Ask a Blogger: Tips for Shy Personalities at a Blogging Conference

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I attended the Save Up ’11 Conference in NYC last week.  It was an amazing learning experience and gave me a chance to meet and learn from fellow Deal Pro’s.  While all that was fantastic, it’s difficult for me to interact with people I don’t know very well.  I’m shy, quiet, an introvert.

Not having an outgoing personality creates some difficulties at a blogging conference or anywhere that puts you in a group of people you don’t know very well.  While I still have a ways to go in overcoming my shy personality, I am working on it.  I wish I was more chatty or could strike up a witty conversation with a complete stranger.  However,  it is not me and I’m okay with that.

I continually strive to break out of my shell.  While I won’t ever be one to stand up in from of the group and sing karaoke, I’d like to speak up more at the lunch table.

Amee wrote previously about Tips for a First Blogging Conference.  But what do you do if your shy and worried you won’t get enough out of the trip?

While I’ve only attended 2 conferences, I have 3 tips that worked well for me (although people that don’t know me may have no idea that I was actually quite talkative):

1.  Room with someone you’re comfortable with.  If you will be sharing a room, make sure you are at least somewhat comfortable with your roommate.  It’s necessary to have a place to relax at night. If you are with a complete stranger or someone with a completely different schedule, I believe it will just add more stress to your trip.   It will also help to have someone you know to occasionally hang-out with throughout the conference.

2.  Sit with new people.  It is easier for us to sit with people we know or already have a relationship with.  If you force yourself to sit with people that you’re not familiar with, you may find that you have something in common with them.  I’m okay just listening to the conversation and taking it all in, but I do enjoy getting to chat with smaller groups of individuals.

3.  Attend a smaller conference.  When determining which conferences to attend, keep in mind the number of people in attendance.  A smaller conference such as Save Up ’11 and Savvy Blogging Summit fit my personality better than a huge conference such a BlogHer.  I am easily overwhelmed with 100 people, much less put me in a place with thousands of people.

I’m still working on overcoming my shyness.  Hopefully as time goes on, I will feel more comfortable and contribute more to the conversation.  Although once you know me, I don’t stop talking which may not be a good thing :)

How to you overcome shyness at public events?

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Comments

  1. Jessica says

    Before going to public events I try to think of at least 3 things the people I will be around will find interesting. Such as 1 current event (something positive), 1 thing going on in my family or something my kids said, and maybe 1 thing I am looking forward to (vacation, holiday, weekend plans). You can only say so much about the weather before the conversation gets boring. I can usually get people going using this technique. If they can relate to you in some way the conversation can build from there. I’ll be honest though, I really hate going anywhere without a friend. I have to have at least one person I know to tag along with. Going it alone just requires more effort to connect with others.

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