networking for introverts
Often filled with elevator pitches and contrived conversation, it’s no wonder you run for your nearest exit every time you get invited to a networking event. Sure, we all understand the value of these events and their place in the business world, but for an introvert, attending an event filled with strangers can be something nightmares are made of. Read on as we share our top tips to nailing your next networking event.
01. It’s all in the prep
If social situations makes you want to assume the brace position then why not have a few conversation starters up your sleeve? Try not to stick to the usual, “how’s about that weather?” talk, make things interesting by getting the person to open up, and furthermore, set you up for a range of good quality questions. Questions like, “how did you get started,” “tell me about your business”, will set you up for some great back and forth banter.
02. Be proactive
If walking up to a group sounds daunting, look for a fellow wallflower, who will most likely be standing by themselves observing the crowd. Approach them, introduce yourself and build a genuine connection – they just might be that expert / supplier / marketer you need take your business to the next level.
03. Focus on your vibe
Your vibe is that thing that makes you, well, you! Find your vibe and proudly wear it on your sleeve. Once you have settled in to who you are and what you’re all about, you will began to click with like-minded folk. These like-minded souls will become some of your most treasured and loyal comrades. When you wear your heart on your sleeve, you make yourself vulnerable enough to endear and draw others into your world. This inevitably forms connection, et voila! Build that vibe, and the connections will follow.
04. Bring a buddy
Some things are better in pairs and when it comes to large events, asking a friend or colleague to tag along with you can make the whole experience a hell of a lot more enjoyable. Having a mate there for moral support will silence the ‘must make friends’ voice inside of your head and allow you to relax, and engage with people when you’re ready.
If you have to ride solo, try and connect with at least one individual and who knows, they might just become your new networking bestie!
05. Follow up
So you’ve put yourself out there, met a bunch of really great people, now what? Make this experience worth your while and touch base with your peeps after the event. It can be as simple as connecting with them on LinkedIn or if they really made an impression, a handwritten note goes a long way.