Networking events can be scary at the best of times, and if you’re an introvert the thought of turning up at to an after-party may seem rather daunting, if not absolutely terrifying. But fear not! Here at CGD, we have devised a guide to help you plummet to networking heights with no sweat, no stress, and no terrifying you can’t sit with us moments.
Find a networking buddy
If you don’t feel comfortable entering crowded spaces on your own, it can be helpful to find a buddy to go along to networking events with. The worst part is always entering a room, and when you have a partner in crime it will feel far easier to approach people!
Get there early
Arriving when the party is in full swing is absolutely terrifying. Nobody likes walking into a room full of people, and if you’re not in the habit of doing that it may feel even more impossible. Get there early, and get chatting with the early birds!
Quality, not quantity
Remember that it’s all about the quality of interactions you have, not the quantity. It’s far better to establish meaningful connections than to acquire a long list of contacts you may never speak to again. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone and everyone, that’s absolutely fine. Focus on establishing solid relationships with the people you do speak to!
Be well prepared
Everybody panics when people ask them that all important question: “So, what do you do?”. The best way to avoid this is to prepare how you’re going to present yourself, what information you want to get across, and how.
A successful networking event doesn’t have to be an event filled with people. If you feel you would fare better at a dinner party or an event with only a handful of people, don’t force yourself to attend after parties and huge soirées. Go with what makes you tick.
Stay true to yourself
It may be tempting to try to come across as a people’s person, but if you really are the quiet and thoughtful kind, it’s always best to stay true to yourself. That’s what makes you special, and if you try to be something else, people can usually tell.