Where my extroverts at!!??
Extroverts, this is coming from one of your own so focus up!
Many people (wrongly) think that extroverts don’t need networking advice. They think we could hold a conversation with a park bench. And though they may be right, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities to develop our social skills.
Here are a few things we know about extroverts:
- Extroverts draw their energy from being in larger groups of people. They feed off of others’ spirit.
- Sometimes, when extroverts are left alone for too long, they can get crazy uncomfortable.
- Extroverts have a lot of “friends” and not as many friends.
- One misconception is that all extroverts are confident. Extroversion and confidence are not synonymous.
My wife likes to make fun of me because I make “friends” wherever I go. I’ll come home after being out and tell her about my boy, Mike. She asks how long have I known Mike? I respond, “Oh, I just met him.”
You see, extroverts are great friendship starters. We get people on “team us” pretty quickly but there is a flip side to this. Extroverts often long for deeper relationships…but we get caught up making a bunch of new ones.
So how can extroverts flip the script and connect deeper? Here are three networking tips for extroverts.
1. Focus. Focus. And, Focus.
Extroverts, you know how when you’re talking to someone and then you see someone else walk in and you start thinking about how you want to talk to that new person? Yeah. Don’t do that. Instead, lock it up and focus on whomever you’re speaking to!
Do yourself a favor (this is a pro move): Turn your back away from everything else going on when you’re having a conversation. Focus on asking great follow-up questions and share about yourself at appropriate moments.
2. Be a Connector
One thing extroverts are usually great at is connecting people. Our conversations sometimes sound like, “Wait, so you like (insert indie band that only 4 people know about)? My friend loves them! Hey, Nicole come over here! This girl loves that band that you always talk about that none of us have heard of.”
The extrovert then introduces the two parties and slips out of the conversation to speak to someone new. Being able to connect people increases your social clout and makes you feel more valuable to stay in touch with.
3. Slow… Down…
Social and networking events are not races to see who can pass out the most business cards. Make a plan for what type of people you want to meet beforehand so when you get there you know who to spend your time getting to know.
Why? Because you can, and normally would, talk to anyone but you have a goal in mind this evening and that goal is not: “most amount of handshakes executed ever at an alumni event.” The goal is to create meaningful memorable relationships with individuals doing what you want to do in your life.
My fellow extroverts, I hope these tips makes your networking more fruitful. Let your charisma flow and continue to be warm and charming.
James Robilotta is a professional speaker, improv performer, author and entrepreneur. James is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington and earned a master’s degree from Clemson University.