- Romance University - http://romanceuniversity.org -

Big Mouths Not Needed with Avery Flynn

I can attest that Avery Flynn is no wallflower. She can work a room and make friends everywhere we go -just try to quickly get anywhere with her at a conference. So, I think she me might be the perfect person to give great tips about making the most of conferences.

Big Mouths Not Needed

Conference season is almost upon us. The fun! The drinks! The talking to people you don’t know. Here’s how extroverts react to this situation:

My friends who are introverts seem to have a very different reaction. Often it looks like this:

Still, you invested the cash to go to one of these shindigs so you could meet other writers, make connections and further your career. Doing the whole meet-and-greet thing may not be your favorite, but often it’s a necessary evil.

Think you have to be an obnoxious big mouth like me to survive a conference, workshop or event full of strangers?

I may be loud, but I still have to psych myself up. Example: Cocktail parties make me nervous enough that I want to puke every time I have to go to one. That’s when I fall back on some of the lessons I learned every time I ended up being the new kid in school. Hopefully some will come in handy for you.

1. Don’t sit by yourself. This is hands down the best advice my sister ever gave me. When you walk into the room find someone who is also alone. A quick hello and you’re good to go.

2. In a workshop, sit in the middle of the room. The middle is your friend. People tend to gravitate toward the middle of a room when they’re picking a seat so instead of you having to make a move, most often someone will come sit by you.

3. Go for instant gratification. The line at the women’s restroom/buffet line/bar/Starbucks is an easy win. It’s the perfect spot to engage without being stuck trying to have a whole conversation. You can go with a quick compliment (cute shoes!) or observation (the line’s long but at least it seems like it’s moving fast). A few minutes later and there’s one less complete stranger in the world.

4. Find a commonality. At a writer’s event you have the bonus of knowing you at least have writing and reading in common. Most people love to talk about themselves so start there. Ask what you write and go forward from there.

5. Retreat when necessary. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Half the reason why I will run to the bathroom/take the long way around at an event is because it gives me a couple of minutes when I can take off my game face and take a deep breath. If you need the space, take it. Just don’t stay in the bathroom stall too long. People will talk and that’s not the kind of chatter you want. 🙂

So there you have it. My top five conference/workshop/event survival tactics. I’d love to hear some of your survival techniques so share them in the comments.

Don’t forget to enter the High-Heeled Wonder Shoes, Swag and Books Extravaganza Giveaway for your chance to win a $100 DSW Shoes gift certificate, books from Entangled Ignite authors releasing in January (Avery Flynn, High-Heeled Wonder; Jody Wallace, Angeli; Julie Rowe, Molly Gets Her Man; Caridad Pineiro and Cathy Perkins, Love International Style box set) and more!

image-200x300 [1]High-Heeled Wonder by Avery Flynn

“When a fashionista and her bodyguard get tangled up together, watch out for sizzling sex and surprising plot twists.” New York Times best seller Rebecca York

Tony Falcon, an investigator from the other side of the tracks, is the olive oil to fashion blogger Sylvie Bissette’s Evian water, but it’s not just her temper he’s inciting. When Sylvie’s stalker almost runs her over in broad daylight, Tony must pose as her boyfriend to infiltrate the close-knit fashion community. In a world full of overblown egos and cutthroat ambition, Sylvie and Tony must work together to find her stalker before she ends up with a literal knife in the back.


Do you have any tips for making the most of conferences? Spill!

Christine Pride lets us in on a ll the editor’s secrets.



Avery Flynn loves a hockey-addicted husband, has three slightly wild children and is desperately wishing someone would AFlynnShoes-200x300 [2]invent the coffee IV drip. Find out more about her on her website (www.averyflynn.com), Twitter (@AveryFlynn) or Facebook (facebook.com/AveryFlynnAuthor). She posts all sorts of fashion, reading and hero inspiration pictures on Pinterest (pinterest.com.AveryFlynnBooks).


a Rafflecopter giveaway [3]

Similar Posts:

Share Button [9]
12 Comments (Open | Close)

12 Comments To "Big Mouths Not Needed with Avery Flynn"

#1 Comment By Mary Jo Burke On February 3, 2014 @ 8:14 am

Hi Avery,

I’m about to attend my first conference. I always sit in the back of the room. The middle is scary. Thanks for the tips.

