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Discussion on: The Introvert's Guide to Tech Conferences

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Peter Kim Frank

This is great advice, thanks for sharing.

I had a few insights about networking that really helped me. I'll add them here, if that's okay...

1) Other people want to talk to you. Everyone is there to chat and meet new folks. Approaching someone to talk isn't an imposition, you're doing the other person a favor by initiating conversation. This was the major insight that made me more calm/confident at these sorts of events.

2) It's totally fine to say "I'm going to make the rounds" if conversation has stalled and you want to keep moving. Again, everyone understands the context of the event, and that you're trying to meet multiple people. You're doing them a favor by respecting their time, as well.

3) People love talking about themselves. A sure-fire way to keep the conversation moving is by asking engaging questions. That can help build some momentum if you're not naturally comfortable chatting up a conversation from scratch.

4) Use inviting body language. If you're not feeling confident about walking up to a group, or initiating a new conversation, a simple smile is an invitation for someone to start chatting with you. Maintain a friendly expression and make eye contact as people mill about, and in no time someone will likely feel comfortable walking up to you to start talking.