Monthly Archives: June 2010

How to Stop Being Nervous When Meeting New People

It’s understandable that you might be nervous meeting new people. After all, you don’t know them so you don’t know what they will think about you or how they will react to you. That can be a worrying thing.

However, there are plenty of things you can do to get over your nervousness and actually enjoy meeting new people.

1. Don’t feel you have to impress

You don’t. Have you ever met someone or maybe seen them on TV where they are trying really hard to impress? It’s just not impressive! This kind of approach appears fake and being fake will make people wary of you.

Remember that the people you are meeting are human too: no better or worse than you. They are also unlikely to be judging you as harshly as you fear, too!

2. Don’t go alone if you don’t have to

In many situations, it is perfectly possible for you to take a friend with you, unless it is something like a job interview or professional meeting. Having a friend by your side can help because when things get difficult they can boost your confidence with a few words and maybe even just a smile.

The very fact that they are your friend and wanted to go with you to support you should make you feel better. It shows that you have good qualities that people like about you.

3. Take a few deep breaths and smile

You are in control of how you feel. You have the power to calm yourself down. You may be surprised that if you take a moment to breathe deeply that will release the tension in your body and clear your head.

Once you can think clearly, you should be able to see that the situation is not as threatening as you perceived it to be.

4. Go prepared

If you are nervous meeting new people, you may find that it is difficult to know what to say. Pre-empt this situation by preparing a few conversation openers or points you want to make. Write them on a postcard and take it with you to help as a prompt.

5. Dress comfortably

If you feel good about how you look, you will be more confident when you meet new people. You will feel that it is one less thing on which they could judge you negatively.

So, dress appropriately for the situation, and think about wearing favourite clothes or jewelry that you know you look your best in, or even buying something new for the occasion.

6. Stay true to yourself

This is not always easy to do, especially when you feel that the people you are meeting may not like you for who you are. However, you are going to have to live with yourself after this meeting, so regardless of whether people like you or not, it is much more important that you like yourself and that you are happy with how you behaved.

7. Accept that some people won’t like you

You don’t like everyone. You disapprove of the things that some people do. That is fine. But by the same token, don’t expect everyone to like you!

There will no doubt be people whose morals and opinions you dislike. That doesn’t necessarily make them bad people; they are just not your type of people. You are free to dislike some people and that does them no damage whatsoever. The same is true of people disliking you. It doesn’t do you any harm, and you may well not like the ways in which you would have to change yourself to get their approval. It’s not worth it.

Liking yourself is far more important than having other people like you, fortunately, if you like yourself, you are more likely to have people like you. That knowledge, put into practice in these few steps, should help you not be nervous meeting new people.

Make People Listen To You

How to make people listen to you is of vital importance in trying to influence people, win friends and build various relationships. So, here are some steps to follow to achieve those goals.

1. Get their attention

Before speaking, be sure that you have the attention of the people you want to talk to. If you start speaking before people are paying attention, they will not hear everything you say, and that is a recipe for disaster. Once people miss out on part of a statement, it can be tough for them to pay attention.

2. Select the right words

This can be important when you are talking to different audiences. How to make people listen to you when they are children is very different from getting the attention of senior citizens. If the words you use are too complex for them to understand, or you talk down to them, which can be insulting, people will not want to listen to you.

There’s also the importance of selecting words to elicit the right reaction from your audience. For instance, if you are making a political speech, you will want to pick words to sway them to your view and convince them that you are on their side.

3. Do not mumble

You need to speak clearly. Also, you need to learn how to give nuance and inflections to your voice. Taking an acting or public speaking class can help you with this, and then rehearse your speech before the actually speaking engagement. Figure out which words are important, and then put a special emphasis on those words. You do not want to talk in a flat monotone voice; doing so is a sure means of losing your audience as they will grow bored with listening to you.

