Do you go to events—internal or external—and struggle to get the conversation off to a great start? Are you tired of answering the ubiquitous “how are you doing?” with an even more ubiquitous (read: boring) “busy,” “not much,” or “same old stuff”? Don’t squander the opportunity to make an impression!
Yes, You Can Be Interesting without Being Boastful
You don’t want to feel like you are bragging or, worse yet, on “send,” meaning talking nonstop to someone who is trying to escape your reign (or rain!) of boredom. Instead, you can learn how to engage others—whether they are your superiors or people outside the office—and be interesting in a way that encourages rather than ends conversations. And, guess what, you’ll show everyone that you are excited and engaged in your work and life.
How to Distinguish Yourself and Be Remembered
1. Get Prepared. This is where you deal with the fear of not knowing what to say by actually knowing what to say. In other words, you prepare your own personal News Story.
2. Topics to New Stories. Depending on the context and need for confidentiality, personal news stories can include: an exciting client matter; an article or book that you either read or wrote or are writing; a presentation that you gave or will give; your recent promotion; and exciting news about a child who is excelling in school or sports. It can be anything interesting; however, the ideal “news story” demonstrates that you are excited and engaged with your work.
3. Remember to Think Differently. Whether you are good at winging it or not, you need to remember that, even if you’re not prepared with a News Story, you never answer the “how are you?” question with a “busy” or other similarly-uninspiring answer. Instead, pause and think of a neat new project, an article you’ve just published, or something else that is interesting and shows that are excited and engaged in your work and life. That, my friend, is interesting!
If you find this useful, please share with your colleagues and friends and let us know how you engage others.