A few of my friends think I’m an amazing party guest. They love how outgoing I am, how I connect people, how I manage to talk to people I’ve never met before. This used to never happen. Several years ago I read an article (just a random article online; at this point, I have no idea what it was or who wrote it) that made me grok how much a guest’s attitude can affect the host’s and other guests’ perception of the party. From that point on, I made a real effort to improve my party behavior.
These stickers are seen everywhere, but that’s because they show the most basic type of introduction there is. A quick greeting, followed by your name.
There’s really one way to introduce yourself, though you can vary it some. It’s the first item in the following list. All the others are conversation starters that lead into an introduction. I’m feeling a bit tongue-in-cheek as I write this; forgive me.
In love, work, and friendship, people want to be remembered. But being remembered isn’t always easy. Okay, that’s not quite true. If you’re particularly obnoxious, rude, or cruel, people will remember you. But being remembered with a smile is harder. But it’s not impossible.
Networking means going to an event – maybe a conference or convention, maybe a cocktail party, maybe something designed specifically for networking, but something – and talking to people to find out if you can help each other. If you can, it means exchanging contact information.
The Great Networking Hoax: that just talking to someone and exchanging business cards is good networking.
To a lot of people, this is what networking is. And that’s the great hoax. Yes, this is networking, but just a very small part of it.
1. Introverts are not alone
When you’re an introvert, it may feel as though you’re alone. In reality, most people experience social anxiety sometimes.
Television and movies often make fun of the introvert and celebrate the extrovert. Schools often seem like popularity contests. And in the business world it’s often more whom you know than what you know. Despite how it can seem, though, most people aren’t extroverts. I took a very unscientific poll of an audience I was speaking in front of — out of 225 people, only 3 considered themselves extroverts. Everyone else felt social anxiety and awkwardness at least sometimes.
1. Smalltalk relieves tension
I’ve been the person feeling as though no one sees me, but everyone must see how everyone else is ignoring me. The person more comfortable at the edges of the room or around the food table, so I don’t feel I need to engage in conversation. And when someone came over and started talking with me, started asking questions and engaging me in actual conversation, it was a relief. I felt less awkward. I felt less like I stuck out as the proverbial loser. And so I try to find people who seem tense or uncomfortable, people who don’t seem to feel at ease jumping into a conversation or approaching a stranger and starting a conversation. Continue reading
Pop culture is easily dismissed, which is why television is easily dismissed. But pop culture is a huge part of who we are as a group of people. When we don’t know what’s going on on television, we don’t know what’s going on with many of the people around us. Television is influencing their political decisions, their purchasing decisions, their modes of thinking. Understanding this is important.
I talked about this at an Ignite presentation. The presentation is about 5 minutes long.