I go on a lot of my speaking gigs on ships by myself. My wife often cannot go. Honestly, I love it. Sorry honey. But I can sleep as long as I want and I can spread out all over the bed. I can go to the speaking sessions that I want. I can lie around the pool as long as I want.
But I also have to eat alone. Do I? NO! I get my tray, load up 1600 calories and then look for an open table. Not an empty table. But one with a couple of folks who obviously are alone. I politely ask if I may join them and if they want to meet someone new. 80% of the time they will say yes. Some actually do not want their space entered. OK, no problem.
What next? Relate to them. Ask them where they are from. Have they sailed with XYZ before? Why did they pick this cruise? Have they been on the tours? Which was their favorite? Get it? And it’s not about you. Let them talk. The best talkers are the best listeners. Trust me they will finally get tired and begin to inquire about who you are and what you do. Do not press them – it’s still about them, not you.
Certainly relate to them what you do – you are a destination speaker or Enrichment speaker. Really, Then give your elevator 3-minute talk. Encourage to come and hear your talk tomorrow at 2:30 in the theater. You can tell them what else you do in your real job. It’s OK to give them a card – if they ask for it. You are NOT allowed to hawk your business. You may get warned, but probably you will not be set off at the next port.
So, be extroverted. Reach out to the passengers. It’s good for humanity and can also help your ratings. The people you meet talk: “Martha, did you hear that nice man speak? You MUST hear him tomorrow at 2:30.”
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