Extroverts thrive on the energy they gain from interacting with other people. With their ease in approaching new contacts and their outgoing ways, extroverts may seem like the ultimate networkers. While they do enjoy some distinct advantages in making connections, their gregarious nature can also work against them. An extrovert can either come across as interested, charming, and charismatic or can seem overbearing if they're not mindful of their energy.
Here are 8 Networking Tips for Extroverts:
- Follow the 60/40 rule. Listen 60 percent of the time, speak and ask questions 40 percent of the time. Open-ended questions encourage others to engage in the conversation. Show a genuine interest in their responses.
- Stay focused on the person you are speaking with. If you are half-listening while you look around the room for the next person you want to meet, you are blowing this interaction. Be present by providing your full attention.
- Get comfortable with a pause. Extroverts will say just about anything to fill the void. Learning to accept brief moments of quiet allows other people a chance to jump in.
- Share the spotlight. Avoid dominating the conversation or constantly steering the topic back to yourself. You may be bursting at the seams with thoughts and ideas, but avoid interrupting when you don't have the floor. It's not uncommon for extroverts to feel compelled to take charge of a conversation, rather than stepping back and allowing others to participate.
- Speak thoughtfully. Extroverts often have great communication skills and feel confident when making conversation. Extreme ease can also lead to spewing information like a fire hose.
- Be aware of your body language and tone of voice. From maintaining eye contact to positioning yourself to face them, your body language exhibits that you are interested and tuned in. A loud, boisterous laugh can come across as overly friendly and appear inauthentic.
- Pass out business cards with discretion. Offer a business card when you feel it's an appropriate opportunity. Randomly passing out business cards to everyone and anyone looks as if you are giving away free sub sandwiches (however, when you are in a group, don't just hand your card to one person, give one to everyone in the circle of conversation).
- Recognize the value in other personality styles. Use your big personality to approach those who might otherwise be overlooked. Spending the extra effort to get to know people with quieter personalities can be a networking gold mine as introverts are sharp, bright, thoughtful, organized and fully equipped to take you on.