The Most Interesting Person in the World

Fake It ’til You Make It

Posted on: October 3, 2010

Meeting new people in any situation is hard. Meeting lots of new people, in a cocktail party-style environment, can be the epitome of awkward. Everybody wants to quickly ascertain how impressive you are, before deciding whether to continue talking to you, or allow themselves to get distracted by that amazing thing over there. If you lack confidence in yourself, rightly or wrongly, people are going to lose confidence in you, too. With the right amount of charm, and something to back it up, if you walk around with the attitude of, “Yeah, I know I’m awesome,” you will find people flocking to you in awe and asking, “How are you so awesome?”

It may be a matter of simply deciding to act more confident from now on. But, if you’re not Chuck Norris or Lauren Stein, it may take a little work to get used to this new mindset. One improv game that I like to use for this is Ask the Expert (referred to in some communities as Dr. Know-It-All.) This one you can try at home, and I’ll tell you how.

You have been appointed the expert on some topic. To start, pick an animal. Now think of an activity that this animal doesn’t normally do (such as a kangaroo playing chess, or an otter on the bagpipes, for instance.) Explain to your mirror just how you trained this animal to do this activity, how long it took you, some scientific facts behind it, or one particular story from your experience. Discuss the book you’ve written which will be launched later in the fall. Talk to that mirror like you can answer any of its questions. After all, you are the Expert.

Now, if you’re ready to answer someone else’s questions, let me know and we can set up an interview. If you would like to try it on a panel, or while speaking gibberish, or while trying to speak at the same time as someone else, come to an improv workshop, and you will be impressed when you find out how much you didn’t know that you knew. And you will definitely walk away with something to tell people at cocktail parties!

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