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The Art of the Name Tag

Name tags seem to be a necessary evil at worst, and a conundrum at best. They are tricky on some types of fabrics, don’t stay in place, sometimes illegible when handwritten, constantly fly around on lanyards and interfere with clothing and accessories. And, once and for all, where should they go?

As annoying as they are, name tags are vital in business. They need to be worn where they can be seen and read easily. However temporary, simple and sticky a name tag is, it’s part of your professional brand and the impression you make on others—especially those you’ve never met before.


  • FIRST AND LAST. List your complete name used in business, then allow your conversation to bring up job role and title.
  • PLACE TO THE RIGHT. This may be contrary to belief, but it will strengthen your presence. When your hand is extended, the sight line will be followed up your arm to the name tag, and then to your face & eyes.
  • KEEP IT LEGIBLE. When handwritten, write neat so others can read it easily.
  • WEAR SECURELY. When possible, secure the lanyard to keep your name easily accessible.
  • PROVIDE FOR GUESTS. Have pre-printed name tags ready for your guests, and blank name tags and dark markers available for those who didn’t RSVP.

Kelly Duggan is an Image Consultant specializing in executive and personal image development, etiquette & communication skills. She is a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International. Contact Kelly at: www.kellyduggan.com.

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