I went to dinner last night with strangers.
That might sound like a nightmare to you. Or not. But given that nights out have been so incredibly rare, I was beside myself excited.
It was hosted by my friend Dorie Clark, who’s impressive in every way you can think of (bestselling author many times over, does more in an hour than you or I can conceive of in two hours).
She invited five people to dinner who have never, ever met. And guess what we did after our food orders were in?
The irony was not lost on me, given that I’ve been talking to you about this very thing!
I was at the end of the table, so I was going last. But rather than use that time to come up with something clever, I decided to do nothing but listen. Which turned out to be the far richer experience (it usually is).
How often have we all wasted precious time plotting our pitch—and missing out on the conversation? Not tonight.
Rather than a series of elevator pitches so we could get on with the “real” conversation, what happened was far more engaging and fun:
The introductions became the conversation.
We heard about Thomas’s book launch…on March 17, 2020 (we groaned in unison); about Kate’s thrill at her successful new consulting venture. We learned what it meant for Maya to part ways with a family business; and Patrick’s own ill-fated pub date for a book about FOMO (a term he INVENTED! True fact!) during the pandemic.
No one tried to pitch or impress. Talking about what we did and were interested in was what the dinner was for.
By the time it was my turn, I felt like I was talking with friends—which made it more natural to share what I was excited about, without pretense: helping people tap their creative genius; my own pending book launch; a new workshop I’m cooking up on how to talk about your work without feeling like a jackass 🙂 (More on that here.)
It was one of those rare and special evenings that I felt lucky to be part of. As Maya and I walked out of the restaurant, she inquired about one of my upcoming workshops. Lovely! All without pitching a thing.
The world is returning—as are parties and dinners and events. You will soon be face to face with people, and opportunities, again—in the flesh!
And yes, you are going to be asked what you do. I can guarantee it.
If you want to be part of that conversation, and share YOUR insights about it, I’d love to hear it. Meet me over here!
There’s no mezcal cocktails there, just me. But I’d love to keep you in that loop if you, too, want to feel ease in talking about your work, and not waste any more time worrying about it.