One-third to half of all people are introverts, says this article by World Trademark Review. When you’re an introvert, it may be difficult for you to strike up conversations with strangers. But making conversations is quite important if you have to network with people because that will increase your chances of being noticed and bagging your favorite job. Being an introvert obviously isn’t a bad thing, and we will give you 10 easy-peasy tips on how to network if you’re an introvert.
1. Prepare Yourself
Before heading out to any public event, prepare yourself mentally. Don’t take stress, and wonder how you’re going to cope with so many people around you. You only have to make conversation with the people you’re comfortable with. Make it a point to keep notes about your leading questions, and be prepared with some answers as well. This way you face any anxiety and will be able to tackle everyone easily.
2. Stay Positive
It’s all in the mind. You have to keep positively reinforcing yourself about meeting new people and mingling with them. Positive thinking and attitude about yourself can help you perform better under stress, says this research by the British Psychological Society. You’ll find yourself being excited to do some networking!
3. Keep Smiling
Yes, this is a very simple tactic to adopt and maintain, don’t you think? Sometimes, one tends to get so nervous that they start to sweat and forget to put on pleasant expressions. Keeping a smile always will ensure you’re coming across as approachable and cordial. The best part being, someone will walk up to you for striking a conversation without you having to do anything extra.
4. Don’t Pretend
It’s very easy to put on a show of behavior which is not really you, to conceal your true nature. Don’t ever try to do that. Being an introvert is okay, and you need to pretend not to be one. It will hamper your true sense of being and you won’t be at your best.
5. Keep an Open Eye
Look for opportunities to strike up conversations. It doesn’t have to be intelligent topics all the time. It could be something about the ambiance or even the food. Take it lightly and step by step. You can also join in a group conversation if they’re discussing something generic.
6. Focus on Asking
This tactic will help you soothe your nerves if you’re feeling too shy or nervous to talk about yourself with anyone. Focus your attention on that person and manoeuvre the conversation on them, ask questions and demonstrate how good a listener you are. This way, you can take time to calm yourself before they ask about you.
7. Choose the Right Events
Only choose events that make you comfortable. If you don’t like very big crowds, opt for smaller events to attend and network. But, make it a point to keep attending small meetups at least.
8. Keep Goals
In order to keep yourself motivated, try keeping goals that you may want to achieve with respect to making new contacts. Try making at least 4 new contacts every month. Challenge yourself from time to time so that you don’t fall into a lull.
9. Use Online Mediums
This is your saving grace. When you absolutely don’t feel like going out there, use your online professional social networks to make new connections and talk to them. It’s a great way to know about them without having to call or meet them.
10. Maintain your Existing Connections
Don’t underestimate the old contacts you’ve made over a period of time. Sometimes, the best advice/referrals/leads come from the only. Take efforts to meet them one-to-one or at group events and maintain touch with them.