Well it's up and happened. You're staring at some dude whom you've definitely met before, and you're totally blanking on his name.
Not only is this embarrassing both you and your ancestors, but it's also a real missed opportunity. Knowing someone else's name generates a certain amount of goodwill with them. Think of how you react when someone remembers your name. You're happier, and now think more favorably about that person, don't you? At minimum, you'll be on slightly better behavior now that you know you're not anonymous. You check your fly, stop stealing forks -- that kind of thing.
So let's never let this happen again. Let's start remembering names right now! Starting with this guy!
#8. Repeat Their Name Back To Them
You probably only touched a hot stove four or five times before remembering that it's a bad idea, and there's no reason you can't apply the same principle here. Repetition is one of the most reliable ways to memorize something. So the next time someone introduces themselves, repeat their name back to them.
"Robert. Robert. Robert."
To make it less creepy, add a "Welcome," or "Nice to meet you," or some other appropriate follow-up.
"Robert? Come with me if you want to live."
Doing this again at certain natural points in the conversation will help as well, but just be careful that you don't take it too far. You don't want to repeat their name to the point where they'll worry that you're going to write it in blood somewhere.
#7. Write It In Blood Somewhere
Though you should definitely do that! Obviously you'll want to keep this a secret, but this is a very memorable act, which will make it far easier to remember someone's name. And if you have any demons or familiars who accompany you on your travels, a blood rite like this can help them remember your new chum's name as well.
"It was T-something. Ted. Tred. Trandy. Trandy, I think."
#6. Repeat Their Name Quietly To Yourself
If you want to avoid any risk of saying their name aloud like a crazy person, or just don't like speaking in general, you can try repeating the name quietly to yourself. A good opportunity for this is while this new person is talking about their stupid life.
"Blah blah blah blah cancer survivor blah."
The trick is to do this while still listening to them, just in case you need to respond to anything they're saying. This usually isn't too hard; because it's your first meeting with this person, there are only so many possible topics they could be talking about. Nine times out of ten, they'll be talking about their job or their weekend at the lake. If you need a quick response, try "Huh!" or "I hear that!" or "My cousin drowned there."
#5. Associate Their Name With Something Else
Does their name remind you of anything? Can you force it? Because if you can associate their name with some other, more memorable thing, you'll stand a much better chance of remembering it.
"You look a lot like an aunt I'm way too attracted to."
There are a lot of ways we can get this to work. Does their name rhyme with something? Can you make an acronym out of it? Or just take the first letter of their name and find a descriptive word that begins with the same? Gaseous Gary is harsh, but so long as you don't mention the first half of it when seeing that gassy fucker, you'll probably get away with it.