Friday, February 04, 2011

Presentation Skills - Name Tags

According to Sheila Feigelson from Happy Associates, Ann Arbor, Michigan, there are many
ways to encourage people to laugh with each other and get them in fun WITHOUT being an entertainer. Sheila says, "There is always a certain amount of tension when people get together. They're thinking about things like: Who's here? How long will the meeting last? What's this going to obligate me to? Is it going to be any fun? How will my opinions and ideas be accepted? Some lighthearted humor and shared laughter help to reduce the natural tension and put people at ease. It can have an energizing effect, and perhaps most important, it can create the kind of climate that invites participation."

Sheila makes creative use of name tags to help get her audiences in fun. She says when name tags are being used, they can serve as wonderful icebreaker by including more than the participants' name and title. At one meeting, Sheila got tired of the old standby name tag "Hello, My Name Is . . ." so she instructed participants as they arrived to write their own name and the name of someone they are NOT. People looked quizzical at first, and then they got into the spirit and started laughing. Since there are so many people that each of us are not, our choices are almost limitless. During the introductions, people told who they were and who they weren't! It was fascinating. One person said, "My name is not Mary. She's my sister, and everyone gets us mixed up." And that led to another person volunteering, "I'm not Robert Redford . . . but no
one ever confuses us!!!"

Another name tag idea is to have people write their name and three significant numbers. After all, what do people say after they read your name? It's hardly an invitation to conversation, let alone smiles and laughter. So, on one occasion, Sheila wrote down three numbers that just came into her head: 3, 1, and 10. As she greeted old friends and new acquaintances, they looked at
her name tag and asked about the numbers. She replied, "I have three sons, one husband, and ten years ago is when I think I last cleaned out my kitchen junk drawer!" She noticed that several people returned to the registration table and added numbers to THEIR name tags as well! The conversations became more animated and personalized.

Learn more creative presentation tips!

No comments: