Networking tips for fellow Introverts
Have you ever walked into a room where you didn’t know a single soul?
Nevertheless, you were expected to perform and take action–network, pitch or sell, maybe even locate and impress a specific person. Even for extroverts, these situations are a serious challenge. For introverts, an unfamiliar space with unknown people can feel like a death sentence.
However, plenty of introverts do work through obstacles like this. Here are my top tips.
1- Find the loneliest person in the room
There’s a massive chance you aren’t the most introverted one there. Look for someone who is standing alone and shake hands with them, introduce yourself, and start a conversation with a personal question like “Where is home for you?” Invite other people into the conversation.
2- If you are an introvert, bond with other introverts
Capitalise on your shared introversion with others and develop confidence and rapport through this. A group of introverts is a group nonetheless, and more people attract more people!
- 3- Start a conversation at the food table
Go to the food table so you can have something to do while you talk. It’s like a hook, something to do with your hands and mouth instead of waiting for a conversation to fill all the void. You can even make a comment about something on the table and see if it ends up opening a conversation.
4- Do your homework
Do your research before showing up and know your audience. Make sure you’re equipped with relevant topics and nuggets to share. Make it a habit to open conversations with these, and eventually doing so will be second nature.
5- Be curious
Set your mindset in such a way that you want to know more about the person in front of you. This creates a more genuine conversation. Make it a goal to connect with people and impact them. Stay calm and you will find yourself in a good conversation!
6- Set goals
Whether it’s meeting someone new or finding new clients, have a goal in mind. That will make conversations come easier as you’ll have a purpose to fall back on, instead of repeatedly searching for your next words or topic.
7- Make deeper conversations
When you find yourself in a setting where you seem different than other people, make it a point to turn your differences into something to drive the conversation deeper. Seek to learn from others and to share experiences they could learn from. Speak, listen, engage, and connect.
8- Help and seek to be helped
A great conversation opener is asking for or offering help. Big or small–as long as you’re willing to commit!
9- Begin from common ground
Try to start from a place where you can bond with the other person. Be aware of what topics can make others comfortable. Give space for others to speak and listen to them with intent.
Just a smile can be an invitation for a nice chat. People are more comfortable talking to someone who’s smiling!
Author: Kenneth Coetzer, Digital Accounting Ignitor
When asked what was Kenneth’s favourite TV show when growing up his response was; “No competition, Magnum P.I. The biggest regret is that I don’t have the genes to grow that epic moustache. Oh and I am not allowed to wear shirts with flowers on anymore. Best show ever.”