So you are getting ready to attend a Live Event and you are felling a little nervous because you are often feel awkward in a room full of strangers . Listed below are a few tips to help you out.
1) Get to Know People Before the Event One of the many things I love about the internet is that it makes it incredibly easy to meet people and strike up a connection with total strangers. When I’ve been to networking events, I’ve found it incredibly helpful to have some established friends there already. How do you find people who’ll be at the event? Try:
- Forums or similar on the event’s website
- Twitter – search for the name of the event
- Blog posts – is anyone you know going?
- Facebook – the event itself may have a page
- LinkedIn – will any of your contacts (or their contacts) be attending?
- If you’re going to a very large event, like a multi-day conference, you may want to make specific plans to meet up. You could even arrive a bit early so you can get a meal with a friend or a small group of friends before the event itself starts.
2) Go Prepared If you’re attending a new event, you might have all sorts of worries about how to get there, what it will be like, who’ll be there, and so on. You will always be less anxious when you feel well-prepared.,
- Find out the dress code in advance. There might not be one – ask friends/colleagues who’ve attended before. It’s better to over-dressing … though if you’re in a suit and everyone else is wearing jeans, you may feel a bit awkward.
- Take a pen and small notebook. You will want to take some notes
- Take business cards. You might have stock ones from work, but if you create your own cards, try to make them interesting.
- Carry breath mints, gum, a comb, makeup, deodorant etc. Be prepared to make last-minute touch-ups to your appearance before you go into the event. You’ll know better than me what you’re likely to need!
3) Start a Conversation Straight Away Have you ever been standing around awkwardly, trying to get up the courage to go and speak to someone? The longer you wait, the harder it is! Take action and make the first move and connect with people at the event. The same applies to networking. As soon as you arrive, find someone to chat to. It’s often easy to strike up a conversation in the registration queue, for instance. Questions like “Have you been to this before?” can be a great way to get someone else chatting.
4) Look for Someone Else Who Seems Shy It can be very hard to break into a big group of people – especially when they all seem confident. Look for anyone on their own – perhaps standing in a corner, or loitering uncomfortably on the outskirts of a group. They probably feel just as shy as you do, and they’ll almost certainly be grateful if you go and engage them in conversation. Just start chatting: a comment about some aspect of the event (the food, drinks, weather, decor) can be an easy way in, or you could simply ask “What do you do?” or “What brings you here?”
5) Don’t Talk Too Fast Many of us talk fast when we’re nervous. You might have to make a conscious effort to slow down – especially if you have a strong accent. If you find yourself talking too much:
- Ask open-ended questions – encourage the other person or people to talk too
- Avoid interrupting people or finishing their sentences for them
- Get a glass of water to sip while talking (go easy if you’ve got an alcoholic drink…)
6) Enjoy Yourself Live events can be an amazing experience where you can build long lasting friendship and business partners with people who have the same interests as yourself.