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Use of names - how important is it?

I'm on a webinar/webcast and the host asked my question from chat by saying "someone has asked xxx" and then added with my comment "and someone has said xxx". Great that they asked my question at an appropriate point.

However, they didn't use my name. It's right there in the chat along with my comment. In some systems, with some screen setups, it's possible that they might not have been able to see my name. But highly unlikely and in this case it's not the issue. 

How did this make me feel? Anonymous. And actually, not valued. Even though my question and comment obviously had value, I didn't feel that was valued. 

What do you think on this, from your perspective as an attendee, and how does it impact what you will do as a faciliator?

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  • There is a risk of offending people with wrongly pronounced names but there is defiately no risk with your name Jo!!

    I have experiended it when being a facilitator that the questions and comments are coming in soo quickly that they miss the name but remember the question. 

    But in the end, you need get personal on a webinar to make up for the lack of personal interaction.

    • Toby you are right, they don't mis pronounce! Sometimes people do write it "Joe" though, which is the masculine! You are right about pronounciation of names. I always do my best and ask people to correct me if I'm wrong, as it is important. 

      And on a busy webinar you have a point, things come through thick and fast. Maybe a question panel can help, or a co-faciliator or something at that point, depending on your format :D

      And you make a great point about making up for the lack of that personal interaction!

  • You raise a good point Jo. I’ve noticed you use participant names a lot on your webinars and I think it really helps build a sense of belonging. 

    • Thank you, I think it's important. I remember the first time on a webinar when my comment got read out, by Donald H Taylor, and I felt all sorts of special! I remember it many years later!

      It's easy to do live online as the names are there, but a lot of facilitators will do something like "huh... yeah.. good point about topic x" or similar and not really read the comment, reference the person or add anything, so it gets lost. 

  • As an attendee I'm with you Jo. Even in face to face where everyone can see who asked I think it's good manners to thank the person who asked for their question and I've worked on tactics to remember names quickly at the start of sessions to use names in that context.

    Online, unless the system doesn't show the name (in which case I'd say that so people knew I wasn't being ignorant) there's no excuse. Even if the chat has moved on and you need to scroll back to find the name (jot it down with the question next time), then buy yourself time with a 'there was a great question and I want to make sure I ask it just right, ah there it is - Jo asked....'
    Little things but as I think Maya Angelou said, people don't remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel. Credit their great question to them and they'll feel like an important contributor and keep coming back.

    • Really well said Kevin, especially referncing that Maya Angelou quote :D 

      And I really like the techniques you describe too, thank you.

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