As I mention in this week’s Art Marketing Action Newsletter, speaking to strangers at parties and art openings is daunting. You begin to doubt:
- What if I don’t know anyone there?
- How do I break the ice and introduce myself?
- What if no one wants to talk to me?
- How do I carry on a conversation after the ice is finally broken?
- What if someone actually asks me about my art? I haven’t talked about it much. I might say something wrong.
In my self-promotion workshops, I try to help artists conquer these fears. I break them up into pairs and practice their ten-second introductions with each other. After they do that, they are to find something they have in common and how they might work together. Networking is a two-way street. That’s why focusing on what you have in common and how you can work together is a great exercise. It gives you a goal, a reason, a purpose. Next time you’re in an uncomfortable situation in which you should be introducing yourself, remind yourself of this. You may have a reason for meeting people, but they do as well. Honor that. Listen to them. Hear their needs.
How do you psych yourself up and make the most of uncomfortable situations? Leave your comments below.
Image: Artists practice their networking skills at the workshop in Winthrop, WA.