Is This Social Excellence? (And the Power of Poster Boards)

by Matt Mattson

i-will-talk-to-anyoneI saw this guy (his name is Max Oman) on campus at the University of Minnesota yesterday.  Needless to say, I just HAD to go talk with him.

[In case you can't read it, his sign says, "I will talk to anyone about anything. free."]

Is this Social Excellence?  It certainly is bold.

Here’s what I loved most about this guy after having a short conversation with him.  He wasn’t trying to get anything out of people except a conversation.  He was kind of just playing.  Trying to make people smile.  Being generous.

I asked him why he was doing this, and he said he had seen a picture of someone do something similar, and it looked fun.  So, there he is.

Most people, of course, passed him by with a smirk on their face.  Some people stopped and engaged him.  Nearly everyone that walked past probably remembered him.  He entered people’s lives.

Maybe more importantly, interacting with Max got me thinking about the power of poster boards.  Seriously.  See here, here, and  here.  It seems like a poster board, a marker, and minimal creativity provide a good reason to talk to strangers, to engage socially, to meet potential members for your organization… put plainly, poster boards seem to be a simple, cheap tool to make life a little more interesting.

What would happen if you walked around wearing a poster board around your neck like Max’s?  How would your day be different?

Thanks for talking to me, Max.  You’re an interesting dude.  I’m guessing people like Max would like our Dare Cards.