What’s in a Name? Everything!
What’s in a name? A lot, I say. Ironically, the quote, “What’s In A Name?” is remembered because of the author’s name, Shakespeare.
There are few sounds sweeter to another human being than that of their own name. It is also the basic amount of dignity and respect that you can give another human being.
So whether I’m talking to an audience member at a comedy show or a barista at a coffee shop, I always ask them their name and address them accordingly.
It’s also extremely powerful to interact with people during a presentation using their name, in case you think they are getting distracted or might doze off!
Remember to use their name at the start of the sentence though. If you say, “What did you think of that John?”, he hears ‘John’, and if not alert, is wondering what you said before taking his name. That’s embarrassing for both of you.
So always go with, “John, what did you think of that?” Of course, this is a tip for YOU because at my presentations people are ALWAYS engaged 😜. Not because I’m very interesting, but I’m also a comedian. Slack off and I will destroy you!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Even more, I’d love to hear any embarrassing anecdotes about when you forgot someone’s name that you really shouldn’t have! How did you get out of that situation? My strategy is to introduce another person to them and say, “Have you met Ayesha?” for example. With the hope that Ayesha then looks at that person and says, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” It’s naughty, but usually quite effective. Also, it’s always helpful to brief Ayesha on the plan first!
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