Orval Ray Wilson, Orvil Ray Wilson, Orville Ray Wilson – What’s in a Name?

Get Your Customer’s Name Right – Or Else!

I can’t BELIEVE how CREATIVE people get with my name! Orval, Orvil, Orvalle, Orville, Orvaille! It drives me NUTS! Officially, it’s a two-part first name: Orvel Ray. Like Billy Joe or Mary Ann. Hyphenate it if you wish: Orvel-ray. Or camel caps: OrvelRay. Most of my friends shorten it to just Orvel. Or even O.R.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not all THAT upset about it. But if you’re trying to be found on the internet, you have to be aware that people will butcher your name.

Guerrillas also know that when it comes to selling customers, they better get it right. Spell it correctly and pronounce it correctly. When in doubt, ask.

And if they have a suffix after their name, include it. I recently had an article published in a business magazine in Dubai, and they dropped the CSP from my by-line. The “Certified Speaking Professional” is the highest level of certification recognized worldwide by the speaking industry, and it was a lot of work to earn it. As trilled as I always am to see my name in print, this was a big disappointment.

Dale Carnegie said, “A man’s own name, to him, is the sweetest sounding word in any language.” Get it right.

–Orvel Ray Wilson, CSP


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