There are many travelers that you meet and passing comments often turn into in-depth discussions. However great or small your interaction with another, it is courteous to introduce yourself and allow your interlocutor to be introduced.
Sometimes there are multiple people you meet at the same time, this may happen in a hostel, at a bar or in transit. Here are five tips to help you remember everyone’s names – and you will definitely make an impression!
Whatever you do, just relax – no biggie if you can’t remember the names of twenty individuals you just met!
After they have introduced themselves, it helps to also sound out their name aloud. So you can reach out your hand and simply say Nice to meet you, <insert name here>. Having said it once should help to commit the name to memory.
If the name is particularly difficult to pronounce, try to over-exaggerate the sound of each syllable (hopefully there aren’t too many). By doing this, you’re breaking up the name into bite-size chunks that you can remember. If you can at least remember a few chunks, that should give you a start to remembering the full name.
Obviously don’t be weird and just straight-out ask for the spelling of a person’s name. But often there are names using Y instead of I and it can help you to remember a name because of this subtle difference in spelling. You’ll recall Dylan spelled with a Y.
This also works if you have forgotten someone’s name. If you get a sneaky chance to ask how to spell their name, they will either say their name again and spell out each letter, or tell you its spelled normally/weirdly. Then you can be sure you remember their name.
You have five senses and when you are introducing yourself to a person, you generally use two: sounds (saying the name) and sight (seeing the person). By adding more senses to the mix, you can create combinations to help you remember somebody – particularly if there are many people in the situtation.
You might shake a person’s hand differently, first a normal handshake, next a pat on the shoulder with the left hand. Associating the sense of touch can help you to distinguish who was named who (by associating the name with the action). For example, Jenny is the one with whom I shook hands very gently. Thomas is the one with whom I shook hands firmly. I shook hands with Jonathon using both my hands. etc.
It’s ok to forget someone’s name that you just met, but it can seem very impolite to ask them for their name a second time. Why not try asking someone else who knows this person, for their name? This has worked countless times for me.
When none of the above techniques save you, then resort to friendly terms of endearment. Mate, dude, buddy. These are all acceptable between friends.
Avoid saying their name at all and always use pronouns. If you are talking to him/her directly, say You. If you are talking to someone else, refer to Him or Her.