More posts about: connecting, presentation, sketches, speaking Tags: highlight // 46 Comments »
Questions? Thoughts? Leave a comment here or use my contact me privately. If you attended the WITI webinar, please help improve this session by taking the post-presentation survey! Want to share this blog post? Short URL: http://j.mp/shyconnector .
vote thumbs-up if you liked it! =) --- From pre-presentation plans (August 11) --- These tips are slightly different from the presentation, but still have the same flavour. I love the insights people have shared in the comments. Feel free to check them out and add your own tips! --- I'm planning a presentation called "The Shy Connector:
Here are some of my weaknesses and how I've worked around them:
|Hate starting a conversation with strangers||Comfortable with being different||Some of my quirks and interests turn out to be great conversation-starters. People often start conversations by asking me about my hat, my computer, my technology interests, my speeches, or even just my obvious happiness and energy.|
|Hate making small talk||Love learning and asking questions||I never ask people what they do. I ask people what they're interested in, what they're passionate about, or what could help them be happier or more successful. That makes people think, and it results in conversations that can teach me something new, change the way I think, and help me remember people.|
|Hate going out||Comfortable with hosting people||I sometimes feel overwhelmed in places people like going to "hang out", such as busy restaurants and bars. I prefer to host small get-togethers at home, where I can keep group numbers low and I'm in familiar territory.|
|Hate searching for common ground||Love learning and sharing things online||One of the things I don't like about talking to strangers is looking for common interests we can talk about. Instead of going to general networking events, I prefer to go to conferences and talks where the presentations naturally give us topics of conversation. I'm also comfortable sharing what I'm learning online. Many of my conversations now start with someone else telling me that they've read my blog, and the conversation goes straight to interests we both have.|
|Hate blathering||Love writing and reflecting||Blogging helps me relax and communicate in real-life conversations. If I've written about something, it's easier for me to talk about it because I've spent some time thinking about what I want to say and how I want to say it. The result: more confidence during conversations, and clearer communication too!|
Here's a rough list of the tips I plan to share:
1. Be yourself. You don't have to be a fake extrovert. You don't have to learn how to enjoy small talk or put on a new personality. You can use your characteristics as an introvert to connect with people, and you might even be able to connect with more people and at deeper levels than the popular kids in your high school would.
2. Reframe the situation. It's not about selling yourself. It's not about becoming popular. It's about finding ways you can help other people, and it's about learning more.
3. Give people reasons. If you hate talking to strangers because you're afraid of those awkward moments when you're both looking for reasons to talk, skip that by giving people reasons to talk to you. Me, I find it easier to present to a thousand people than to talk to a single person, because I can prepare for presentations (and it's fun!). That gives people reasons to come up to me afterwards and start a conversation with me about something we're both interested in. I also do quirky things: wear interesting hats, smile a lot, have an awesome business card--all of which have led to interesting conversations I didn't start. Most people are just as scared of starting conversations as you are, so make it easy for them.
4. Help others. Treat conversations as learning opportunities. Find out what could help people become happier or more successful. What books or blog posts have you read that they might be interested in? What tools have you tried or heard of that might fit their needs? Even the act of asking questions helps people clarify their thoughts. You might not be able to help them right away, but you might meet someone else who can help, and then you can connect the dots. You'll learn a whole lot in the process, too.
5. Look for homework. Following up is hard. I've come home from conferences with stacks of business cards that I didn't know what to do with aside from sending a quick note about how nice it was to see people. It's much easier to follow up with people and continue the conversation if you focused on helping people. If you follow up with an article someone is interested in or an introduction to another person who could help make things happen, your follow-up email or note has real value. Carry a notebook with a flap for business cards, a PDA, or some other note-taking device, and use it to keep track of your homework.
6. Build history. Extroverts have this easy. They're out having coffee with their buddies or golfing with their bosses. If you're anything like me, you have a hard enough time finding ways to comfortably hang out with your close friends, much less acquaintances. You need stories and shared experiences to deepen relationships, though. Build that history by making it easy for people to keep in touch with you. Me, I find it difficult to call people up or invite them to hang out, but I'm comfortable blogging. I might be too shy to reach out to people I've just met, but they can read my blog to learn more about who I am, and they can continue the conversation in the comments if they want to. If they blog, that gives me a way to get to know them too. Make it easy for people to keep in touch with you.
