As an introvert, it is a scary thought to attend any type of event - whether it’s a networking event, a conference or a local business meeting. The idea of going out and telling people what you do might make you break out in a cold sweat. No matter how scary the thought is, it is something that you need to do. When you are trying to build your brand and your business, it is an essential strategy for your business plan so this is something that you need to learn how to overcome.
I know how hard it is because I am an introvert too! I remember the first time I attended a networking event and the fear that I felt, I struggled to get out of the car and walk in the door. I worked out what I wanted to say and I even practiced my ‘elevator pitch’ beforehand but when it was my turn to tell everyone who I am and what I do, I felt sick and thought I was going to pass out. I didn’t say everything I wanted to but I got through it and realised that pushing through the fear was worth it.
So how do you overcome this fear?
There are a few tips I can give you to help you overcome this fear and start to have the confidence in yourself to be able to attend any event.
Be prepared - know what you want to say and make sure that you include who your customers are, what you can offer and what your point of difference is.
Arrive early - if you arrive early you will get the opportunity to speak to people as they arrive. As there are less people around it won’t feel as intimidating. People gravitate to the people that are already there so people will come up to you, taking some of the pressure off you.
Smile - it’s infectious and it will help you be yourself. When you relax you can be your genuine self and this will come across to others.
Do your homework - find out who is attending and think about who you want to connect with and why. You can always introduce yourself by email prior to the event mentioning why you would like to connect and suggesting a catch up in one of the breaks. This gives you a perfect opening to talk to them.
Have a goal - decide how many people you would like to connect with and then give yourself permission to leave once you have achieved that goal. If you don't feel like you have to stay it will make it easier to think about the next event.
Take a support person - if you are absolutely terrified, take a support person with you. They can help you get in the door and may be able to help you with a couple of introductions but don’t cling to them. Make sure you take a breath and do some of your own introductions.
Attend regular events - I know it’s scary but the one thing I can promise you is that it gets easier every time you attend. You start to build relationships and can relax a little more as you develop those relationships.
I understand how hard that first step is but I hope that these tips will help you take that step towards attending some events, talking to people, building relationships and gaining some confidence. As an introvert it is hard to do but the more you put yourself out there the easier it will become. Please share your experiences with us so that others can see that it is possible to overcome their fear.
Like or follow our social media for more tips to help you and your business.