titled The Power of Thank-You Cards. The author challenged a class of 30 students to send him a thank-you card. Three did. That prompted years of conducting interviews with thousands of people, where the author found that, "Less than 10 percent of candidates that interview with hiring managers write thank-you cards." And yet this is an easy way for a potential employee to stand out.
During a time when so many people are inundated with hundreds of emails a day, someone sending a handwritten note via traditional delivery methods makes that person more memorable than the one whose quick email may or may not be seen by the receiver.

3) Create a personal brand and motto and stick to it. I belong to Women Business Owners and the group subscribes to the power of this introduction at its functions: Hello. My name is __________________ of _______________. Five words that say what your company does. Again I'm ____________ of ________________. For example. Jill Nichols-Hick, of Isagenix, a company whose motto is "Solutions to Transform Lives", through their weight loss and healthy living products, said at the December WBO luncheon, "I'm Jill Nichols-Hick, of Isagenix International. No holidays weight gain? Yes! I'm Jill Nichols-Hick of Isagenix International." This simple introduction captures the "Focus, don't dilute" personal branding advice of William Arruda in Forbes. Arruda writes, "Jacks-of-all-trades are rarely remembered but those who focus on a topic, cause or mission are the ones who are remembered and often revered. Think of the people you know. Aren't the most memorable ones known for something?"

4) Work with your quirks, says Arruda. Brian Pawlowski, of Pure Storage, is known in the Silicon Valley by his nickname Beepy and for many years by his fun-colored hair, not just for his computer storage expertise. Jose Mujica, president of Uruguay, is known for being a president who vocally denounces consumerism. In a HuffPost articlehe talked about why he refused to wear a tie when he met with President Obama in 2014, and how consumerism gets put ahead of basic humanistic values. For that reason, he does not live in a presidential palace but on a flower farm, wears sandals to most functions, drives a 1987 Volkswagen, and gives away 90 percent of his presidential salary each year.

5) Wear what works for you. Steve Jobs was known for wearinga black mock turtleneck, blue jeans, and New Balance sneakers every day. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is most often seen in a gray t-shirt, a black hoodie, and jeans. President Obama is known for wearing a navy or a gray suit. The men in these examples know what looks good on them and they understand that having one less decision to make per day contributes to more time for success. Fast Company includes limiting clothing choices to what works as a recommendation in the article "The Art of Doing Everything."

6) Do something nice for someone who isn't expecting it. This can be anything from buying a coffee for a random person in the line with you at Starbucks, sending flowers to someone you haven't seen for years -- just because, or grabbing some McDonalds for the homeless guy who lives near your office. Or doing something nice might involve no money, as sometimes what people need most is a listening ear. Author Stephen Covey writes, "When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it's like giving them emotional oxygen."