It’s coming up to wedding season again and for many, a time of dread. Having avoided business networking events all year you are now compelled to attend the equivalent, for fun!

I’ve written before about taking the pressure off yourself by asking open questions of the other guests so that they talk about themselves. For most of us, talking about what we love and enjoy makes us very happy.

So today I thought I would talk about having a 'thing'.

My top tip to networkers, party goers and wedding guests is to wear something that others can comment on. A piece of jewellery or hat for the ladies; maybe a charity pin for the gents (or if you can carry it off) a vibrant waistcoat. Anything that someone else can say “ooh I love your xxxx“ or “that’s an interesting xxxx, where’s it from?”, to strike up a conversation with you.

But that is only half the tip … you must also have something to say about the 'thing'.

When someone tells you they like your 'thing' don’t just say thank you … add some context. Tell them where you got it, who gave it to you, what it means to you, why you support the charity … it doesn’t matter so long as it helps to develop the conversation.

I have a silver necklace that I wear for just these occasions and it has led to conversations as diverse as the price of silver, charity events and looking after ageing parents. All topics that other people took from the story I tell about where I got it.

Enjoy any weddings you are going to and let me know at, how you get on with your 'things'.

- Sally Hindmarch is a communication skills specialist and runs Partners With You, a company that helps people improve the way they come across at work