Listen—and speak. When someone is telling you his or her name, “really listen.” Find a way to work the name into the conversation. Ask questions about the spelling or even make a remark about the name. The more attention you place on the name, the more likely it is to stick in your memory.
Take notes. If you get someone’s business card, write down some facts about the person. Details such as physical traits, their hometown, or the name of a mutual friend can provide a “reminder.”
Create visuals. For unusual names that are hard to remember, try associating images that are related to the name. For example, for the name “Otterman,” think of the animal. “Silly images” work best. Picture the image, then choose a prominent feature on the person’s face like bushy eyebrows or large teeth.
Source: Reader’s Digest