Even if you don’t plan to go back into an office surely you’re planning to socialize in person because there are only so many virtual happy hours any of us can take.
When those in-person interactions happen there won’t be an option to turn a camera on or off. You won’t have the benefit of a chat function where you can type a quick “Hello!” to show you’re contributing to the conversation. You’re going to need to show up and start a conversation all on your own.
Which is why it’s a good idea to brush up on the conversation skills you need for those in-person interactions because we’ve been communicating in an entirely different way for more than a year. The thought of striking up a conversation out of the blue and possibly with someone you don’t know can be overwhelming right now. Even extroverts can get stressed out, trust me I know from personal experience.
I also know the intent and attitude you bring to the conversation can make it less awkward. Here are three things you can do to boost your confidence and make it easier. Think of this as a pre-conversation pep talk. You can do this!
Here’s a little insider perspective from TV – 30-seconds equals about six sentences. As a sports broadcaster I frequently write stories between 20-30 seconds. I know how productive a few seconds can be during live broadcasts and everyday conversations.
Talking to people in real life is something most of us haven’t done much, if at all, during the last year. Keep your anxiety in check by finding small ways to practice right now and it will be easier than putting on real pants.