5 Ways To Be Yourself at Tech Events!
While tech events are exciting, they can also be very intimidating. Not everyone is comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and jumping into conversations with people they don’t know. This is harder when you are in a room full of men in the tech industry. More than half of every tech event is male-dominated but that doesn’t mean women shouldn’t attend these events. Having gone to more than 300+ tech events in the last two years, I can assure you there are many ways to get comfortable and get the most out of your networking events. So, ladies let’s get right to it:
Be You, Be Bold
There is nothing better than being yourself. Let your personality speak for you! If it’s hard to let your personality come out in group settings, try talking to one person and then another and another until you become comfortable speaking individually and in groups. If going to events alone isn’t your thing, try taking a friend with whom you are extremely comfortable with. Knowing someone in a room full of strangers eliminates that fear of speaking to strangers.
There is always something new you can bring to the table. Be creative in how you introduce yourself rather than just mentioning your company or title. Sometimes conversations that start with a funny joke or a random statement stick more with people than just your title or company. What would happen if someone asked you “what do you do?” and you replied back saying “I make people smile”. Have meaningful conversations that lead to deeper connections and long-lasting relationships.
Meeting people different than you is pretty awesome! What you can learn from others can be of tremendous value, so why not open ourselves to learn and grow from different individuals? Many events in tech are free these days so communities can easily grow. You have an opportunity to fully take advantage of this. Starting a conversation with someone you would never talk to at an event is probably the best way to get out of your comfort zone.
Once you start a conversation with someone, make sure you are fully present. If your mind is somewhere else and you can’t fully give your attention to the person in-front of you, the best thing to do is to get out of that conversation.
Sometimes at networking events especially tech events your politeness can get confused with shyness. While you may not be shy, you are respectful of others opinions but if opinions are being imposed on you, then stand your ground and make sure you are heard.
There are many more tips but these five should get you started. Putting yourself in the mind-set that “you really have nothing to lose” can change how you act at these events. So just go for it and #killit at these events. At the end, you are making the most of your time by having met a potential client, a mentor, a friend or a supporter for your company or organization. I love going to events where I can meet people different than me. It puts everything in perspective! I hope it does the same for you.