Professional development

Student Corner

Networking From an Introvert’s Perspective

By Amrit Shanmuga Sundara Raja on July 1, 2024

Share this article:

Two business people shaking hands in front of other people, as the one on the right passes her business card over to the person on the left.

Imagine this – you enter a cozy pub in downtown Toronto for a networking event, hoping to meet new people, but there is something that scares you- the need to speak. Ugh! It drains your energy, right? You snuggle in a corner, sipping a mocktail and watch the gathering like a hawk, wondering how you will mingle in this crowd. But all’s not lost! You are mindful of your energy and are ready to go out there and start networking because all you need is that one leap of faith, and there you are, meeting new people. 

This was how I felt when I attended my first in-person networking event in Toronto. I get this. As an introvert, a lot of thoughts may be roaming in your mind when you attend a networking event, from wondering what the crowd will be like to even doubting your capacity to make new connections. 

As an introvert, I get that you don’t want to have a conversation, but there’s a hidden superpower. You are more mindful of your words and how much you speak. You want to say more by saying less. In a public relations profession, you have to be a great speaker, especially in events like this. There is usually a constant struggle to make the best use of the opportunity within a limited period, and if you are attending a PR networking event, here are some tips that can come in handy:

Make an effective introduction: From having eye contact to giving a firm handshake to even stating your name, the first impression matters a lot. Listen to the other person’s name, and make sure you use it occasionally in a conversation. This will come in handy to show that you are interested in talking to them. Stating the name occasionally will come in handy in preventing you from forgetting the name, especially when you are nervous. 

Have a goal

Your goal must be specific and quantifiable. It could be making ten new connections or seeking at least three internship opportunities. Either way, make sure you have a clear plan in mind about what you want to achieve from an event. Don’t attend it just for the sake of meeting new people. Well, everybody wants to meet new people, but what do they want to achieve from that? That’s when you get an edge. 

Smile

This is quite underrated and will take you places because you will showcase yourself as someone approachable for a conversation. Make it subtle, and it will show that you have a cheerful personality. The more cheerful you seem, the more people will be interested in talking to you. 

Follow up

Connecting on LinkedIn is the new getting a business card. Many don’t, but here’s where you can stand out. Connect with the people you meet at the event on LinkedIn and reach out to them. Remind them about meeting you at the event. Did you have a great conversation with them? Did you make sure your goal is in sync with the conversation? They will recall and will remember you if something pops up. 

Listen well

Many fail to do so. Give a subtle nod at regular intervals to show that you are listening. Try repeating any point or summarising the key points. People appreciate being heard and are more likely to remember you positively.

Seek a coffee chat opportunity

Networking events usually have a more limited time frame, and you cannot have a long conversation with one person. So, if you feel that you want to catch up with someone, ask for a coffee chat. It is more of a one-on-one conversation you have with someone. It could be in person or online. When you feel you are connected well with someone who can be of great help, seek a coffee chat opportunity. 

Remember, your thoughtful approach and mindful conversations are your greatest assets. Take that first step with confidence—your thoughtful and genuine approach is exactly what the networking world needs. Embrace your introverted superpowers and start building meaningful professional relationships today!

You may also enjoy...

Read more great articles like this, or return to the main articles page…

All Articles

The Princess and her Privacy: A HOT Communication Crisis Continued…

By Kaleigh Duff on April 8, 2024

In my most recent article, I wrote about King Charles and the Royal family and how Royal protocol impacts the release of information about their personal lives. As I explained…

The Princess and her Privacy: A HOT Communication Crisis Continued… - Read Post
A still from a video of Princess Catherine sitting on a bench.

Designing Success: A Graphic Designer’s Perspective on the Timeline of Website Design for PR Professionals

By Emily Jenkins on January 29, 2024

The importance of a compelling online presence in PR cannot be overstated. A well-crafted website serves as the digital face of a brand, influencing how the public perceives it. As…

Designing Success: A Graphic Designer’s Perspective on the Timeline of Website Design for PR Professionals - Read Post
A flat lay of various phones, tablets and computers showing a new website design.

Navigating the Professional Playground: Three Tips for Developing your Confidence as a New Grad in the Workplace

By Kaleigh Duff on February 19, 2024

Joining the workforce was one of the most intimidating experiences of my life. While positive feelings like excitement and anticipation accompanied the intimidation, I can most definitely say that I…

Navigating the Professional Playground: Three Tips for Developing your Confidence as a New Grad in the Workplace - Read Post
A young woman smiles as she shakes hands with another person in an office.