Small talk, quick conversation, and interacting with a room full of people that can drain your energy.
However, there are circumstances when you cannot make a beeline to the nearest corner. So, here are five tactics that will help introverts ace your next networking event.
Plan Everything Ahead of Time
Though it sounds a bit funny, you can reduce your anxiety if you remove the initial uncertainty of knowing how you will get to an event. Figure out a route that you can go with, and you have one less thing to worry about. Additionally, it will also give you a sense of time – at what time should you start from your place to arrive without feeling rushed.
Take a Peek at the Attendee List
A majority of the online event sites like Eventbrite list the attendees' list on their website. Take a look at this list, and it will help you find out the benefits of attending that particular event. Additionally, it will also give you enough time to prepare yourself to meet a specific person. Knowing who might be attending the event in advance goes a long way toward helping with the jitters.
Set Some (or at least one) Goal for the event
Among the most frustrating things about a networking event is how random and successful it proves to be when not done right. Obviously, as an introvert, you might end up speaking with people who add no real value to your professional circle. Before heading to attend a networking event, ask yourself – 'What one thing should I achieve through this event?'
Your answer might be as simple as getting an introduction from a particular professional or something bigger, like landing an interview. Regardless of the goal, it helps the event go much smoother.
Grab a Nametag, if They’re Offered
Though this tactic sounds a bit awkward, nametags help with one of the biggest networking struggles – the noise. Networking events tend to be noisy. It's hard to hear people, and hence it's easy to miss names.
Also, nametags save you from introducing yourself every time. Successful networking doesn’t always require an introduction; it can go smoothly with a nametag too.
Give Yourself a Break
You can be on for an entire event, especially when you are an introvert. It is uncomfortable. So, try giving yourself a break every now and then. Find a deserted corned or someone you are familiar with, and enjoy the silence for a few minutes. Knowing that you have the freedom to break away when you get exhausted gives you the courage to keep going at an event for at least a couple of hours.
Being an introvert doesn't mean that you cannot network. Instead, it means that you'll have to work a bit harder than others to get the results you want. So, use these tactics or come up with some of your own and make those networking event doable.