In order to be successful, you must know what you are good at and bring that out in your interactions with others. Simply because you are introverted does not mean you cannot run a successful business. You can accomplish your dreams if you are committed to reaching your goals.
Networking events are difficult. They seem to cater to the extroverts, those individuals that have no problem striking up conversations with people they have never met. However, for introverts, these events can be anxiety inducing. You have to talk, and you need to come across as the type of person that others would want to get to know better.
Networking does involve making sure that others know you are present and available. However, that does not mean that all eyes have to be on you. Instead of trying to get attention, simply relax and be yourself. The following tips will help.
Think about the upcoming event and have a few icebreakers in mind. For example, think about what type of questions you can ask to get the conversation going. Consider inquiring about another person’s line of work or what they like to do. Delve a little deeper; instead of asking “What do you do for a living?,” inquire “What do you like best about your job?”
Know Your Limits
You do not have to do it all in one day. Networking is difficult. Do not stress yourself out by trying to get an extremely high number of contacts. Simply put your best foot forward and attempt to engage in good, solid conversations.
Figure out in advance how long you want to be at an event. It lets you see the end in sight, and it makes the event much more manageable. Try to stay for at least half an hour. This should allow you to have meaningful contact with at least one person. It will also give you time to get used to the setting. Once you have been there for your allotted time, you may find that you feel okay about staying even longer.
Get Yourself Introduced
If you identify a contact that you would really like to know better, see if you can get yourself introduced. You may know someone that knows that person, for example. LinkedIn can help you see common connections. If you cannot figure anything out by using that route, speak to the host of the event. The contact will be much more likely to speak to you if you are introduced to them rather than if you go up to them on your own.
Talk (A Little) About Yourself
It is not easy to share anecdotes relating to your life and business. However, if you simply question someone over and over, they may begin to feel a bit uncomfortable. You must share part of yourself in the conversation as well.
Showcase Your Listening Skills
Introverts have one big advantage over extroverts; they tend to be much better listeners. You can show others that you care about what they have to say by listening to them attentively.
Give Yourself Additional Opportunities
If it is particularly hard for you to network, seek out other opportunities that do not make you as nervous. For example, head to an event where you do not have any existing contacts. If you do something silly, or do not present your best self, it will not matter as much.
You do not need to rush things. Take it day by day and event by event. As time goes on, you will notice that you feel a little better about networking. It will be easier for you to showcase your unique talents. Practice speaking and engaging others at every available opportunity, even if it is just at the local coffee shop or while you are picking up lunch.