How to Get the Most out of Networking Events When You’re Socially Awkward

By Ehtan S. Auston - Last Updated July 7, 2020

This is how I roll at networking events!

I have a love/hate relationship with networking events.  While I absolutely love meeting new interesting people, I absolutely hate starting the conversations.  I’m kind of a shy person and  I’ve just never been very comfortable going up to strangers.  So if you’re reading this and you’re a socially awkward weirdo like me, here’s a good trick I’ve learned over the years on how to get the most out of networking events.

Flip the situation on it’s head:  instead of forcing yourself to awkwardly go up to strangers and start conversations, give strangers a reason to start a conversation with you.

The best way to do this is to go to networking events where there is a live speaker or a panel discussion, and then ask a well-thought-out question during the Q and A.

There are 2 main benefits to doing this: (1) other attendees will seek you out and want to speak with you because they were impressed with your insanely intelligent question and marvelously keen life observations; and (2) you’ll have a good excuse to go up to the speaker afterward and introduce yourself, which will obviously lead to a long-term business relationship and mountains of gold.*

*Okay, maybe not mountains of gold, but if you follow up with this person via email or a written thank you note, at the minimum you will be on their radar and have an entry point for keeping the conversation going.

Ethan is business graduate, who talks about gadgets, technology and startups. He's an exception track record in content creation and readers engagement and have been previously contributing to HBR, INC, Entrepreneur, and alike.
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