We have all been there, a Facebook event appears in your Newsfeed – you have been invited to a function…..….
The event is perfect for you, perhaps there’s someone you’ve been hoping to meet that has added their name to the attending list – even so, you’re not confident about spending time with new people and you don’t know anyone else who’s going…….
Attending an event alone can do wonders for your social skills by removing the safety net of a companion and forcing you to initiate interactions with new people. So don’t miss out!
Firstly, ask yourself why you’re not confident about attending events alone:
- Do you find it hard to approach new people and that you’re not good with the initial small talk?
- Do you have a fear of being rejected; that you don’t have anything worthwhile to offer and you’re worried you will embarrass yourself?
Let’s address these issues
- You can waste a lot of valuable time surveying a room for someone you think will be receptive to your contact. Remember, people at networking events want to be networked with!
Also remember that even though they are there to network a good portion of the attendees will be just as scared as you are to make the first move.
Talk to as many people as you can, if you see someone alone – go and talk to them, introduce yourself. Be the person making the first move. Each time you make the first move it will seem more natural and you will learn what works for you.
Approaching others is only half of the battle, you must also look approachable yourself. Smile, be careful of your body language (no slouching or crossed arms allowed), be generally well groomed and dressed appropriately and most importantly – stay off your phone!
Or approach two or three people and be honest: “I’m so sorry to interrupt, it’s just that I don’t know anyone here and I was wondering if I could join your conversation?” It’s daunting, but try it and remember that people are … human! Empathy is a strong emotion, and unless they’re completely bonkers — in which case, you’re better off not talking to them — then they’ll be glad to accept you.
Now you’ve found a willing conversation partner what next?
Asking questions is easier than answering questions so make sure to ask loads. Open questions are great, for example try asking someone ‘What brought you to Spain?’ “what do you miss about your home country?” don’t let yes/no as an answer be an option.
Hopefully you and your new contact will find something interesting about each other’s careers or interests that will keep the conversation flowing nicely – if so, great!
You’ve just expanded your network! If not, that’s fine too – be polite and attentive then move on to the next person. Your goal is to meet as many new people as you feel comfortable meeting so don’t worry about offending with short conversations, chances are the person you are talking with has a list of people they want to meet too.
Suitable topics for small talk:
- Compliments if sincere can go down a treat, however make sure the compliment you are making is appropriate to the situation.
- General topics such as holiday plans, books and films or even the weather or a local event
2) So you’re worried that no-one will want to talk to you? Or that you don’t have anything valuable to offer? Don’t be!
Everyone has something to offer, as long as you’re open to listening and willing to answer questions about yourself and give honest yet tactful opinions people will want to talk with you.
Don’t be perturbed if you meet someone who doesn’t seem to be that interested in you, just like life in general not all people click. Move on.
Remember to look approachable – no-one will talk to you if you look miserable/pre-occupied with your phone.
Be yourself – it’s tiring trying to keep up a facade. Just be the best version of you!
Free alcohol is great, especially if you need to loosen up a little but know your limits! You should steer clear of full blown drunkenness!
At Distinctive Introductions we are aware that coming to one of our functions could be a nerve wracking experience for some….. that is why we always have our friendly Distinctive Introductions crew on hand to welcome you and offer support the whole way through the event….
You made it!
Once you’ve left and are making your way home, be sure to give yourself a symbolic pat on the back. You did something that makes you feel anxious, but you didn’t let it stop you.
That’s something to be proud of!