May 20, 2008

Make sure the announcer can pronounce your name



Another little reminder from the WEV graduation the other night: always make sure the announcer or introducer knows how to pronounce your name.

Because I wasn't actually a speaker, but was being introduced from the audience as a mentor in the new mentor program, it slipped my mind that I would still need to check in with the emcee beforehand. When she introduced me, my name came out something like "brath-with." Or was it "brake-away?" Maybe it was "brat-way." I don't remember now. I've blocked it out.

Never assume your introducer knows how to say your name. Even simple names have a way of confusing people. I spoke to someone the other day whose last name is "Way," in fact. You would think that people would get it. But instead, they are probably overthinking it and making it "way" harder than it is.

In case you'd like a refresher or you're perplexed by my name, you can learn how to pronounce Braithwaite here.

____________________________________________________
Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

12 comments. Please add yours! :

Brandon said...

It's funny...I think sometimes the emcee is one of the more nervous members of an event. They aren't really the speaker...but they play an important role. I've been called Brian (my name is Brandon) numerous times. Some of those mistakes were by people I knew well...they just slipped. I usually just go with it, and let them off the hook easily. In playful-tolerant situations, it CAN be fun to make a few jokes about it.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Good point, Brandon. I have a client whose job it is to announce speakers at events, and I know she feels like it's an awkward position to be in.

I do think the announcer/emcee has to make sure they've crossed their "t's" and dotted their "i's," just like every other speaker. But it's also my responsibility to make sure I've done my part.

Let's call it a partnership. :-)

Andrew Lightheart said...

I've had Lightwater, Lightfoot, and (my favourite) Lighthouse.

All those consonants together (...ghth...), I think people get nervous and rush at it... :-)

Btw, I think it's hilarious and quietly brilliant to have an online guide to pronouncing your name...!

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Andrew, what a great name you have! I can imagine how horribly it can be butchered, too. :-(

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

Considering my last name, you would think people would figure out how to pronounce it but they don't.
I've even had to spell it out for people.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

It's almost like people hear what they want to hear. My husband's name is Rudy. Pretty simple, right? But people never hear Rudy. It's like they expect him to be saying something else, so they hear everything from Roy to Ray and whatever else you can imagine.

Mrs. Micah said...

My maiden name is a common household item with a 1-letter change (I get this feeling that I'm descended from a line of servants...). But it was just a vowel and didn't change pronunciation. It was like Ten vs. Tin...

The thing was, people didn't have trouble with the en/in issue. Instead they couldn't get their heads around the name. They would switch out letters all over the place even when they looked at it. Because they just couldn't conceive of someone being named that.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

You're so mysterious, Mrs. Micah!

Jonathan Steele, RN said...

I would like to add...

Be careful about giving the "...it sounds like" advice. The sounds like will invariably be what they say. Also, instead of saying it is not John, my name is Jonathan, it has proved more effective to say, "Oh, by the way, my name is Jonathan, not a shortened form of the name or please do not shorten it." This eliminates the power of suggestion that can result from giving to much data to remember, like the name you do not want to be called.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for that insight, Jonathan. We're all complaining about having our names butchered, but of course all of these rules apply to us as well when we're introducing others!

MJ said...

How do you pronounce the name 'Braithwaite'?

Lisa Braithwaite said...

MJ, here's the link to the post where I pronounce my name: http://coachlisab.blogspot.com/2007/12/braithwaite-pronunciation.html

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...