How To Become The Most Interesting Person In The Room

by Joe Vennare

People are boring. No, not us – just everyone else. I think it’s because they’ve developed some nasty addictions. For starters, consider the three most harmful addictions – drugs, carbohydrates and a monthly salary.

Allow either of the first two addictions to take hold and you are likely to end up broke and dead or fat and boring. Get used to a monthly salary, and your cubicle will compromise your dreams: forever. Safe to say, most addictions are bad. But, what if you were addicted to information? Your smart-phone, gossip, reality TV, social media and crappy celebrity tabloids don’t count. I am talking about being addicted to high-quality, thought-provoking information that has the potential to enlighten and inspire.

Having an insatiable appetite for knowledge is a good thing. There are times when it can get a little out of control. Like if you were to skip out on a date to stay in and read or research. But, this type of constant information consumption can transform the way you think, create and do business. It can even make you the most interesting person in the room.

Generalize – Be a know-it-all

In high school, were you forced to choose between being in the band and playing a sport? Jocks don’t appreciate classical music or art; do they? Well I sure do. Don’t force yourself to become a specialist, confined to one subject area or domain. Instead, look at your life as a game of Trivial Pursuit, to win you have to know everything about everything.

Experience – Be open to new things

Don’t live your life like Bill Murray in "Groundhog’s Day"; break the cycle. Seek out new people, new experiences and new ideas. Reliving the same day, over and over, is fruitless. On the other hand, trying something new is rejuvenating, refreshing and rewarding. You should be searching for yourself, for inspiration and for your passion. But, I can guarantee that you’re never going to find those things during your commute, in your cube or on your couch.

Go to a play. Take a class. Watch a TED talk. Read "The Alchemist." Become addicted to information and new experiences.

Connect – Be the missing link

When you’re addicted to information, you’re really just addicted to learning. Mix a comprehensive knowledge-base with a bunch of new experiences and you’ll find yourself swimming in a sea of new opportunities.

How you ask? It’s simple.

Because you know more and do more, you’ll meet more people. Since you’re well informed on a variety of topics, you’ll wow everyone with great conversation. Worst case scenario: something comes up that you don’t know about. That’s okay. Like any good information addict, you will be a captive audience. You will engage your new acquaintance. You will ask questions. Maybe even take notes. Then, you run home, Google it, read up on the subject and watch a documentary.

You will become a connector. It’s like being a matchmaker, but way cooler. Instead of setting people up on blind dates, you’ll open their eyes to a world of new possibilities. Connectors see the big picture. People value that and pay big money for it. Most people only look to their right and to their left. Not you. You delve into the past, look into the future and connect what you’ve learned to the present moment.

You’ll become a walking encyclopedia and an amazing storyteller. You’ll be bursting at the seams with inspiration and enthusiasm about everything. You’ll be more creative and a better problem solver. Best of all, you’ll be the most interesting person in the room.

Be More Interesting Overnight

As you consume new information on your quest to become more interesting, try putting some of these tips into action. Read something new – make time each week to read something you might otherwise overlook. Maybe it’s a journal article, a case study or comic book. If you don’t read choose anything. If you read fiction, choose a novel. It’s time to get out from under that rock you’ve been living under.

Ask questions – posing a thoughtful question is not a weakness, but a sign of interest.

If you are engaged in a conversation do not simply nod your head in agreement as you tune out. Engage in the discussion adding value when you can and asking questions when things become unclear. You could actually learn something.

Tell better stories – gaining and maintaining someone’s attention is not an easy task, especially in a world where everyone is busier than ever.

But, if you improve your story-telling skills people won’t be skeptical of your agenda, they will receive your works like a gift.

Make new friends – seek out like-minded people who add value, not drama, to your life.

Join a club, take a class, create a Mastermind group to formulate new ideas, learn new skills and be part of something bigger than yourself. It’s also helpful to be a go-giver, someone who gives without expecting anything in return. As it turns out, when you are genuine and trustworthy, you really do get what you give.

Take notes – many of the world’s most respected artists, politicians and thought leaders are known to have carried a notebook – think Da Vinci, Ben Franklin and Isaac Newton.

And, if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for us too. Carry a pocket notebook and use it to brainstorm new ideas, capture inspiring thoughts or simply doodle in your spare time.

Joe Vennare | Elite. Photo Source - The Paper Wall