How I Met Michael Jordan / by Dena Mekawi

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Last week, I was in a business meeting on Park avenue in the lobby of a hotel. I look behind me and a tall man makes his way with two other gentlemen, sat down at the lounge area behind us. Michael Jordan, living legend sitting right behind me. The professional in me said don't bother him, but the human side of me said how often do you get to meet a living legend? 

Now, I've been around many celebrities, since my work consists of PR, and representing artist, curating social impact strategies. However, I must say I was a little star struck. Now, I want to give a simple strategy and advice on how it all went down. In the past, I had no self-esteem, let alone confidence to walk up to someone with such high influence. 

Over the years, I learned a few tips when meeting celebrities, especially if you're looking for more than just an "instagram picture" 

  • Make them feel human, especially if they seem to be in an intimate setting, do not disturb their peace by asking for a picture, thus causing others to recognize them.
  • Have an elevator pitch, don't ask for anything, try to invite them to your world by giving short intro to your work and why you'd like to invite them in the future. 

So I did just that, I waited until my meeting was over, kept my cool and walked over. Of course I hesitated, I had my design artist/ friend with me so she kept pushing me, motivating me to just walk over there. I did not ask for any picture, and I was content with that decision, instead, I had a conversation with Michael Jordan and his friends, his manager then asked for my business card. The lesson here is, make celebrities feel human, because that's what they are. Chat with them, wow them with the time you have. Sometimes a shared experience like that is worth more than a picture for the gram. 

So the next time you encounter a celebrity, take a moment and think about what you're going to say. Time and place plays a crucial role as well, if the person is sitting and you have the luxury to articulate your elevator pitch, make sure it's one to remember. Ask yourself what can this individual do for me, and what can I do for this individual. Sometimes we are so caught up in our minds, that this person would never give us a chance because they are so high up there. Trust me, I used to think that way, but you're only as good as you think you are. Confidence will also reflect your style of communication. Finally, remind yourself that you are your own brand. Your style, your words, your website should be a reflection of what you bring to the table.