When your cab journey gets very serious, very quickly

“But that sounds nice! No?” I asked, holding onto the handrail as the cab turned a corner.

I couldn’t see much of the driver’s face. One of the small glass windows was slid open, and through it, I looked at his eyes in the rearview mirror.

He glanced at me and shook his head.

“Nah,” he said, in his South London accent. “It’s pathetic.”…

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Top Ten Tips – Networking for Introverts (that’s actually FUN & EASY!) [VIDEO]

Having just come back from World Domination Summit – a giant conference of 3,000 do-gooders in Portland – and having actually enjoyed myself, I thought it was about time I shared a Top Ten of advice for anyone who’s off to a conference or event, thinks that they hate networking, and is REALLY NERVOUS.

Here you go. My favourite is pencil-mouth lady. Yours?

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Want a Shortcut to Being Charming? Here’s One.

I have to be honest with you about something:

I am inherently lazy. Nobody believes me, because I’ve always got a million things on the go. But whenever I get the chance to fast-track something, or cut a corner, I am IN. Sorry for tarring you with the same brush, but if you’re like me (and if you’re enjoying reading this blog, there’s a good chance you are like me), then I’m assuming that:

you are inherently lazy too. And if you are: good news.

There are some FANTASTIC ways to…

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Feel Like Everyone Else Has Their Sh–t Together and You Don’t? Do This Now

At certain moments in life, your emotional response to a situation is so extreme – and so inappropriate for your immediate circumstances – that you have to do everything in your power to hide it. Use every ounce of strength to construct your features into a shape that would suggest that you feel the opposite of the way you actually do.

Getting broken up with by someone you’ve not been seeing for very long, that’s one.

I remember another: I’d been working at Virgin Megastores’ in-store radio station for a few months, but I didn’t want to be there…

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Why You Should Ask Strangers Personal Questions

Something very weird happened on Tuesday night.

Or, if not weird, then… alchemical might be the word. I had actually fully intended to write a blog about something else – some straight up networking advice (like I gave you here and here). But I’m still reeling from that evening and feel like I have to tell you about it.

It started innocently enough…

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Networking: When It’s OK to Lie

I know the ten commandments suggest not to, but sometimes, thou SHALT lie:

If you’re on a night out, your friend asks whether her hair looks weird – and it does, and there’s nothing she can do about it right now, tell her no. If your brother was right in the middle of an important interview and accidentally let out a massive (and noisy) fart, then he asks you – mortified – if you think the interviewers laughed at him after he left, say, “They probably don’t even remember”.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I’m usually all about not lying – not being a fake, schmoozy, gross caricature of everything people hate about networking.

But sometimes: you need to. Here are those times:

(1) When extracting yourself from…

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ASK (YES YES) MARSH: Networking and Flirting – Where’s The Line?

I bloody love reading advice columns.

When I worked in radio, I used to make all my interns tear out the “Dear Deidre”s from the back of the tabloids, so I could read them on the train home. The only German I know is from translating Teen Mag problem pages when I was a teenager (“Ich schwärme für ihn! Er ist sehr gutaussehend und frech!”*).

heart lady

And, as a coach, it’s in my nature to LOVE giving my suggestions for solving other people’s problems. As one ex- described me, I’m “violently helpful”.

So: I am THRILLED to announce a new sporadic feature:

ASK (YES YES) MARSH

And today: networking – and flirting.

Anonymous Gentleman writes:

I was wondering…

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How To Deal With Boring Conversations

I grabbed the stranger by her shoulders and she stopped talking, mid-sentence – shocked.

“Dude,” I lowered my voice, and looked straight in her eyes. “What. Makes you think. That I care this much about you? You called this meeting. I have a lot to do today. I don’t even want to be here. STOP. TALKING. ONLY. ABOUT. YOURSELF. It is SO. BORING.”

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What I Learned from being a Zombie Nun Designated Dancer at Queer Slow Dance

I bit my lip, and hit “reply” to the text message.

‘That sounds exciting and scary’, I wrote. ‘Can I think about it and let you know?’

My friend Erin had just asked whether I would join her to be a Designated Dancer at Queer Slow Dance.

Queer Slow Dance is a regular night in Toronto (and Montreal) that pretty much does what it says on the tin. And my job as a Designated Dancer would be to spend two hours asking strangers to slow dance with me, gently easing the wallflowers from their seats and helping them to feel included.

It sounded terrifying.

Partly because of the concept. Slow dancing isn’t really a thing we DO in the UK. My only experience was once, at my summer camp, when a Much Older Boy asked me if I’d slow dance with him. I remember finding it awkward and a bit too grown up to be comfortable.
But I was most scared of having to walk up to strangers and ask them to dance.

What if they say no?

What if EVERYONE says no?…

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Exactly What to Say When You Walk Up To A Stranger at an Event

Within my career to date, it was the bravest move I’d ever made. Or maybe just the scariest.
Part of me couldn’t believe I was about to say this – to a TOTAL stranger. Someone I’d never spoken to before.

And at one of these events!
The kind I knew I should be at, but was terrified of. I’d only gone because my buddy Steve had said he would chum me. Then he got held up at work, but I hadn’t discovered this until I was outside the door. And I figured…well, I’m here. And I really need to meet some of these people.

After what felt like HOURS (but was more likely five minutes), I made the decision to do it. I spotted my target… walked up. And SAID IT…

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