In the past two years, I’ve been in many Networking Events, Entrepreneur Workshops, Galas and other wonderful places where people have the opportunity to introduce themselves and establish new relationships.
One that stroke me the most was a Business Owner tech seminar; There were over 50 business owners in a room, we were supposed to introduce ourselves briefly, and so we did. One by one the introductions started:
“My name is Tjwlidhog Poasihgglk (what did she say?) and my business is Paranganicutirimicuaro” (oh wow, what?). “My name is isayitsofastpeoplecantreallyhearme (I am sorry, could you say that again?) and the business is Speedy Gonzalez” (I can’t remember). “My name is ......................, (couldn’t hear a thing) and my business is Uno Que Digo Tan Quedito Que Nadie Me Escucha.” (What was that again?)
Oh my goodness… I think only five people were clear, concise and memorable.
I realized the following: people are so used to saying their names, that they don’t realize how it sounds to others. And what seems to be familiarity and shyness, comes across as lack of professionalism and confidence.
So, I decided to include this simple section in every single Public Speaking Program I deliver. My goal is for every student, professional, and entrepreneur to be able to say their names with confidence.
Given that you have just a few seconds to gain others' trust and willingness to hear you, the first thing you say, which could be your name, must be PERFECT!
You see, the most common names in the USA are Mary, Patricia, Linda, James, John/Joe, and Robert. And the most common last names are Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, and Brown. So, if your name is not Mary or Joe, and your last name is not Smith, I strongly suggest you follow these instructions if you want to be understood and memorable.
Say your name:
1. Clearly – enunciating every consonant and vowel. Mostly if your name has a combination of many consonants together or vowels together. Also, if your name has sounds that are guttural or that require a specific movement of the tongue and palette. For example: Nuñez.
2. Happily - try to smile when you say your name, so people see that you are friendly, that you are approachable. The smile is the Universal language, people will perceive that you are a positive person and that you are happy to meet them.
3. Proudly - Nod when you say your name, like an affirmation of who you are. (By the way, I am against having to change your name so that others can pronounce it. We all have beautiful names and people can learn how to pronounce them, it´s not that complicated). If you don´t like your name, use a nickname or change it to one that you like.
Practice: Watch the video and pause it on each step, until you can do it all together...yes, at the same time!
Say it loud and clear, then say it as you smile and then, say it as you nod
Remember, people might not remember what you say, but they WILL remember:
1) How approachable and friendly you are
2) How proud you are of yourself
3) How confident you sound