Susan RoAne (The Mingling Maven®), Guest Author
No matter if it’s a convention, meeting, party or company barbecue, events can be daunting because we are often out of our personal comfort zone. Proof: according to research stats, over 90% of America Adults self- identify as shy. The percentage of phobically shy is between 8 and 10%.
Marketing Pills For Shy People To Pop
In the 2007 edition of How To Work a Room I addressed the “medicalization” of shyness as something that ought to be stopped. I wrote that it seems that Pharma didn’t have enough customers for anti-anxiety/depression drugs, so they began to target the nervous speaker, the lone attendee, the person who was uncomfortable entering a roomful of people. Nothing like a big ad campaign to make something that 90% of American adults find to be daunting and make us feel abnormal! Of course, I recommended my book as a less expensive, but more valuable, antitidote. 😉
It’s Normal To Be Uncomfortable
Less than 10% of us find walking into rooms full of strangers (or even acquaintances or family) to be easy to do. Therefore, the 90 % who don’t feel comfortable and self – identify as shy are normal. Take that info pill, Pharma!
A Room Full of Shy People
I’ve often said that I’d rather be at an event… in any room… with people who think they are shy.
1. Shy people focus on conversational partners. We don’t see their eyes darting around the room for the “more important” people or checking out their smart phones for messages as they talk to us.
2. They arrive on time so they don’t have to walk into crowded rooms.
3. Shy people know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable so they avoid those behaviors, actions and words that would make others feel that way.
The Magic “Pill” is preparation… for any event!
How To Work A Room®: 21 Timeless Tips
• R.S.V.P. – Say Yes!
• Read newspapers, magazines and websites.
• Dress appropriately.
• Arrive within 15 minutes of scheduled time.
• Plan a 7 to 9 second self-introduction.
• Be approachable: make eye contact and smile.
• Wear nametags on your right side.
• Use information on nametags to open conversations.
• Wear a conversation piece (tie, brooch, scarf, necklace).
• Be open to serendipity.
• Best icebreaker: Hi! or Hello! with a smile.
• Don’t wait. Initiate. Approach those standing alone.
• Be nice to everyone.
• Act like a host.
• Start with small talk.
• To avoid the “forgotten name nemesis,” always reintroduce yourself.
• Be in the moment. No glancing over shoulders.
• Keep Bluetooths in your pocket.
• Turn off all electronics, except your pacemaker.
• Listen actively and with your face – pay attention.
• Exit conversations graciously.
And one more for good luck… Have fun!
Copyright 2010 – Susan RoAne – Reprinted with permission. Susan RoAne is a speaker and author who has worked trade shows, conventions, planes, and the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and taught others to do the same. Her latest book, How to Create Your Own Luck: The You Never Know Approach to Networking, Taking Chances, and Opening Yourself to Opportunity, is out and her other books include How to Work a Room and The Secrets of Savvy Networking. To learn more call 415-239-2224. For further information: www.SusanRoAne.com, or e-mail @: Susan@SusanRoAne.com
Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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