Maybe ‘fear’ is too strong a word. Intimidation might be more like it. I work around high profile athletes and coaches every day as a reporter for FSN Northwest, but there’s something about the Yankees and the stir they create that can be very intimidating. Nevertheless, it’s my job to talk to the players and get interviews. I stood in the hallway and debated the best plan of attack before I decided to just say “hello” and go from there. And you know what it worked. I was deep in conversation in no time. I got what I needed, the PR staff was more than willing to help, and the players were friendly.
I’ve been to a handful of networking events recently. Just last week at an event someone told me he had learned to embrace the uncomfortable feeling of working the room. I know what that feels like – to me it’s standing in the middle of the Yankees clubhouse. What I should have done from the begining, however, is trust myself. I do my research. I know what I’m talking about. I have no reason to think that I can’t talk to the Yankees or anyone else.
The same thing goes for you and the people you encounter – especially when it comes to sports conversations. Trust in your ability to talk about a headline, or start a conversation asking about LeBron’s decision, or the World Cup final. You don’t need anything more than a desire to converse and a little confidence.