Do you ever feel awkward with people, at an event, or giving a presentation? In this article you will learn how to show Awkward who’s Boss. How do you do it?
- When you are with other people, you are either conversing, sharing or listening.
- When you give your attention to others, such as sharing information or exchanging ideas–you are connecting with them. Be focused on them, not yourself.
- Relate with others. Don’t be inventing clever things to say when it’s your turn to speak. As you genuinely listen to someone else, give them your exclusive attention, the awkwardness will dissipate.
- The same is true when you’re giving a presentation or speech: Connect with you audience; as if you are conversing with them rather than talking out them rather than thinking about yourself sweating bullets through talk.
Let’s do this exercise and put ourselves in a few awkward situations .
Tip: Did you know that all people, including very outgoing people sometimes feel awkward? We’re all human.
Party/Networking Event: You’re at a party and you don’t know anyone and you have no idea what they’re talking about. Arrive a Go to the to the entrance where people are arriving. This is the easiest place to engage in conversation. Some conversation starters you can use here are:
- Hi, I’m [say your name]. Nice meeting you. Most people will be glad that you started talking to them first.
- What brings you to this event (or meeting, conference, etc.)?
- So what do you do?
At the Bar/Buffet Table: You’re standing near the bar of buffet table. This is another place where it’s very easy to engage in conversation. Who doesn’t want to talk about their favorite drink or about food? Some conversation starters you can use at the bar or buffet table are:
- Don’t those pizza bites look yummy?
- What’s your take on these oyster shooters?
- I can’t stop eating these mini tacos. Have you tried them?
Nothing to Talk About: When you seriously have nothing to talk about, then ask questions. People love to talk about themselves and share information. Some conversation starters you can use are:
- I read your article on non-profit organizations on LinkedIn. What made you start up your non-profit?
- I see that you are on the speakers’ panel. How did you start your business?
- That’s a nice looking suit. Wow! That red briefcase is outstanding. In a professional setting or party, it is appropriate for women and men to compliment each other on their clothing or accessories–just keep your compliments neutral.
LIFE HAPPENS. . . NOW WHAT?
Stuff happens and because we’re human it just happens. What do you do when you find yourself in an awkward situation? If you’re caught in the act, the FESS up and/or make light of it.
The Zipper case: Thank the person made the discovery and embarrassed you. You can laugh it off and say, I guess I needed some fresh air. Thanks for letting me know. Then find a way to cover up or escape.
You Fall down! Sadly some people might laugh at you. It’s a given. Thankfully someone will come to your assistance. When this happens BLOCK out what others are saying or thinking and take of yourself.
You Fart. What do you do? If people KNOW that you farted, own up to it. Say something like,
- “Yep, that was me.” Or
- “All things must pass.” Or
- “Fuel is operating in optimum mode.”
In other words, make light of it. Or simply say, “I’m sorry, it just happened.” Everyone farts so it really isn’t the end of the world.
When you take the focus off of yourself, focus on others, share your information or conversation with others you will be genuine and people will be attracted to you. Ask questions and sincerely listen. The Awkwardness will dissipate.
Whenever you get embarrassed or feeling awkward, remember we ALL experience awkwardness and embarrassing situations.
Tip: If you see someone in an awkward situation, help and support them.
Take charge. Bring out your personal power. Show awkward who’s Boss!