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For The Socially Awkward: The Introvert’s Guide To Networking
By Chloe Pek, 08 Sep 2016
If you’re an introvert and have often found yourself stranded and afraid in a networking occasion, you’re not the only one. Networking can be nerve-wracking, especially in specialized events where your sole purpose of being there is to meet and socialize with new people. What are you supposed to say to a stranger anyway?
As awkward as it is, the importance of networking —especially for freelancers and startups— is not to be dismissed. Not only does it expand your business network, it increases your visibility, which in turn generates career opportunities. So how do you navigate through introducing yourself to potential contacts? Read on for some tips from Vulcan Post.
Be a little more than punctual.
To avoid a crowd, arrive slightly earlier than the official time. This way, you can take your time to adjust to the occasion, and you won’t be swamped by a sea of strangers wanting to talk to you.
Prepare your script.
Networking usually follows a standard conversation, so you will find yourself answering the same questions a lot. To avoid being caught unaware and working up a bad answer, predict the questions that people are likely to ask and word out your answers before the event!
Ask the questions.
Tried and test way to avoid talking too much? Take control of the conversation! As contradictory as it sounds, when you ask the questions, the responsibility of the conversation falls on your networking partner instead. Remember to listen attentively though, and interject with relevant anecdotes once in a while.
For more networking tips, check out the complete guide at Vulcan Post.
[via Vulcan Post, Image via Shutterstock]
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