What Makes Some People More Memorable Than The Rest?

I’ve been out and about and networking more than usual recently.  I always come back with a stack of business cards and as I sort through them, I remember those who stood out. Some people are just more memorable than others.

It was because they did something, said something, told a story, or looked a certain way that planted an image in my memory.

If you’re looking to make an impact in your career or perhaps start a new business endeavor, you want to be remembered – for the right reasons, of course.

It’s that charisma … the Je ne sais quoi … the certain connection with people that makes you memorable.

Charisma may be hard to define but you know it when you see it.  Researchers at MIT have said that connecting with people is what generates charisma.

But, what does that mean?

Achim Nowak, author of the book, “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within,” defines charisma as the “inside” and that “je ne sais quoi” that enables certain people to draw you in. “When we talk about charisma, it’s the quality people who light up the stage. They’re like an energy magnet—and we want to engage.”

If we accept that charismatic people are like an energy magnet, the question becomes, what is it that specifically draws us in.

How Can You Draw People In?


In order to be memorable, you have to know what makes you memorable. What’s your sweet spot? Your sweet spot is found at the crossroads of your strength and your passion.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What are you known for now?
  • What do you offer? What’s your talent?
  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What is it that sets you apart from everyone else in the room?
  • In what ways do you lead instead of follow?

Your personality attributes, your work style, your play style, and the interests, hobbies, and preferences you carry with you go into making your total package.

Your uniqueness even flows over to how you dress. Are you the “casual guy” in a world of suits or perhaps you’re the one with the tie when everyone else is in jeans? It all goes into your total package. Yesterday, I spent some time strolling through a small town in Virginia. As I passed the line of restaurants, I caught a glimpse of all of the outdoor patrons. There was only one man I remembered. He wore a red bowtie in a sea of T-shirts. He was memorable.

Organizations are always looking for their competitive advantage – their discriminators. Their discriminators are what sets them apart from their competition.

The same thing applies to you and your career.

Think about the message you send out that will differentiate you from the competition because what you transmit can be very powerful.


Being Memorable While Networking

Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out – For the Right Reasons

School years can be harsh. Often times, we looked for ways to fit in or blend in rather than stand out. If you want to be memorable, re-discover the traits that make you, well, you. If you are resourceful, find ways to use your resourcefulness. If you are funny, use your humor to break the ice in meetings or even out of the workplace.

Don’t try to tone down the traits that make you distinctive. That doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party, the center of attention, or the loud guy thateveryone hears from a mile away. But don’t diminish the traits that make you unique.

Know Your “Story”

Your story is different than an elevator speech. Stories will help you illustrate the breadth and depth of what you do, who you do it for, and what results you achieve. People remember stories and experiences more clearly than a 30 second elevator speech.

Be Confident, Yet Genuine

When you put yourself out there, it can be scary.

Be confident enough to stand out by being you – your genuine self. Nobody likes fake people and you can spot “fake” from across the room. No one enjoys the company of someone whose life is portrayed as someone they are not. People are interested in, and are drawn to, genuineness.

It helps people relate to you. Show who you really are and be a person that other people will feel comfortable being around.

Overcome Shyness by Networking with a Friend or Colleague


If you have difficulty in mingling with a room full of people that you don’t know, networking will be torture. Plus, you’ll never gain any benefits – or business – because of it. Until you gain confidence in going it alone, network with a friend. This is a great technique because you can each play off of each other’s strengths and expertise.

Be Approachable 

Make eye contact, ask questions and really engage with people on more than just a superficial level. Achim Nowak believes there are two liabilities when it comes to unleashing charisma and charm and they are:

  1.  Not being curious about the person you’re speaking with, and
  2. Not sharing enough about yourself.

He says that a lot of people will ask many questions but they don’t take the time to allow others to ask questions of them. It helps you make a stronger connection.

Follow Up

Memories stay fresh if you follow up with the people you met by sending them a quick email or connecting on LinkedIn. Thank them but refresh their memory by recalling the topic or story you spoke about.

Networking events are a great way to meet new people in or out of your industry. But,  it doesn’t matter how many people you meet.  It matters when people remember who you are.

Being memorable will be the combination of your appearance, your actions, words, spirit, and your behavior. If you’ve left someone with the feeling of, “I’d like to kick back and have a drink with that person”, then you’ve probably done your job.

So when it comes to being memorable, charisma and authenticity rule and you shouldn’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

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