06 Dec Networking like a Ninja when you’re an introvert
BY HELENE TAYLOR
The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.
People usually laugh when I tell them I am an introvert and don’t like being in social situations. Seems strange right especially when I have built my entire business on Networking and I am one the best Networkers that I know.
Yes, that’s right you will find me socially awkward in a party unless I see it as a Networking opportunity. I avoid big parties most of the time.
But truth is, I get my energy being alone while extraverts get their energy being around others, so let me share my secrets of becoming a Networking Ninja when you are naturally an introvert.
Goal set a goal of what you want to achieve and conducting research is key, who will be there and who will I want to meet. Once you have a target in your head you become less nervous.
Questions are key to connecting. Know the questions you want to ask in advance to get a conversation going with a stranger.
I don’t walk up to a stranger and ask…. what do you do or ask who do you work for!
Instead, I start with some of these questions…..
- How did you get started in your career
- What are you passionate about
- What brought you here tonight
- Is this your first time to this event
- I have heard some amazing things about you so I wanted to come introduce myself.
Think about what you want to share about yourself as you can’t rely on the other person to carry the conversation.
By being prepared with a toolkit of questions you will feel more confident. Rehearse them even before you go to the event.
Avoid getting lost in chatting to people you know for too long. If you want to grow your network you need to engage with strangers.
4. Be That Person
Remember that most people in the room at any given networking event feel the same way you do: scared to death. So, instead of dwelling on how scary it is to start a conversation, think about how by doing so you’ll be helping other people feel more comfortable. Maybe that girl alone at the table doesn’t know anyone either and is just hoping that someone will come talk to her. Be that person! (“Have you been to this before?” is always a great opening line.)
You don’t always have to initiate – but if you’re hiding against the wall with your arms crossed over your chest, you’re not giving off a very approachable vibe, either. So try to relax, smile, and look as warm and casual as you can—it’ll open the door for someone to walk up to you and start the conversation.
6. Be generous
You need to be reciprocal with your time. If you’re going around asking for mentoring advice from professionals that are higher up the food chain than you are, you need to make sure that you’re passing that forward to other professionals who might need your help. Don’t let the chain of help stop with you.
7. Pay attention and pre-plan
You need to be pretty switched on in the professional world or you’ll get left behind. You know that scene in the Devil Wears Prada when Andi has to learn and remember all the names for Miranda at the party? Yep. Do that. It seems extreme but if you remember someone’s name, they will remember yours forever.
Our next networking party in March gives you a unique opportunity to rub shoulders with like-minded people, role models, and game changes and this is your chance to network with the amazing IWD speakers.
If the thought of networking makes you break into a cold sweat, you’re not alone. But don’t worry: our famous networking nights are awkward-free and full of wine! Who knows who you could meet? The perfect mix of casual and facilitated networking, our host will share our top networking tips and you’ll walk away with a bunch of authentic connections, not just a handful of business cards.
Check out the Event Here bundle the International Woman’s Day Event with the Networking Party to receive an additional discount.