4. Pace yourself

Do not speak too fast. So, learn to speak, take a breath, pause, and then speak again. As with determining which words to highlight in your speech, you also want to learn where to break a sentence or phrase.

5. Listen

Part of good talking is good listening. As you speak to a group, let them ask any questions they have, and at certain key points ask them questions about what you have told them. Not only will that make them feel like you value their opinion, but it will also give you valuable feedback and input as to how the audience feels about what you have told them. After that, you can modify and adjust your speech accordingly.

6. Eye contact

It’s important to look your listeners in the eye, yet not stare at them. Move your eyes around the audience – look one person in the eye for a short time, and then shift to someone else. If you have visual aids, look at them; draw the listeners’ attention to those aids with your eyes and gestures.

7. Your appearance

It isn’t just what you say, but how you present yourself that matters. In fine dining, it is sometimes said that the first bite is with the eyes; the same is true of making a speech. You can’t just have a great message, you also have to look and act in an appropriate manner.

If you’re messy and smell bad, you could have the greatest invention since sliced bread or the electric light bulb and few are going to want to listen to you. So, get cleaned up, dress in nice clothes, and shave (if you’re a man).

As you can see, there are many steps to how to make people listen to you. By learning and implementing some of these methods, you will be able to hold a captive audience and get your point across.

How to Get People to Smile

It might sound like a simple thing to do, but when it comes to how to get people to smile, it is not as easy as it sounds. However, if you focus on the other person and their reaction, you can get people to smile in a number of ways.

1. Tell a joke

This is by far the easiest and most direct means for how to get people to smile. The key here is to tailor the joke to your audience. A risque joke is fine for a bachelor party or a night out with the guys (or girls), but not for a family gathering. In the case of children, something as simple as an elephant joke can get them to smile and laugh.

2. Pay them a compliment

People do tend to be a bit vain, some more than others, and nothing gladdens a person’s heart more than to hear how wonderful some aspect of their life is. So, compliment a physical feature of theirs, or tell them their house, car or something else of theirs is great.

If you’re in a family/social setting, maybe give them a compliment as to their cooking or how well they host a party.

If they’re a parent, and their child is nearby, a compliment about their child can work. It can be as simple as saying how beautiful their baby is, or how well their child plays a sport or dances or sings.

3. Help them out

Often, people need help with work, their home life or a personal matter. If you offer to help a co-worker or help them in some aspect of their personal life, you can often get a smile.

Sometimes it could be a big commitment of time and effort: helping them to move or babysitting their child. Other times, it could be as easy as offering to pick up something on the way home from work: groceries, kids from school etc.

4. Propose marriage

Granted, this is not something you can do often, but asking that special someone to marry you will definitely get a smile out of them. That is, if they say yes. Of course, if they say no, they may still smile, as they may see the whole thing as a big joke. In that case, you may end of frowning and/or sad.

If a marriage proposal is not appropriate, how about proposing a date or maybe just an outing with friends?

5. Offer a job, promotion and/or pay rise

These are all done strictly in the office arena, but they are still valid. The offer of a position with a company, getting a promotion or getting paid more money are all things that will make any person happy, and get a smile out of them.

6. Give them good news

This can encompass a very wide range of events. It can be everything from “You don’t have cancer (or some other disease)”, to: “You’re cured!” It could be news about a friend or family member: they’re safe, they’re healthy, they’re coming to visit you, and so on.

You could tell them they’ve won the lottery (granted, a rare event), that their house has sold, or that their offer on a house has been accepted.

You can even tell them their favorite TV program is about to play for a new season.

5. Entertain them

You can sing, dance, act or put on some sort of show that makes people happy. In some instances, a few simple dance steps or just a few bars of a song can get a smile out of people. The real plus here is that you don’t even have to be any good. In fact, the more you mess up, the more smiles you may get.

With how to get people to smile, there are steps to take, but it can be tough. So, make use of the suggestions here, and you stand a good chance of accomplishing that goal.