Conferences are refreshing, enlightening, and inspiring. You leave with that extra kick in your step to jump start that next project you have been waiting to do…BUT THEY CAN BE SOOO AWKWARD too. Or at least I can be. Okay, maybe it’s just me. I am the Queen of Awkward. My small talk conversations usually go as follows. ME: “Hi, how are you?” THEM: “Good. How are you?” ME: “Good, good…How are you?” THEM: “Great” haha. I even joke with friends that whenever I feel alone and awkward at a party I walk around the room like I am looking for someone…then when I see someone I know…blurt out “Oh there you are” (Like I have been looking for them the whole time..haha). JK.
I know it sounds really silly but I have been working on my less-awkward-self in social situations. And when I was at Altitude Summit this past week I took a few notes and set out to work on them. I am still a work in MAJOR progress let me tell ya. That being said, I am taking a different spin on What I Learned at Altitude Summit then I did last year (which was quite good if I may say so myself). This time I have decided to share a few tips for Less-Awkward-Situations For The Hermit Artist. haha. Am I a goof for having this? I think so.
SMILE & WALK AROUND LIKE YOU OWN THE PLACE (IN A GOOD WAY)
I think it starts with a joyful, approachable spirit, and self confidence. Be thankful you are there. And take a genuine interest in other people. People love to be around comfortable & safe people. So put your shoulders back and feel comfortable in your own skin.
VENTURE OUTSIDE OF YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
Last year I went to Alt…kind of by myself. And because of that I had a lot of time venturing out on my own. I actually found that I met MORE people last year than I did this year with friends. Even though your friends are fun…don’t be afraid to go places like this by yourself…because when you are alone…you meet other people quicker…because well…you don’t want to be alone.
MAKE THE INTRODUCTION
Waiting for the other person to make the first move can be a silly and an uncomfortable game. So make it easier on the other person and step out and be the first to say HI. Being the first to jump on this will also give you more self confidence in the conversation. After a few of these…It will become easier and easier to meet new people.
GIVE A COMPLIMENT
Compliment the other person if it feels right and appropriate. Compliments really disarm an uncomfortable situation. It elevates the other person and shows that you are taking an interest in them in a small and simple way.
TAKE A COMPLIMENT
If someone says “I love your work”, “I love reading your blog”, or even “I like your shoes”…look them in the eyes and say “THANK YOU” with a sincere spirit. There is nothing more uncomfortable than you responding back with “noo…oh no”. haha. Because then that person has to say “Oh yes!! No seriously, Yes”…”oh no”…”oh yes” etc. SO just say “THANK YOU” and really take it to heart. Give yourself a bonus point of confidence for the night. They wouldn’t say it if they didn’t mean it.
BE A *GREAT* LISTENER
If the conversation starts to have a lull, ask them some questions and really care about their answers. People LoOOOVe talking about themselves. It’s what they know A LOT about. Look them in the eyes and not around the room. It will make it easier to engage with them if you make an effort to really care.
HELP MAKE A DECISION
Where there’s a lot of unsure people in the room…there’s a lot of indecisiveness. THEM: “Where do you want to go to dinner?” YOU: “I don’t know…Where do you want to go to dinner?” THEM: “I don’t know”…Well what do you feel like?” YOU: “I don’t know…what do you feel like?” See where this is going??! AWKWARD AGAIN!!!! If someone asks you something, think about it and give a few answers or choices. Something like: “Well, I always love mexican or Italian food. OR I saw a restaurant on the corner, maybe we can go there.” You would be surprised. I know you want to please the other person…and you can…but people are LOOKING and longing for someone to make the decision. Why not you?
Ever felt awkward at an event? What are your tricks? OH yea..P.S. I had the most UN-AWKWARD roomies ever. Kirsten Grove, Liz Grant, and Jasmine Star. Very inspiring and fun women that make conferences like this SOOOO much fun!