Question: If I know someone, it is easy to talk to them, but in a room of strangers how do you approach someone to start a conversation when you don’t know anyone?
Answer: I agree! It can be intimidating to walk into a situation where you know no one. Here are several strategies to help you overcome anxiety in a room full of strangers.
- Start chit chatting with the persons next to you in line at check in. “Hi, I’m name.” They are sure to reply. The good news is by the time you walk in the room, you will have already met someone.
- When you check in at the registration desk, tell the person checking you in you are “new” here. Ask if there is an Ambassador she can introduce you to who can show you around.
- Walk up to any attendee who looks friendly and say, “This is my first time at this event. Have you been part of this organization for a long time?” (It helps break the ice.)
- Ask to meet the person in charge and introduce yourself. Thank them for hosting the event. They will be sure to introduce you around.
- If none of these ideas help to alleviate your anxiety, I recommend inviting someone you know to attend the event with you. You can pick them up and network on the way. This way, you already know someone at the even, and you can be “wingmen” for each other. “Have you met Terilee?” Have you met ‘my guest’?” It makes all the difference in the world to have even one colleague or friend with you.
I hope these strategies are helpful to you. If you have additional strategies, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.