Many people ask me for networking and presentation advice, and a lot of them are introverts like me. Therefore, today I’m sharing some of the secrets I’ve learned to make the most out of building professional relationships when public events tend to drain your energy.
Introverts tend to avoid the spotlight or any particularly
social events, but sometimes in business, introverts find
themselves running a meeting, delivering a presentation, or
networking with potential partners.
In these cases, introverts have to overcome their natural
tendency to withdraw in order to succeed in their business
Here are some tips for you to overcome the exhaustion or anxiety surrounding prolonged social interaction, small talk and the delivery of a presentation to a large group.
It’s important for introverts to take care of themselves before putting themselves in professional relational situations that can cause them anxiety or deplete their energy. Here are my secrets for having fun instead of being afraid when you have to socialize:
1. Take 10-15 minutes of personal time before engaging in social activity. During this time you can get centered and build confidence through exercises like deep breathing, closing your eyes and remembering a time when you felt happy and strong, visualizing the public engagement going well with a fulfilling outcome, or reading something inspirational.
Remember, fear is just excitement without your breath. Breathe and it’s better.
2. If you’re forced into conversations requiring small talk, ask questions that are more interesting to you and that will develop a deeper human connection with the people you’re meeting. Some examples are, “What’s one of your favorite experiences in nature?” “What’s your favorite vacation spot?” “Who are some of the people that have inspired you?”
3. The key to extending the fuel in your emotional tank is to have meaningful conversations. Avoid questions that will have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. You want to ask questions that begin with who, what, how and why. They are the magic words to build rapport quickly with your new acquaintances. “Why” is the best way to open a question with anyone because it’s an invitation for them to share what they care about.
By taking the time to refill your emotional tank in these ways you’ll have more to give, and will feel better giving, when you step into environments that require you to be extraverted.
4. Then when the event or meeting is over you can take care of yourself by taking a walk, spending time with a friend or loved one, or doing something that beings you joy with or without the company of others.
5. Knowing yourself and listening to what feels right inside you is what matters most and what will keep you on the path to success. It’ll also help you meet some new great friends in business. Bonus!