The prevalence of social media in PR is a dream come true for introverts. They can type away with a level of separation from other people that’s not found in many other industries. There’s not even a real need to talk to people on the phone on a regular basis.
Unfortunately for them, occasionally offline events do happen and are actually necessary to most campaigns. This means these shy introverts are forced to go out in the real world and interact with people. We all have different strengths, so I understand it’s difficult – but if you’re in this boat and want to be successful, you have to overcome your fears.
Naturally that’s easier said than done. Here are some tips to get you through the experience.
Throw Yourself In
No duh, right? Just walk up to somebody and start talking, what great advice – you’ve no doubt heard this over and over, after all. But here’s the thing – it has a big piece of truth attached to it whether you like it or not.
Here’s something about me: I have trouble at parties. One on one I’m fine, big crowds I’m fine…but at a party? Who do I talk to? How do I break into the conversation? All these people like each other and are having fun without me, and they’re already friends, and I’m sticking out like a sore thumb, maybe I’ll just play with my phone or go home…
Sound familiar? You get stuck in your head. You’re so busy thinking about what might happen that you don’t actually do anything. It just gets worse the longer you wait. So naturally the quicker you just “jump in” and go for it the less time you have to worry.
Pro tip: Arrive early before people break into cliques. You’ll be able to talk to people as they come in, and pretty soon you’ll know everyone there.
Prepare Like Crazy
Let’s say you’re hosting an offline event to promote your new product and make some new connections in the community. You have a pretty solid idea of people who are going to come or at least the TYPE of people coming. For instance the product is a new line of surfboard cleaner so you figure surfers will show up.
Before the event, it’s time to prepare like crazy. You work in surfboard industry so you likely have some idea of what to use for icebreakers. However, even if you think you’re 100%, you could get lost in the moment. That’s why you should plan some responses and icebreakers out ahead of time. It’s even better if you specifically know some people coming to the event. Look them up beforehand and ask them to stop by and say hi. To sweeten the deal, perhaps incentivize them with a giveaway or discount. You, the shy guy, will have people looking for you!
Use Shyness to Advantage
Everyone likes someone who will listen. Many people in the business world are aggressive go-getters, so it’s rare that your customers will run into someone who is truly better at listening. But who’s better at staying quiet than an introvert?
This could definitely be used to your advantage. You are going to stand out amongst the rest as someone who at least seems to care about what customers and fans have to say. Just make sure when you do have something to say it’s important and reassuring to the person who has an issue or problem. This double-whammy should really impress everyone at the event.
How much of an introvert are you?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download Five (5) Free PR and Press Release eBooks ($67 Value) here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/bundle.html