How To Talk To Strangers

Going up to bands or fellow engineers after a gig to introduce yourself can be terrifying. Your anxiety level is at its highest and before you decide to jump, you wished you had stayed home that night, or for the night to finally be over.

Same goes if you are at a networking event, alone, you want nothing more than to be done with the night.

However, these are situations you will probably find yourself in when you are trying to build your network and eventually find work through.

So, how can you get over this fear and start walking up to strangers and introduce yourself, whether at a concert or at a networking event?

Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You To Be Rich did a great article where he shares some great tips on How To Talk To People.

Some of the things he mentions are:

  1. There are no magic lines or phrases, rather, it’s how you say things.

  2. Smile - sounds easy, but often gets overlooked.

  3. Slow down - the speed in which we say something can have a huge effect on how people perceive us.

These are really good things to keep in mind when you are next out networking and if you want to check out Ramit’s full article, check it HERE.

Practice Makes Perfect

Have you found that the more you do something that is hard, the easier it gets?

Same thing with talking to people.

The more you can put yourself in a situation where you have to talk to strangers, and this can be at your local coffee shop when ordering a coffee, instead of just asking for a coffee, ask them how their day is going - start a conversation.

You Won’t Die

There have been so many times, either at gigs or at networking events, where I have been dreading to go talk to people, almost feeling like you won’t be able to do it and that something bad will happen.

But does it, ever?

Of course not!

However, this fear that holds many of us back is completely unjustified.

Practice by making conversation in places like coffee shops

Practice by making conversation in places like coffee shops

People Love To Get Compliments

If your plan is to get to know more local bands or engineers, remember that people usually love to get compliments on their music and/or work.

Wouldn’t you love it if someone walked up to you to praise your work after a show, either if you played or was doing the sound?

I know I would.

This is the perfect ice breaker and opens up many more possibilities to take the conversation further. For example, you can ask about their up and coming shows, are they working on some new music, do they need a studio to record in (this is where you can jump in and offer them a visit yours).

The same applies if you know or recognise a person at a networking event whose work you love. Compliment them.

Bring A Friend

If you find it too difficult to do this by yourself, don’t hesitate to ask a friend to come along.

Having someone there with you can work wonders and give you that extra boost you need in certain situations.

If you are interested in hearing some other great benefits on why you should talk to strangers, check out this interesting TED Talk by author Kio Stark.

Now, let me know what your experience has been in the comments below. Is this something you struggle with and/or what have you done to get over it?