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> Actually, I never had a problem with STAGE FRIGHT per se, because when
> you go on stage, teach a class, give a speech, etc., it's understood by
> all parties involved that you're SUPPOSED to be doing what you're doing
> and they're SUPPOSED to be granting you an audience for doing it. My
> problem is with approaching people -- SMEs in this case -- who may or
> may not want to be approached and may or may not want to talk to me.
You just nailed the answer! With SMEs, you *are* supposed to be doing
what you are doing - approaching them for information. They *are*
supposed to be listening to your questions and providing information -
whether they understand that or not.
Assume the role which is in fact reality - you are an important member
of the team, engaged in an important task which supports the team.
Patiently ignore any negative vibes - you're engaging in a perfectly
legitimate execution of your role.
After all, the audience or students in your examples are not always
truly interested or motivated to listen. But you avoid stage fright
through the armor of your role (and knowledge of their roles). Do the
same here. Don the armor of your role (which is real, if you think
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