Skills for In Person Meetings
So, now we're going to talk about Skills & Strategies for Introverts: In Person Meetings, alright? Now, as introverts and shy people, again I'm using those terms interchangeably, because everybody does, and it doesn't really matter what you are. You get nervous speaking in public perhaps but my question is, what is public? Is this public? Is outside on the street public? Is it dependent on the number of people? Right? That's the question. You forget sometimes what you wanted to say when you're in a group because maybe you feel a little pressure but then my question is, where's that pressure coming from? Is it really coming from the outside? Or is it coming from inside? And if it's coming from inside, can you control that? And if it's coming from outside, can you say something so that you get the time that you need to think through what you want to say? And maybe you freeze and/or you ramble on under that pressure and do you have to? Or is there more you can do for yourself to make ...
sure you can speak and say the things that you need to say, to the people who need to hear them, so that you can get what you need at work. So let's talk a little bit about one-on-one conversations. And you're gonna find a through line here in a lot of what I'm going to say, which is the first bullet, which is prepare. Right, because we said before do you need confidence or do you need preparation? And I submit to you that you need preparation and that preparation will make you confident, right? So for one-on-one conversations, whether it's with someone you know or someone you don't know, you need to prepare and go armed with whatever your questions are, whatever your talking points are, whatever it is you wanna communicate. Alright, you need to be active instead of passive, and you need to actively establish rapport with another person and that could mean a little chit chat. What'd you do this weekend? How was your holiday? Just get them talking so that you have time to take a breath and relax. That's really sometimes the purpose of the chit chat is to unconsciously, or subconsciously, get feel the other person out, both of you get comfortable talking and then you get to the thing that you're there to talk about. So that's why it's important to learn how to do the chit chat and not be so focused on, does it matter what I actually say? No, the whole point is to just keep talking. And don't fill up that awkward silence with what I think of as gratuitous words. Right so, say just what you need to say, then stop. And don't worry if it's silent for a little bit because something will happen and usually the other person will start talking. You don't have to. Any thoughts or questions so far? We're good? Alright, so that's one-on-one. Now let's talk a little bit about small group meetings. Again, prepare, prepare, prepare because maybe you see this as public. Right, if it's this many people or three people, it's all in your own mind, and your own experience so what is a small group meeting to you and do the preparation that you need to do. So sometimes if it's a status meeting, for example, or a meeting of your team, and you have something to say and something to present about where you are on the project and you're not sure how you're going to get your say in because they don't necessarily make space for you or it's a free for all or people are constantly interrupting then you need to in advance, let whoever's leading the meeting know that you'd like to speak, alright? And then you need to know what you want to say. And if you know you may forget what you want to say, then you need to write it down, right? Kind of a no brainer but for some reason, people don't necessarily do it because you think, oh no, I shouldn't have to do that. But you do, and you should and there's no reason not to. Nobody is watching you. Nobody cares, right? So prepare by doing these things and then when it is time to speak you need to be succinct and distill what you're trying to say into its essence, if you can. Have you ever heard, I think it was attributed to Mark Twain, that saying, "I would have written you a shorter letter if I had had more time." Right, because it's easy to say everything and it takes a lot longer to distill it into its essence but that is what often needs to be communicated. So take the time if you need it in advance to distill what you want to say into the talking points. And then if someone asks you a question, and you either feel pressured or you don't know the answer to the question, don't be embarrassed, don't freeze. Just say, you know what, I don't know the answer to that question. I will get back to you. And then do it, of course, because the more you are reliable and trustworthy and do what you say you're gonna do, the more they will know that you are a good person that they can rely on. And you'd be surprised how many people say they're gonna do things and then don't do it for whatever reason. Forget or just don't get around to it, or just saying things and not following through. So really just to follow through could be a very effective networking strategy. Now presenting your work. A lot of people these days have to present their work. And this can be very nerve wracking but again, the instruction is to prepare, prepare, prepare.