Thursday, March 10, 2016

How shy authors can fake being Extroverts

This may seem strange that I'm advocating being fake about anything, but sometimes it's what we as shy/introverted authors must do. Success comes to those able to show confidence in themselves. We all want to be confident and successful, and we shouldn't let being an introvert hobble us.

What are some similes of being an introvert? Shy, timid, quiet, reticent, withdrawn, reclusive, reserved, etc.

Personality wise introverts can come off as uncertain, indecisive, a homebody, or loner. This may not be who they are, in fact, introverts love to go out, enjoy concerts and meet up with friends. It's just a matter of getting to know how to engage an introvert. Hint: Introverts are better at responding to questions than carrying a conversation.

What are similes of being an extrovert? Outgoing, social, friendly, gregarious, etc.

Personality wise "extroverts" are seen as assertive, decision makers, confident, self-starters and successful. They are the people you want to be around, because they have a liveliness to them that is attractive.

How can an introvert author fake being an extrovert?

Tip 1: Own your personal space

In my mind, I always think that wherever I stand belongs to me, therefore it's easier for me to engage verbally with another person if I think they are on my territory. I'm their hostess, and they are my guest. It's better to feel in charge, than to feel as if you're equals. Being in charge breeds confidence.

Tip 2: Compliment and engage

When we compliment another person, that other person immediately feels a connection to us. Tell the potential person you like their earrings, purse or their choice of something. It starts a dialogue the other person will want to continue. If near books or in a bookstore, you can comment on how great you feel browsing the book isles. This will open up questions about you to the person you're speaking with, and that's your opportunity to present yourself as an author.

Tip 3: Questions are your friend

Smalltalk is a learned skill, but questions are easier. Ask the person what they like to read. If they say they don't really read, but prefer watching movies, there is your in. Who doesn't like movies? Ask what genre of movies they like. The trick isn't to refer everything back to your book, the trick is to engage in a conversation that makes the other person (i.e. potential reader) feel important.

We tend to like people who like us first.

Tip 4: Know your book, know your audience

It's not about selling your book to them, it's about selling yourself as a person. They've just met a published author. Let them know what you enjoy writing, and ask what they enjoy reading. It's not every day one meets a writer, so give them an opportunity to ask questions about your writing process and your book. Most people have considered writing a book at some time in their life, few ever do. Even if the person doesn't read your genre, give them a Q and A experience that will stay with them after you've separated. Remember to tell them how nice it was to speak with them, and hand them your business card with an invitation to contact you.

The trick to being an extrovert is all a matter of your mind. You're faking it, but only you know that little secret, so go ahead and engage in a conversation. The first few times may be awkward, but it does get easier.

Soon such interacts will trigger your mind's ability to engage another person in conversation in comfort, due to previous experience, even if being an extrovert is not your nature. Our mind's understand repetition, which is why the old saying "practice make perfect" is so adept to how introverts can fake being extroverts.

My day job requires me to be very social and outgoing, but in truth I'm as much wallpaper as any author in a social/party setting with strangers. That's why if I hope to engage others in conversation; I must own my personal space, compliment them, ask questions, and be sure to be proud of myself as a published author.

Until next time, go forth and chat it up!


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