Post # 1
I’m a naturally shy, awkward person. I’ve spent years trying to overcome my shyness. There was a time when just talking to someone I didn’t know made me shake and want to hurl. I forced myself to do it, though, and it paid off. I’m generally pretty good one on one or in very small groups. I do well in interviews, and I can be charming. I am, however, TERRIBLE at networking events.
I’ve always been bad at them. Large groups terrify me. It doesn’t matter if its a networking event or a party where I don’t know anyone. I don’t know how to introduce myself or gracefully join a group of people already talking. Last night I went to a lecture for people in my profession, and I didn’t know anyone there. Unfortunately, everyone seemed to be older than me by 20 years which I found more terrifying. I arrived early to get a chance to introduce myself to new people, and ended up standing in a corner being lame. When I did talk to people i stuttered and acted like an idiot. I felt like such a massive looser. Le Sigh.
This is, unfortunately, something I have to master. I’m unemployed right now, and its a good opportunity to meet new people in my industry. Even more importantly, this is a skill I’m going to have to master if I want to be sucessful long term. I have three events scheduled for the next week and a half which I’m already dreading going to. Half of life is just showing up right? And practice makes perfect?
So any tips or networking advice for a ridiculously shy person?
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2013 - B&B
@lawyerchick13: is this a networking event where everyone is new, or is it one where some people are regular attendees, like a chamber of commerce after business hours event?
If it’s the latter, they might have a program set up of some kind where they have ambassadors for the very purpose of helping new people get introduced! You can try calling ahead and asking if its that type of event?
Post # 4
Look out for the other shy people who are also standing on the outskirts of the group — there always seem to be a few. Take a deep breath and walk up to one of them and say hello. I know it can be hard, but you can do it! Once you do it once, you’ll see it’s not quite as bad as you’re probably imagining it to be.
Post # 5
- Wedding: April 2013 - ceremony at a gazebo outside, reception at neighboring restaurant on a lake
Research online for good ways to introduce yourself. Memorize your one sentence introduction. Memorize 3 questions for the people you are meeting. Memorize your departure sentence. Remember that most people LOVE talking about themselves. If you memorize questions to ask people then you can keep them talking. See below for some examples.
Generic example I made up: Hi, my name is _____. I have a background/degree in ______ and am trying to gain experience in _____.
Example I found online: Hi, I’m Samantha Peters, a current sophomore at Cornell University. I am interested in health and would like to learn more about careers in public health. I would love to talk with you about your career path. Is there a time in the next few weeks when you would available to talk on the phone.”
Questions for you to ask:
What do you do?
How did you first get interested in your field?
What would be your main career tip for someone new in the field?
Closing: It was great to meet you. Do you have a business card? Have a good night.
Hope this helps. =)