What’s Your Name? Is it Mary or Sue?

December 18, 2013 by Nancy Noonan

I recently heard the classic 60s oldies tune What’s Your Name? by Don and Juan on the radio and the well known words,

What’s your name? Is it Mary or Sue?
What’s your name? Do I stand a chance with you?

. . . made me think of the holidays.

I know, it’s a little odd, with nary a “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night” in sight (or, er, sound), but, still, holidays-reminding it did. That’s because this is the time of year when invitations arrive in our mailboxes to holiday festivities. (Okay, stick with me here.) Some of us are delighted by these invites; others, not so much. Either way, when we accept an invitation, we have some “pre-event” preparations of our own:

• Select an outfit
• Purchase a host gift
• Get a baby-sitter
• Line up mode of transportation

. . . and so forth.

These are the logistical matters. One of the aspects we often don’t give much thought to, however, is what our interactions with others will be like once we arrive. This is especially important if there’s a chance we might not know very many at the gathering. Now before the less outgoing of you go into apoplexy here, let me assure you that with a little pre-planning, you can get through this more easily and might even find that the events add to your enjoyment of the season, rather than to your stress. The more forethought you give to attending your holiday parties this year, be they personal or professional, the more Masterful the outcome in both arenas.

Back to the Song

Inevitably, What’s your name? will be one of the first things that comes up. How often have you said your name so fast that the other person has very little chance of remembering it? Instead of hurling it out blitzkrieg fashion, try this technique that I use in my Networking Mastery programs:

Say your first name and then pause. So, for me, it would be “Nancy” and a pause.

Say your first name again and then your last name.

Say something that will help your last name stick. I say, “It’s Noon-an: like noon, the time of day, with an ‘an’ on the end.”
Not only will that help people remember your name, but it will often spark a fun conversation . . . and, before you know it, you’re off and running!

Do I Stand a Chance with You?

This next line of the lyrics Do I Stand a Chance with You? has to do with how you are going to represent yourself to others. Right off the bat, whether we realize it or not, people pay attention to someone’s 2 C’s:

Character and Competence

In looking at Character, it’s natural for us to respond positively to someone who is a Giver rather than a Getter. Here are some of the things that a Giver does, displaying admirable Character in the process:

In looking at Character, it’s natural for us to respond positively to someone who is a Giver rather than a Getter. Here are some of the things that a Giver does, displaying admirable Character in the process:

• Listens carefully, with intent to understand
• Asks questions about you and what you do in both your personal and business life (Do NOT use the dysfunctional, albeit somewhat humorous line, “But enough about me. What do YOU think about me?”)
• Offers resources, connections, assistance, etc. (even a great recipe!) Think about this one ahead of time and go armed with a few things to offer when you are the Giver.

When it comes to Competence, naturally work into the conversation some examples of when you have competently assisted someone or an organization. As I said, weave these in “naturally,” and humbly. Boastfulness is a sure turnoff.

So, get those party shoes polished,
Think ahead about how you will most masterfully
connect and network with fellow partygoers and then
Marvel at what a truly spectacular (and more meaningful)
time you are having!


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