I have a confession. One of my biggest hang-ups is…meeting new people. It’s true. I get so nervous every time I am going to be in a situation that requires me to meet a bunch of new people. Why? I don’t know! I am an extroverted person when it comes to my work. I love crowds of enthusiastic people who share a common interest with me and I love talking about crafts, business, and the handmade world. I love it! So why do I get butterflies? Who knows, but I’ll tell you how I approach it…
Whether I am helping a friend at her craft show booth or working a conference, the best approach for me, (someone who gets a bad case of what I call Sudden Shyness) is to simply dive right into it and smile at every person I see. I challenge myself to walk right up to strangers, simply introduce myself, and I ask them questions. After I do this two or three times, my Sudden Shyness is a thing of the past. It’s sort of like ripping a Band-Aid off – once it’s over, it’s over. And I’ll tell you that I’ve never once had someone look at me funny and I’ve never once regretted doing it. Usually people seem to be so happy to have someone approach them.
Here are a few more quick tips to help you prepare for when you have the opportunity to meet a bunch of new people:
Put out a call, like I did above, inviting people to approach you if you’re going to be at a conference, or a place with a bunch of other people.
Practice icebreakers by thinking of questions that are relevant to the event you’re attending.
Have an elevator speech ready to go when someone asks what you do; also remember to have your business cards on you and at the ready.
Try to keep in mind that a lot of people are shy or may suffer from Sudden Shyness. I’m not alone, right? So making the first move is what a lot of other people are hoping someone will do and why shouldn’t it be me?
What do you do to help yourself prepare for big events? Do you consider yourself shy? Leave your answers and helpful tips in the comments below.