One of the hardest things for me is "Show up." Whether I've been to an event or are attending for the first time, I always get anxious.
This week I'm headed back to Alt Summit--this time in Palm Springs at The Saguaro Hotel. So, in addition to packing, I'm working on my confidence game to step outside my comfort zone. My hope? Appear effortlessly at ease.
Here are the six things I'm doing.
One. Make yourself a morning playlist to play while you get ready for the day.
Choose songs that make you feel good. That energize you. That are positive.
You want lyrics where the protagonist has risen or taken a leap and succeeded (or lived to tell about it).
I've got twelve songs on my You Got This! playlist (one of which is explicit) that play for 46 minutes (great for keeping myself on track to get out the door in under an hour). It's got Katy Perry, Sia, Fifth Harmony, and more! Check out the playlist on Spotify.
I listen to this playlist while I review my progress against conference goals I've set for myself.
Two. Carry (and refer to) a book with an upbeat message.
Nervous? Before you get on a plane grab a book guaranteed to energize you (and that if you're a fast reader can finish in less than an week). Here are a couple of books I grabbed at the SFO airport before heading out to various conferences:
- For Alt Summit this week in Palm Springs Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges(*affiliate link)
- For The Hello Sessions in Portland last October You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life(*affiliate link)
- For Alt Summit 2015 in Salt Lake City Yes Please(*affiliate link)
- For a trip to corporate headquarters to get the company behind and excited about rebranding before going public Everything Is Going to Be OK(*affiliate link)
Third. Practice your hello.
As you extend your hand with a business card or gift in it, you'll want to pitch yourself. And pitch is exactly what it sounds like. You're succinctly explaining why the other person should get to know you.
Before you panic it's not as hard as you think. There's a formula for it! And the formula is this:
My name is [insert your name here]. My blog is [insert the name of your blog here], and I write about [insert two to three subjects you write about here]. [Optionally, include one sentence about why your blog is different or unique.]
Here's mine to give you a jumping off point:
Hi! I'm Eden.
My lifestyle blog is The Road to The Good Life. I write about urban dwelling, parenting, entertaining, and simple crafts for the home, with a focus on appreciating the haves in our lives rather than lingering on the wants. I help millennials and moms see what makes them extraordinary--the ordinary in their lives they overlook.
Fourth. Practice your fangirl moment(s).
Now this tip may seem silly to you.
Trust me it can be an absolute life saver for introverts:
- You won't get tackled and restrained by secret service. (Thank goodness for Al Gore's sense of presence and ability to think quickly on his feet.)
- You won't have to make a mad dash down the hall trying to find another bathroom. (Lines are long; use your time wisely as tossing your card at a prospective mentor and making a mad dash isn't a good look on anyone.)
If you follow creatives or bloggers, at some point you're going to cross paths with those who inspire you. Know what you want to do beforehand, because you'll be much less likely to be kicking yourself later.
Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking:
- Noticing your heroine and going calmly on your way. (As in real estate, location, location, location. While I'd die to have a short conversation with Sandra Bullock or even get my photo taken with her, when she's shopping for groceries and getting harassed by other shoppers, simply catching her eye and not being another annoying fan is enough.)
- Briefly introducing yourself and saying thank you.
- Asking for a photo or selfie.
Also know your exit plan. If they're dashing off to catch a plane or somewhere else, and aren't able to take a photo or selfie with you, be gracious. Respect their space. Finish with "Thank you again, you've really made a difference [to my business] or alternatively [in my life]." Then pause, give them space, and walk away.
Fifth. Practice your response to fans.
If you've been blogging or creating for awhile, the likelihood that someone looks up to you (yes seriously you!) increases. Practice this moment!
Few people accept compliments well. Many start to downplay what they do/did.
Don't be that person! (I was that person too many times to count.)
Be the person that says: Thank you!
Feel free to swipe my fan response:
It means a lot to me that my story touched you. I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me.
Now tell me a little about you.
Sixth. Remember to get into the action.
It's ok to sit on the sidelines. (Heck I make it a habit to search out people sitting by themselves or standing awkwardly to the side at a reception. There's a 50/50 chance they'll want to talk to me. (The other option is they need some space and that's totally ok with me!)
But you'll miss out on meeting some really awesome people. And you'll miss opportunities to grow!
My favorite moment from the summer Alt Summit in 2014 was captured by Justin Hackworth (at the top of this post): being in sync with This Little Miggy Stayed Home and Design Mom. Why? Because I have horrible timing and two left feet. Yet I still got out on the dance floor and tried. (And nope I did this without any alcohol; we were at an alcohol-free mingling reception focused on food and people.)
Also, want to know another secret? No one is looking at you. And no one is nitpicking your photos. (If anyone is it's you!)
I know this firsthand because there have been a couple of events that I arrived at without makeup (no one noticed). That I wore the same outfit to on two days because I spilled blush on the front of my dress (no one noticed). That I had to exit stage right a reception and change out of my color themed outfit because the wind kept catching my skirt (again no one noticed).
Here you go! I've compiled a list of some of my favorite pre-conference pep talks from past years! (And if one of these posts doesn't answer your question, reach out on social media or through the Alt Summit 2017 Facebook Group.)
- Owning Your Bravery (or Knowing that No One Sees Your Self Doubt)
- Building Confidence with Color (aka Your Adult Binky)
- Faking it Until You Make It (aka Being Overconfident Until You're Comfortable) with tips for Getting the Perfect Image
- Getting the Most from Your Conference Investment--4 things that you can do less than a week out!
- Checking Your Expectations (or The Three Worst Reasons for Attending a Blogging Conference or Event)
- Embracing a Wardrobe that Makes You Feel Good (aka Clothing as Part of Your Signature)
- Five Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Conference Wardrobe
- Packing to honing your elevator pitch to networking tips and more can be found on my Conferences: Networking Tips Pinterest board.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, followed by (*affiliate link). I feature products that I own or that I am considering purchasing. I own all of the books highlighted in this post. All opinions presented are my own.
The Road To The Good Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.