Larry Silverwood addressed our business luncheon group on the art of dropping names. Names make more than news, he claimed. They make friends and money too. But a name won’t produce for you unless you drop it.

In the course of his talk, he worked in the name of every man in the room and quoted from Benjamin Franklin, Robert G. Lee, Julius Caesar, Jack Paar, Joe Stalin, Confucious, Paul Tillich, Gene Tunney, Will Rogers, President Kennedy, Moses, Casey Stengel, Mahatma Gandhi, William Gladstone, and Grandma Moses.

To gain such facility, you must begin by remembering names. Since use strengthens memory, an easy rule is to use at least one name in every sentence. Don’t say, “Is your report ready? It’s due in the main office.”

Say, “Jack, Joe wants your report, so I said to Mary, Jim’s the man to see Jack! Right, Jack?”

This method leads to more name-calling every day. In itself it won’t build up your image, though. For that you need big names. They’re yours for the picking. All you need is a pocketbook of quotations. Speeches should use a quotation from a famous person in every other sentence. People will be convinced even if they don’t know what you are talking about. Fill-in speeches are now available; they are compiled from quotations with a few blanks added where you can write in your commercial.

It’s better to use live names if you have met any famous people. TV can help here: “When I saw Senator B. B. Fuddle the other day, he said.…”

I asked Larry about ecclesiastical name-dropping. “Eutychus,” he said, “only the other day Bishop Smith was telling me that names make sermons. John Jones isn’t going to listen to what God says, but if you can quote Einstein, you’ve got him. The Bishop has been preaching from the ...

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