You don’t like attending events. You are someone who would rather sit at home, watch Netflix or get something productive done than to be surrounded with 500 people who suck the energy out of you. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! There are more introverts in this world than you might think. But the interesting fact is that Introverts make the best networkers as they tend to be more interested in other people than in talking about themselves which also makes them great listeners.
Now, here are five strategies to help you get started:
Prepare (Introverts Strategy)
Going to an event where you don’t know anyone can be really intimidating, so do your research before-hand and try to find a list of attendees. This step can help you find people you would be interested in talking to. If you feel comfortable, you can connect with them on social media, arrange a conversation and look forward to meeting them. It’s a great way to ease out the nervousness of stepping into a room full of strangers.
Bring a friend
When you have a friend, co-worker or someone you know by your side, the whole “Let’s network” idea can be easily managed. You will be comfortable talking to other people because starting a conversation becomes super easy as your job is to introduce your wingman/woman and not yourself.
The Rule Of Two
Follow the rule of two, when you go to an event, conference or meetup; make it a goal NOT to collect 50 business cards but to have an authentic conversation with just two people in the room. When you keep the purpose of networking pretty realistic and straightforward, you are less anxious and stressed because you know you can accomplish that.
Don’t worry about saying something clever
There is nothing wrong about small talk. You don’t have to overcomplicate things by preparing an elevator’s pitch or have a standard opener that would blow other people’s mind. Be natural and be yourself. You don’t have to fill in every pause or impress every person. It’s okay to just listen and be present.
Smile, it’s free
It’s important not to look unapproachable or angry with your body language when you go to such gatherings. Even if you are feeling uncomfortable or nervous inside, try to smile and look engaged or interested in other people or the event. You never know who walks up to you and starts a conversation. So, fake it till you make it.
Feeling a little more comfortable? Now, go and get ready for your next event.