“What’s Your Name?” Small Talk Questions in the U.S.

Posted On: July 25, 2016

What is your name?

While many global team members may not use this question on daily calls, “What is your name?” is a common question that could be used when meeting global stakeholders for the first time in face to face or virtual meetings. 

How to use, understand and answer to the question “What is your name?”:

  • When to use this question
  • Alternative ways to say this question that can add a more polite tone
  • How to use this question in a meeting (group discussion skills
  • How to improve your American English listening comprehension by breaking down this question into phonetics, so that when you hear Americans ask you this question at a normal or fast speed, you will be able to understand it! (when speaking fast, it sounds totally different!)

Not only will the tips in this video help you understand common places this question is used, but how to hear it in an American accent. 

If you can’t see the video, click here.

For those unable to see or hear the video, here are some general notes:

1. What you will hear as a newcomer to American English. 

You will probably not hear “What is your name?” with each word clearly articulated. You will hear one of the following:

  1. What’s your name?
  2. Whacher name?  (What’s + your = whacher”) 
  3. Wasyer name? (s sounds like z – tutorials here)

2. How to get clarity if you ask another’s name, but did not hear the answer.
Say: “I’m sorry I missed your name.” (End with a full stop/period, not a question mark.) 

3. Clarify who is talking on a conference call

  • Use group discussion skills. (Update for 2020 – most video or online calling systems now display a name of the person who is talking. However, when calling over the phone, a bridge or a voice only platform where names aren’t displayed, this skill comes in handy. Also, it’s best practice to be inclusive to use team member’s names while transitioning the conversation as well.)
  • Tips on how to get team members to repeat their names when it wasn’t clear or you were unable to hear it. 
  • How Americans may respond to your need to repeat or clarify something that you missed (did not hear clearly). 

Check out an introductory 2 hour program for your team (unlimited participants): “Building Trust and Good Relationships With US Clients” Or, if you want to involve your rising stars to a higher level of ownership and client engagement, check out our program, Managing Client Expectations: Leadership Skills for Offshore Teams in India

We specialize our content toward professionals working in the software industry in Kerala and throughout India that provide services and consulting to US based clients and customers. 

Related Posts: 

How to Introduce yourself to US Citizens
Adopting American Names in Offshore Teams (Tips) 
Popular Names in Kerala, India  
American English Listening Tip: T + Y = CH

Original publishing date: 7/16, updated 6/2020




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