I had a number of people offer to take me to events back in 1991 when I joined the local chamber. I was too shy to attend large mixers.
Finally after getting tired of my excuses, you of the chamber members came to pick me up and took me to a mixer. He introduced me to about 30 people he knew and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
But that still didn’t help me get over my fear of going by myself. So one day I decided to make a list of all the things that might help me become more comfortable.
First, I felt I needed to be better prepared for small talk. I scanned the newspaper headlines for newsworthy material. I looked through the chamber newsletter to see if there was anything worth talking about. I looked for any topic that might be engaging.
My list of questions included:
- How long have you been a member of the chamber
- How do you typically find clients
- What type of clients do you work with
- Who usually refers business to you
I made it all about them. I would write at least one person on the back of their card to refer them to. I also was determined to spend less than 5 minutes with each person so I could meet at least 15 people at each event.
Be sure to have your best attitude lined up. You don’t want to go in to an event tired or in a bad mood.