Networking Tools for Introverts: How to Be a Success at Your Next Event
It's fair to say that I spend a lot of my time networking and one of the most common things I hear is, "I'm introverted, which is why I'm bad at networking." I'm here to share that’s not always true and, in fact, I believe that introverts have many qualities that actually make them more strategic networkers than extroverts! (No offense to extroverts, I am one!)
Many introverts feel overwhelmed at the idea of being in a room full of strangers. Not only are they forced to come out of their comfort zone, but they are also bombarded with all the extroverts who are can be naturally loud and might be trying really hard to sell themselves.
Simply put, introverts can be better at networking because of their ability to naturally listen well and keep their attention on the person they’re talking with. Introverts are highly interested in others and generally talk less about themselves, making them the ideal person with whom to make a connection.
If you are an introvert and you’re worried about your next networking event, don't be! Some of your innate qualities are extremely valuable, and if you’re still nervous here are some tips to help you prepare for your networking event.
· Get There Early- By being one of the first people there, you will feel less intimidated by big groups and clusters of people who have already started conversations.
· Small Talk is Key- Do not pressure yourself to say something clever or funny. As an introvert you have a great presence about you and making simple conversation about the topics you know well is a perfect way to get the conversation going.
· Listen- As mentioned earlier, being a good listener is what makes an introvert such a great networker. Ask questions and be prepared to answer some as well, but remember to thoughtfully listen to the person speaking to you.
· Quality vs. Quantity- At these type of events, you might feel pressured to meet as many people as possible, but by the end of the night you cannot remember half of their names. Instead you should be focusing on having quality conversations with a few people and really building your connection with them.
Remember, the key to effective networking is to relax and enjoy yourself. Networking events should not be scary, but rather an exciting opportunity to make new connections. As an introvert, you already have all the skills and knowledge that make you an interesting person to network with, so don't worry! Listen well and be yourself; those are the keys to success!
Let’s connect soon!
As a professional networking coach, Alyce offers strategic tools to create a safe space to practice networking. Alyce finds immense joy in bringing people together and sharing scientifically proven tips so that anyone can build a strong network and see results