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The Name Tag Nightmare

Please answer the following question. “When I attend a business or social event, I wear my nametag….”

  1. Clipped to the bottom of my shirt so it doesn’t ruin the fabric.
  2. In the middle of my chest, where everyone can see it.
  3. I don’t wear them, they are so tacky.
  4. At my left breast coat pocket.
  5. Clipped to my purse.
  6. On my right shoulder.

At any given event, we see all of the above. It’s just crazy! When I am meeting you for the first time (and maybe even the second or third in which case I probably have forgotten your name and am really worried about that) there are about 10 million neurons firing in my unconscious brain. You are probably saying your name as I shake your hand, but I am so absorbed by the avalanche of information my brain is processing, that I really, really need that visual cue to remember your name. And, since the fundamental purpose for wearing a name tag is so that OTHER people can see our NAMES, then the only conceivable answer to where to wear ….is #6. On the right shoulder.  (Well #2 can work, but if you are a woman you are really creating an embarrassing situation for yourself, so please don’t do that).

The scientific reason for wearing the nametag on your right shoulder is that when we shake with our right hand (as even lefties do) our eyes naturally travel up the arm and land on the name tag. It’s a visual reinforcement of your body’s motion.  This couldn’t be easier. Our motto for public speaking is “Present for your audience.” For nametags, it’s exactly the same.

Charlotte Dietz

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