#2 Comment By Avery Flynn On February 3, 2014 @ 11:22 am

Trust me, Mary Jo! The middle is the bomb! (God, I’m old to have even uttered that.) You sit down and people will come to you. You can do it!

#3 Comment By Carrie Spencer On February 3, 2014 @ 8:28 am

Morning Avery…

I’m an introvert, but as a restaurant manager, that’s not allowed…lol. So once I am in the building, I become an extrovert. I greet people at the door, I make conversation at tables, I shake hands with people I don’t know. It’s the job.

Once I’m no longer at work? I revert right back….=)

It’s mentally pushing yourself to do it, and then yes, taking those breaks where you regroup yourself for just a few moments that really help release the stress level!


#4 Comment By Avery Flynn On February 3, 2014 @ 11:23 am

Hey Carrie! Yes, downtime is huge. Some people don’t need it so much (I’m looking at you Kimberly Kincaid) but I have to have it. Well, that and Oreos. Those are necessary too.

#5 Comment By Adrienne Giordano On February 3, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

Hello, Avery! Terrific post. I think one of the important things I’ve learned at conferences is to get rest. Conferences have packed schedules and it’s easy to burn out. The only problem with that is if you sit next to your dream editor or agent on the last day of the conference and you’re too exhausted to string a sentence together. And, yes, this happened to me. LOL. 🙂

Congrats on the release! I loved this book!

#6 Comment By Avery Flynn On February 3, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

Hugs and kisses, Adrienne. Too tired to talk? I don’t even want to think those words. 🙂

#7 Comment By Shauna Aura Knight On February 3, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

Great tips! The “middle of the room” one is new, I’ll have to try that one out. Basically, I’m an extreme introvert adapted for public work. I learned how to facilitate workshops and become a public speaker, and I even teach public speaking for introverts. I’m comfortable leading a workshop for 5 or for 500. However, networking events still make me cringe, and the simple social stuff is often a challenge for me. Which–nobody who’s met me in context as a public speaker would ever believe!

One trick I’ve learned is, when I’m attending a workshop/panel, I have an instant conversational topic with others in the workshop. After that talk/workshop, it’s way easier to strike up conversation with the people around me. “Have you ever used Facebook that way?” “Blah blah editing technique blah blah?” etc. Once I get talking to someone I’m good. Striking up conversation at a cocktail event? I’m like the dog with the blanket in the illustration above. (Great illustration by the way, I love it.)

But yes–know your strengths and when you need a rest. I find that, even though I’m a night owl, I do best at an event when I give in and get plenty of sleep, or even take a power nap after dinner or some other time. A little hiding time gives me a lot more energy when I’m out there.

#8 Comment By Avery Flynn On February 3, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

A closet introvert. I love it. 🙂 Great tips!

#9 Comment By Becke Martin Davis On February 3, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

Great post, and very timely, too.

I’m an extrovert in most situations. When I go to conferences with a friend, I’m a lot more relaxed. My biggest problem is names – I have a visual memory, so if someone is wearing a name tag I’ll probably remember their name. (Or if I see their name tagged to a photo on Facebook, I’ll probably remember the name and the face.)

But I’m also a little nearsighted, so if the nametags are small, I may not be able to decipher the name, and I dread the thought of calling someone by the wrong name. Personally, I think sandwich boards that proclaim the wearer’s name in giant letters on their back would be a brilliant idea.

My main tip for conferences is to get plenty of sleep before you go. I hate to waste time sleeping when there is so much to do and so many people to meet!

#10 Comment By Avery Flynn On February 5, 2014 @ 8:23 am

Becke – I am so with you on the giant name tags. I would LOVE that.

#11 Comment By Robyn LaRue On February 6, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

I’m seriously shy until I get to know someone, so some of these tricks are familiar, and the rest I will definitely use! Another thing that helps if you are shy to talk, is to ask questions and let everyone else talk. Most people love it. 🙂

#12 Comment By Avery Flynn On February 7, 2014 @ 11:56 am

LOL Robyn. Just sit next to me, your ears will fall off before you know it. 🙂