Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flyering on Bruinwalk

Flyering is...

... not for the weak of heart.

... not for those who can't take rejection.

... not for quiet, unassuming, meek people.

Flyering is...

... a good chance to laugh at yourself-- you can't take yourself too seriously.
Enjoy it.

... best done when you believe in what you're flyering for. If you don't believe in it, neither will anyone else. Especially because you won't be trying as hard if you don't like what you're advertising.

... less painful when done with friends nearby. Their presence gives you confidence to put yourself out there and raise your voice for your cause. When either of you get the cold shoulder from people, it's warmed by the fact that you can exchange "ohwell" shrugs with people who just had the same thing happen to them.

Flyering is...

... a challenge. Don't think of it as intimidating. Think of it as a dare you can't turn down or a contest to see who can be the most cheerful, happy person in the world when people keep saying "nothankyou" to you as they brush past.

... encouraging. Seeing your fellow flyerers out there and knowing that they're outside their comfort zone as well, but they're doing this anyways? Those few people who say "nothankyou" before you finish speaking but their brain registers what you just said three seconds later and they stopandturn in order to take your flyer? People who apologize for not taking your flyer because they're late for class, but wish you good luck because they've been in your shoes? Those are the people you remember and who make you smile. Flyering can make your day.

... faceless. You don't actually see the majority of the people you're calling out to-- they kind of all blur together into a mass of humanity streaming past you. Just remember, you're faceless to them, too. There's no embarrassment involved.

Flyering is...

... an insane, tummy-butterflies-inducing, majorly heart-pounding experience, but you have to do it at least once in your collegiate career. It's a requirement. There's no better way to learn how to be assertive {NOT to be confused with 'aggressive'} or how to handle rejection gracefully than to stand in the middle of Bruinwalk and let the hoards of annoyed college students flood past you as you try to hand them a small slip of paper. It's an adrenaline rush.


For you interested folk out there, here are a few tips I've learned from a year's worth of flyering for all sorts of businesses for DBM and flyering for GOC events every now and then:

1. Smile!

Seriously. This is major. If you look like you're having fun and you're happy to be there, it's a a bit harder to turn you down. The people walking past who ignore you will feel bad that they might be ruining your day, whereas if you already look unhappy... well, your day can't get any worse, right? Although, make sure you're concentrating on flyering as you smile-- if you're laughing at something your other flyering friend said, it's easier to slip past you because you're distracted.

2. Make eye contact.

Else you're just calling out to the general populous. It's like Diffusion of Responsibility {a psych theory}-- if you don't specify someone or single someone out, everyone will assume you're addressing everyone other than them and not respond. The more people there are nearby, the less likely they are to help. {If that wasn't super clear, look up "Kitty Genovese" for more info-- *grins* I'm such a Psych/Comm major...}. Plus, if you're smiling and looking people directly in the eye, you're investing a little something in them {like, "don't let me down now!"} that they'll sometimes feel they have to return {by taking your flyer}.

{please note that this doesn't mean they'll always take your flyer if you smile and make eye contact. these things just help a bit, if only to make the whole experience more enjoyable for you}.

3. Let your voice carry over the masses.

If you wait to say your two second pitch only when someone's within a three-feet radius of you, you'll never hand out anything because by the time you've blurted out your spiel, they've already walked past you. And very few people come back around just to get your flyer. So. Start addressing them when they're farther away-- take into account their speed and how many people are between you and them when you make your time estimate-- in order to give their brain time to register your message and send a signal down all those synapses to their arm to reach out and take your paper.

4. Don't offer your flyers close to your body. Stick your arm out there so that the flyer's easily accessible and kind of in the way.

Ups your chances of someone taking it. Mind you, don't leave your arm hanging if there's no one nearby to take the flyer. Makes you seem desperate. And sad. And no one wants to take flyers from a desperate and sad person. They're probably promoting some desperate and sad event. *shakes head disapprovingly* Don't do it.
5. When your tongue starts to trip over words and you notice your grasp of the English grammar system slipping, it's probably time for you to take a break.

So bad. You don't realize how many times you've said that single broken string of words {"twenty-five-cents-for-a-soda-and-hotdog-tomorrow-court-of-sciences"} until you start hearing yourself shout out "twenty-five-cents-for-twenty-five-cents-tomorrow-cork-a-sciences". *shakes head in shame* Or even better? "hotdog--"... and that's it before you choke over your words and end up cracking up like a madwoman. Ohdear. Definitely time for a break.

Good luck out there, young ones! Remember to have fun! :)

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