OK, for those of you who are fans of the movie “Office Space” will chuckle at this idea, but wearing a little “flair” can make attending events a little more fun. If you also have a hard time starting conversations, a little flair can help break the ice.

Now, I do not recommend wearing suspenders with 37 different flashy pins and pennants. Usually something small and relatively innocuous will do just fine. A friend of mine attended an event the day before he was to head south of the border on vacation. Instead of his name he wrote “Costa Rica” on his nametag. His wife said that he was surrounded the entire evening by people who wanted to hear more about his plans.

I’m sure you’ve met someone and commented on a particular piece of jewelry they were wearing. My wife still gets this regularly when she happens to wear her engagement ring. It makes her day and serves as an easy opening for conversation with the interested person.

Personally, I almost always try to snag an extra blank nametag and write some kind of superhero name on it. I’ve had “Springtime Superhero”, “Shoveling Superhero”, and, once, when Kaylie was a little baby and not sleeping through the night, I was “Somnolent Superhero”. No matter what I chose, it was sure to elicit a comment and usually resulted in that person and I rapidly finding out some personal common point of interest.

Heck, even my company’s name, “The Reluctant Networker“, acts as a bit of flair, since most people can’t believe that I’m all that reluctant.

Shh. Don’t give away my secret.

Could you find a way to wear a little bit of fun on your lapel? It doesn’t have to be way out there — I wouldn’t recommend one of those hats made out of fruit, for example — but it should be something that will pique their curiosity and make you more approachable. When they feel comfortable walking up and starting the conversation with you, you get to sit back and spend your time just making friends.

Photo credit: gniliep