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Top tips to help introverts network

Posted on 10 May 2023

Top tips to help introverts network

​6-minute read

The thought of mingling with strangers, making small talk, and putting yourself out there is not for everyone. However, networking has become an essential part of the modern way to advance your career, make new contacts, or find business opportunities. If you lean more towards the introverted of us and looking to better understand how to navigate networking events then keep reading and I assure you these tips will help you.

Researching the Event and Attendees

Researching the event and attendees beforehand can help calm your nerves and offer you talking points. Look at the event's program or the speakers' list and make note of who you'd like to meet. Search for attendees on social media or LinkedIn and read their profiles to learn about their interests and experiences.

Having a basic understanding of who will be at the event can give you a solid foundation for conversations, and help you feel more confident when you arrive. You may even find that you have mutual interests or connections with some of the attendees, making it easier to strike up a conversation.

Setting Realistic Goals

Going into a networking event with a specific goal in mind can be helpful for anyone. Set realistic goals for yourself, like meeting one new person or engaging in a conversation with a specific speaker. Preparing some questions to ask or topics to discuss can help you feel more comfortable and make it easier to start a conversation.

Remember, networking is not a competition. It's about building relationships and making connections that can benefit both parties in the long run. Setting realistic goals can help you focus on making those meaningful connections, rather than just collecting business cards.

Practicing Your Elevator Pitch

Your elevator pitch is a brief introduction of who you are, what you do and why you're at the event. Having a well-crafted elevator pitch will help you feel more confident when meeting new people. Practice your pitch beforehand and try delivering it naturally, so it doesn't sound too rehearsed.

When creating your elevator pitch, think about what sets you apart from others in your field. What unique skills or experiences do you have that make you stand out? Highlighting these qualities can help you make a memorable impression on the people you meet.

Arriving Early and Finding a Comfortable Spot

Arriving early can be a true game-changer for some of us. When you arrive, take a few minutes to scope out the venue and find a spot that feels welcoming and comfortable. Perhaps it's a cosy corner with a comfortable chair, or maybe it's a table near the refreshments. Whatever it is, find a place where you feel at ease.

Utilise Active Listening Skills

As an introverted person, active listening is likely a skill that comes naturally to you. Use your ability to listen and absorb information to your advantage by asking open-ended questions and truly engaging in the conversation, be present and ask deep follow-up questions.

Asking Open-ended Questions

Open-ended questions are those that don't have a yes or no answer, and they're ideal for networking situations. They encourage conversation and help build rapport.

Some examples include asking about an attendees' career journey or their opinion on industry trends. These questions show you're interested in what others have to say and can help create a foundation for building meaningful connections.

Finding Common Ground

Look for topics, hobbies, or experiences that you share with another attendee and use them as a starting point for conversation.

For example, if you both enjoy hiking, you could ask about their favourite hiking spot or if they have any upcoming hikes planned. Remember, it's not about trying to be someone you're not but finding those common touchpoints can help spark a connection and make the conversation flow more naturally.

Following Up After the Event

Following up via email or LinkedIn can solidify your relationship with a new contact. Make sure to reference specific conversations or topics from the event, so they remember you.

When following up, it's important to keep the conversation going. Ask them questions about their work or interests and share your own experiences. This way, you can start to build a relationship based on mutual interests and goals.

Another way to follow up is to invite them to coffee or lunch. This gives you the opportunity to have a more in-depth conversation and get to know each other better.

Nurturing Relationships Through Social Media and Email

Social media and email can be great tools to keep in touch with new connections. Share relevant articles or comment on their posts to keep the relationship active.

When using social media, it's important to be genuine and authentic. Don't just like or comment on their posts to stay on their radar. Instead, share your thoughts and experiences and engage in conversation.

 

Let’s be honest networking can be a challenging experience for introverted individuals. However, introverts posses unique strengths that can be advantageous in networking situations. By understanding your natural tendencies and preferences, preparing for events and utilising active listening skills, you can build lasting, meaningful connections that can help you succeed in your career or personal life.

Now go out there and build those connections!

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