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What’s in a name?

Valery Coburn gave a wonderful seven minute Toastmasters speech on how important your name is.  Her take on this was that your given full name was very powerful in terms of setting out your personality.  Shortening the name is tantamount to killing its resonance.  ‘Why would you want to shorten Diana to Di?’ – she asks as an example.

She mentions that for years she was happy to be referred to as Val but when she reverted to Valery her personality came alive and since then she has refused to be referred to by any other.

I, too, have a take on names, primarily from a networking perspective …

  1. Most people go networking to meet other business people and get known to them.  It is much easier for people to remember your name if you wear the BADGE!
  2. Wear the badge high on the right hand side of your body so that when you shake hands it remains in the other person’s sight lines.  Don’t wear it on your table your, hip, or your bosom.  It just isn’t appropriate!
  3. The brilliant BXC badges are colour coded to indicate whether the wearer is a member (Black), a guest (Pink) or a coordinator (Blue).  It helps you to identify opening questions. It is worth checking out other club etiquettes.
  4. They have your name first, and business name second; because people by from ‘people’ (they know, like and trust).
  5. To make it easy for people to see and read; the brilliant BXC badges are typed in a large readable font size in Bold and everyone’s badge is in the same format.


Finally do take your own badge with you to all networking meetings in case the event organiser doesn’t provide them.  If they do, then wear the one that they provide.  Or … surreptitiously wear both.  Help people to remember you.

I leave this Blog with a poignant quote from a favourite of mine, Dale Carnegie:  “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language” and Fort Minor’s ‘Remember The Name’ 

PS – if you are interested in some strategic networking exercises – please find a discounted link to my Udemy course Strategic Networking for the confident networker

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Laura,

    I understood Valery’s point of view – but it does cut both ways. My son reinvented himself when he moved to a new school by becoming Tom, with great results. Different power. I, on the other hand, spent my childhood feeling cheated because I had a name you could not shorten and so never had a nickname!
    One thing I do like with names is on the inevitable help desk call. I take the name of the person who answers the phone and write it down so I remember. They often sound so surprised to be thanked by name at the end of the call. Such a little thing, but it sounds so sweet to them, as you say…

    Anne x


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