7. Practice. The more you listen, the more you think, the more you write, the more you speak, the more clearly you'll know what you want to say and how you want to say it. It's good for self-discovery, too. Listen to people and figure out what you resonate with and what you're interested in. Try different ways of expressing your thoughts. Treat small talk as a game, and use it to develop your skill at asking questions and sharing what you think. Use it to try different techniques. When you're not personally invested in it--when you're not worrying that a conversational stumble is equal to personal rejection and failure--things become easier and almost fun.
There's something interesting in here that I'd like to figure out and share. Is there anything that particularly resonates with you? Is there anything you'd like to learn more about?
- 12 August 2009 at 12:08pm
- Susan Pinochet (spinochet) 's status on Wednesday, 12-Aug-09 16:38:26 UTC - Identi.ca 13 August 2009 at 1:08pm
- Closer To The Ideal » Blog Archive » The Shy Connector 24 August 2009 at 1:08pm
- The Shy Connector – Metacognition at its finest. « Dead Wild Roses 12 September 2009 at 5:09am
- Benjamin M. A'Lee (bma) 's status on Saturday, 12-Sep-09 09:33:26 UTC - Identi.ca 14 September 2009 at 4:09am
- The Shy Connector « Hilery Williams 15 September 2009 at 3:09pm
- abrakadabra :: The shy connector :: September :: 2009 29 October 2009 at 10:10am
- A Small Gesture of Selflessness = A Lifetime of Referrals « Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess 04 April 2011 at 6:04am
- Creating Connections: more on networking | Teaching and Learning Institute 10 December 2011 at 4:12am
- Conferences – tiring and inspiring | librarydoodles 27 March 2012 at 12:03am
- Povinný blog o tom proč jsem se rozhodl psát blog (: | Lunaen – denzilův blog 31 March 2012 at 10:03am
- Mandatory blog post about why I started to write blog (: | Lunanen – denzil's blog 07 May 2012 at 8:05am
- Tweaking my introduction, focusing on sketchnotes | sacha chua :: living an awesome life 05 July 2012 at 9:07pm
- “So, what do you do?” | sacha chua :: living an awesome life 26 May 2013 at 10:05am
- Strategie dla nieśmiałych introwertyków 22 September 2013 at 8:09am
- My evolution as an “artist”, or why there’s hope for you yet » sacha chua :: living an awesome lifesacha chua :: living an awesome life 05 August 2014 at 6:08pm
- VTV 012 : Sacha Chua – Adventures In Sketchnoting And Semi-Retirement
[...] Shy Connector: How to get strangers to talk to you ...
[...] Sacha Chua describes herself as a shy connector, and offers some suggestions: [I] ...
[...] Blog Around the Clock has once again provided useful fodder to pontificate ...
[...] http://sachachua.com/wp/2009/08/11/the-shy-connector-thinking-out-loud/ a ...
[...] actually don’t agree with Sacha Chua that either of us is shy. I think it is ...
[...] Det är nya spelregler på nätet, nya sätt att vara. Läs mer på hennes egen ...
[...] who seriously violates the rules of personal space), the shy connectors (thanks ...
[...] For the text and more information go to Sacha Chua’s blog ...
[...] I have been reassured reading around blogs that other people feel like this as ...
[...] začít. A některé z nich jsou pro mě docela důležité. (A ona prezentace ...
[...] there are good reasons to start. And some of them were really important to me. ...
[...] Rachel Lane at last week’s #torontob2b meetup. Judy delights in introducing ...
[...] people makes introductions much easier, and that’s what I talked about in The ...
[...] Więcej informacji w artykule na jej blogu ...
[…] In 2009, I made a couple of other presentations that got pretty popular: The ...
[…] She also sketched out her presentation The Shy Connector: How to get strangers ...