Introverts and Networking: 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 this is not only not true, but that introverts have many qualities that actually make them more strategic networkers than extroverts!
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 loud and trying really hard to sell themselves. The truth is, though, that introverts are better at networking because of their ability to listen well. Introverts are more interested in others and talk less about themselves, making them the ideal person with whom to make a connection.
If you are an introvert and you are worried about your next networking event, don't be! The qualities you posses are extremely valuable, but if you are still nervous here some tips to 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.
Just remember 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!
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