I was talking with a performer at a voice over meetup, and he confided in me that he absolutely hated the type of event we were at.
“I hate it. Just hate it.”
We had a chat about what he hated about it, and I think we may have found a solution.
Hope this helps!
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I have learned that, to be effective at conversation of all types, it’s not enough merely to behave *as if* you’re interested in the person you’re talking with. You need to cultivate a true interest, then let that interest express itself. People *are* an endless supply of curiosities, if *you* are a naturally curious person. And that’s what makes great, unforced, productive conversation.
I love and dread these events in equal measure, but the “love” usually wins out. Having been painfully shy in my younger days, I learned from my mom (thanks Mom) that the easiest way to talk to someone for the first time is to ask them about themselves, as people love to talk about themselves (usually). David, I love your suggestions on having a few ice-breaker questions in mind too, it does really help when the stock questions get a bit stale (where are you from, etc.)
What makes me anxious about attending networking events is, I never know what to say when people ask me about myself – in regards to acting and voiceover work. I feel like a fraud. That being said, I haven’t been to the meetup in a while and am planning on going this month.
This helped quite a bit – thanks! Also, please *do* make that video about exiting a conversation gracefully. :)
I agree with Natalie, I find it difficult to know what to say when people ask me about myself. At these kind of events my brain just seizes up, and I either have nothing to say or I prattle on. I much rather ask people about themselves. I like the idea of prepping a few unusual open ended questions before heading out to an event.
The timing of this video was serendipitous for me. I’m going to a Johnny Heller workshop in MI tomorrow and I’m a bit terrified. I also hate networking. My issue is the opposite. I’m always concerned others will find me boring or a fraud. I like the “back pocket” questions idea. I’ve got four hours in the car to prep some. Thanks!