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How to network even when you’re shy

How to network even when you’re shy

We all can agree that networking is one of the keys in business success. Great networking skills can really help you in getting your dream job or finding investors for your business. However, sometimes it could be a nerve-wracking experience, and parties full of strangers can be intimidating specially if you are shy and don’t feel comfortable speaking to strangers. However, networking doesn’t have to be difficult, below you can find some tricks to help you to gain new friends more easily:

Attend different events 

Attending events that relate to your interests, passion or even work is a great start. There is multiple events organized weekly (maybe not at the moment, however there is still a lot of online events) that are free to join. The advantage of joining the events or activities that you enjoy will make it easier for you to feel more relaxed and confident and put your best foot forward. It will also make starting the conversation more approachable, since most of the people there would more likely have similar interests to yours and when you talk about things you are passionate about, you will also appear more engaging. For example, when you are attending an event, where the speaker is one of your favourite designers, you can always start the conversation with someone asking about the new collection or their favourite pieces, since if they are there, they also need to be interested in the designer’s work.

Make the most of the “introvert hour”

If you are planning to go for an event or a party where you would like to network, usually, the opening hour of the event is the perfect time to show up if you are an introvert. As you can imagine, there won’t be as many people at the venue yet, therefore it will be much easier to approach and introduce yourself to someone without being interrupted. Meeting one great person at the beginning of the night, could set you up for the rest of the event.

Stay close to the bar 

This advice may sound a bit weird at first, but the bar corner is probably the best places to meet people, especially when you are shy. If you think about it, when you arrive somewhere, the first place you are going to is the bar. That’s why, you should use this opportunity and start the conversation with the most simple question about the drink they are having, the food corner though could not be the best option, since people are eating, it will make it more difficult to reply to your questions.

Be a good listener 

Ironically, to gain great networking skills you DO NOT have to talk a lot. The truth is that people love to talk about themselves, so in fact, many of us don’t actually actively listen when others talk and most of the time we are trying to relate everything we hear with our own lives.  However, if you are shy, listening is much easier than talking, so the first advice for you is to ACTIVELY LISTEN. Learn how to become a great listener and listen with sincere interest. People will remember that they had an amazing chat with you and you didn’t have to lead the conversation all the time. So next time start the conversation with some engaging question and let the conversation flow.

Always use people’s names

Dale Carnegie in his book “How to win Friends and Influence People” points out that people love to hear their own names and even psychology shows that our own names are a pleasant sound to us. Therefore, while meeting new people it’s extremely important to use their name immediately in the conversation. It will not only show that you are paying attention, but it will also make your new friend more comfortable and relaxed.

Set a goal to meet 3-5 people 

Most of the industry events are organized with the thought of networking. Hence, if you are there and you’re feeling uncomfortable about meeting new people, remind yourself that almost everyone around you is there for exactly same reason. If you are really shy, set yourself a goal of meeting at least three new people. Every time you leave your comfort zone to step toward a new person, you are coming closer to reaching your goal. It may seem to be scary at first, but trust me, prepare yourself for lots of fun!

Keep in contact 

If you’ve really enjoyed talking to someone, make sure to ask to stay in touch. It could be asking for a business card or connecting on LinkedIn – every way is good, as long as you communicate afterwards. Most people would definitely have business cards with them, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for one.













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