Since starting Chicks And Salsa I have found myself in new and unfamiliar situations so many times. Five years ago if you asked me to walk into a room full of strangers and indulge in ‘small talk’, I would have run for the hills. Now, the prospect of meeting new people excites me!
Being forced to step out of my comfort zone has taught me a lot about myself. Here are a few tips I have learned along the way to make uncomfortable situations more… comfortable. Some of these tips you have probably seen before but trust me, repetition is how to make it stick.
Dress The Part
This is first because playing the part means looking the part. Nothing helps me put my best foot forward like feeling confident in the space I am occupying. Dress for the occasion and feel good in what you wear, it will reflect in your mannerisms. Our Mom always taught us that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed — you will never feel out of place. That has stuck with us throughout our lives (and probably explains a lot about us for those of you who know our family).
Here are a few versatile picks perfect for a multitude of occasions all under $50:
Do Your Research
Nothing makes me feel worse than not knowing about the host of an event or facts about the event itself. Knowing what you are walking into is so important for nailing a conversation. Finding a way that connects you to the space and the people within it is a true life hack for making an impression. Even just quickly browsing information on your phone in the Uber or in the bathroom can give you information that could create a real impact on someone later in the event.
Listen (Mirror and Label)
I am a sharer and have a tendency to talk more than I listen. Since ‘small talk’ does not come naturally to me despite practicing for years, I have finally found a technique that works wonders for getting other people to talk. I recently watched a lecture on Masterclass on a technique called “Mirroring and Labeling” in which you repeat back key words from the conversation to help keep the conversation active and engaging. It has changed my conversation game tenfold. If you need some help in this department, check out this lecture: Masterclass with Chris Voss
Know Your Story
We all have heard about an ‘elevator speech’ and even if you are not a business owner or don’t work, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a story. Almost 100% of the time people will ask, “So, what do you do?” Are you prepared to answer this question in a way that is concise and coherent? If not, then now is a good time to get your story straight so that you can dig into the next level of the conversation. Preparing a quick FYI can be simple but make it unique. As women in this world, we are all trying to find our place. Take a moment to figure out what space you occupy and how to communicate that with others.
I have only recently gotten comfortable with my own story of discovery from being a stay at home mom, to a blogger, to a self-employed social media content creator and manager. It took me several years to put the pieces together in a coherent way, but I finally have my story down.
Sonia and I have TERRIBLE posture. In the past few years as we have become more confident and practiced sharing our story, dressing the part, and listening, we have started standing straighter. In the same way a firm handshake is important, so is posture. We have learned so much from Blush with Parmita, her YouTube tips for standing out have really changed the way we walk into a room and handle a conversation. This did not come naturally for us, but we practiced and reminded each other to do it so many times over the years that now it feels automatic. Without saying a word, how you stand and present yourself to the world can create the strongest and most lasting impression.
Hopefully, you needed to hear some of this, I know we need reminders all the time. I would love to hear about your life hacks that have made you a better and more productive person.
Thanks for reading.