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American Business Conversation: Remembering and Using Names

Particularly in the workplace or at business socials, you want to remember other people's names if you can. The easiest way to remember another person's name is this:

Get it right during the introduction.

Ask for a spelling if you need it.
If you are still unclear about pronouncing it, make some light small talk about the name's origin (how it was chosen, which country it is originally from).

Use the person's name as you speak.

You can start with, "It's very nice to meet you, Anna."
During the conversation, add the person's name to questions, "So what do you think of that, Anna?"
Include the name as you make your excuse to move on. "So nice meeting you, Anna."

Forgetting a Person's Name

Use this awkward moment as a chance to show you care enough to ask for the name again. Or use it as a chance to be humorous.

"I'm sorry. I think I forgot your name. What is it again? ... Oh, thanks so much!"

"Your name is on the tip of my tongue, but for some reason, it's not coming to me! What is it again?"

"I can't believe I'm forgetting your name. I must be getting old!"

"I'm so sorry I've forgotten your name. I'm too young for this kind of memory loss."

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