NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS

Introverts tend to spend a lot of time in their heads – and can get stuck there. Because they’re more sensitive to the outside world than extroverts, even the thought of socializing can be draining. Luckily, there are plenty of tricks to overcome your inner wallflower and (quietly) rock the room.

Tip 1

Be You

You’re more charismatic than you think. Use your introvert superpowers – attentiveness, calmness, random trivia – to your advantage. Leave the limelight to the extroverts in the room and be the best you.

Tip 2

Listen

It’s tempting to think that great networkers talk a lot, but the key to connecting with someone is engagement. That means listening – really listening – and asking follow-up questions. Easy, right? Do these well and the networking part will just sort of happen. Promise.

Tip 3

Prepare

Come up with a list of conversation starters and some personal soundbites to share. These can banish that nagging feeling that you have nothing to say. And don’t forget your open, positive mindset at home.

Try to show up early, when there are less people. It won’t seem as scary when the conversations aren’t in full swing yet. If you’re feeling brave, wear something that stands out. Others will gladly use it as an ice breaker, and it can spark some interesting discussions.

Tip 4

Strategize

Set an achievable goal of people to meet and aim for quality over quantity. Two great conversations are better than 25 business cards. Target groups of people with open body language to maximize your chances of success.

Not every encounter will be a winner, but that’s okay. Awkward silences and one-way conversations are part of the game. Plan for them, deal with them and move on.

Tip 5

Bring a friend

A familiar face can be a real confidence booster, especially if your +1 knows someone at the event and can introduce you. But don’t rely on them too much (remember the whole networking thing?). And yes, they can be an introvert too.