This is the fifth post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (see Part one, Part two, Part three and Part four). As explained in the first part, tips are grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!
During the event
Tip 5: leave shyness at home
Some people are more open than others to new experiences and to meeting new people. However, most of us may inevitably experience some level of anxiety when attending an industry event. At some point, arriving at a place we have never been to before, introducing ourselves to unknown people, socializing or engaging in conversation may make us feel uncomfortable and nervous. This, in turn, may affect how we behave around others, how others see us and how we will be remembered when the event is over.
So, what can we do to overcome shyness and get the most out of networking opportunities during industry events? Here are some tips:
- Make a mental list of conversation starters: try to think of two or three topics that may interest other event attendees (rates, clients, marketing, CAT tools) and use these to open conversations and keep them going. You may start by introducing yourself and then asking the other person a question (“Hi, I’m Joe Doe. I’m from Spain. Where are you from? Do you offer your services internationally or to local clients only?”).
- Approach people you know: start by looking for one or two attendees that you may know (from social networks, from past events, from contacting them prior to the event, etc.) and warm up slowly, initiating small talk, asking questions, smiling. Once you feel more at ease with yourself, reach out to other attendees, join small groups, introduce yourself, ask them if they are having a good time.
- Avoid seating or wandering about alone: during event presentations, coffee breaks and meals, try to always seat or stand next to other attendees. But, careful! Seating next to colleagues or simply standing next to them won’t do the trick (don’t expect others to welcome you just because you are there). Talk to them, introduce yourself, smile, make eye-contact.
- Breath, smile and relax: most of the people in the room feel just like you and are there for the same reasons: to learn, network and have fun. So, go ahead, take a deep breath, relax your body (no arms crossed!), put your phone in your pocket and give yourself the chance to know them and them the chance to know you.
And if all of the above fails, here is the best tip of all: be yourself. Yes, you are a language professional, but you are also you. You work as a translator or as an interpreter, but you also have a personal life that others may be interested in or may identify with. Keep your personal style, let others know who you are, where you come form, what interests you. This is what attracts not only clients and colleagues, but also friends.
How do you overcome shyness?
(Don’t be shy)
The next part in this series will propose tips to make an impression during an industry event. Stay tuned!