Most people don’t believe me when I tell them I am shy, but I am. When I have to go to an event, and I don’t know people who will be there, I am very nervous. I find groups of people absolutely terrifying.
In the past, I felt the need to cling to one or two people. As an adult, that isn’t acceptable behavior, so I have learned to force myself to mingle, but I feel very awkward about it. I dread such events, but they are a huge part of being a successful consultant and attorney.
Here is where social media comes in. Over the past two years I have developed a lot of relationships through communicating with people through Facebook and Twitter. As a result, when I go to an event, I feel that I already know the other attendees and faculty. I know we have something in common, and I know what to talk about with other people. In fact, I am excited to meet people with whom I have been speaking online, and they are interested in meeting me.
I first experienced this at the ABA Tech Show. A number of very kind people came right up to me to introduce themselves. I never felt awkward or shy. I could always find someone I knew. It was a wonderful experience.
Now, instead of feeling a lot of anxiety about going to an upcoming seminar, I am excited to see a lot of people I have met on and offline. I am able to make the event more productive. I don’t feel the need to hide in the corner of a room. And I don’t feel the need to be silent. As a result, I get a lot more out of participating in seminars and other networking events.
All because of social media.