Everybody knows what a nickname is, Bob for Robert, Pat or Trish for Patricia and so one. Recently the internet has created the nickname as a sort of necessity. If you have a Skype account or a Twitter channel, chances are you already have a nickname there.
This was also a need I must felt when, as groupVision Switzerland’s CEO, I have started to register in seminars and conferences where my native name created serious problems in the registration system and printed badges, as you can see from the picture.
So I have decided to adopt my twitter channel’s name as a shortened version of my surnames, and use my first name with its English equivalent, and guess what, it seems to work just fine! Except for the surname pronunciation, it is almost unnoticeable compared to the effort it took to pronounce my original name.
Now is this really a nickname? Not really. Some would argue my name change – Paul Nunesdea – is a pseudonym, similar to what Kings and Popes do, they change their names for a purpose. But in my case, what I am adopting here is an heteronym. According to Wikipedia this was invented by a great fellow countryman writer and poet in the last century – Fernando Pessoa. A heteronym gives you a different personality from which you are able to see the world from a different perspective.
This is really the case when you work in Switzerland. Just compare these two events where I have registered as the same person with different heteronyms. “Paul” attended a top class event, organized by the Swiss chapter of MPI where he was part of a flawless presentation that produced the right combination of what my friend and distinguished author Mike van der Vijver refers to as “context experience” and “content flow”.
Whereas “Paulo” was dismayed with an opposite experience in Madrid where last minute changes to an agreed agenda, provided the wrong kind of “content flow” for a poorly planned “context experience” in a promising Meeting & Incentive Summit that did not deliver to its’ expectations. Last but not least, a sacred hospitality rule was overlooked – we run out of Paella! This was perhaps my heteronym’s state of mind? I believe the event industry in Spain delivers much better than that.