The holidays are here, which means only 1 thing: holiday parties. I love holiday parties. They’re a great time to reconnect with clients and old friends, and sometimes, even prospect for new business. But I know for many people, especially for my friends who are introverts, holiday parties can be a terrifying time. So many people, so much booze, and so much high energy that these parties can make even me, a capital E extrovert, uncomfortable. Over the years, I’ve coached plenty of introverts on how to survive the holiday party, and better yet, on how to still network with a ton of people, whether you know them or not. Believe it or not, there are some great ways introverts can turn a terrifying time into an awesome time, and still not lose their introverted awesomeness.
Networking for Introverts: How to Network at the Holiday Parties
Work at the registration desk – The registration desk is the first place everyone comes to at a holiday party because they all have to get their name tags – and their drink tickets. For introverts, it’s a great way to meet people, because you can only check people in one at a time, and you get to hand them their name tag, share your name, and welcome them to the party.
Volunteer to take pictures – Whenever you’re behind the camera, you have a natural shield from people. If someone’s getting too close to you, ask them to stand back and offer to take their picture. If you have a big enough lens, you might even use that to “accidentally” conk someone on the head, all in the name of getting a better photo. And heck, everyone wants to be in holiday pictures. Bonus points if you ask for their business cards and write what they were wearing on the back so you can tag them on Facebook – and connect with them later on. Negative points if you purposely try to photograph people doing what they shouldn’t be doing, or who’ve drunk just a little more than they should have.
Hand out the prizes – Every good holiday party has prizes, and the best have a prize for everyone! If you walk around and hand something out and introduce yourself, you’ll meet many new people. Everyone loves the person who gives them something festive and free! So don’t be shy – volunteer to hand out the prizes, again presenting them one by one, and introducing yourself to each person and thanking them for being there.
Find a wingman (or wingwoman) – This is one I get asked to do all the time, and one I LOVE to help my introverted friends by doing. Buddy up with the most outgoing person at the party, and ask them to introduce you to people. They’ll feel like a hero because they’re helping you out, and you’ll meet tons of cool new people.
Networking for introverts doesn’t have to be terrifying. With a little work, introverts can be in control of their surroundings, and turn a terrible holiday party into an awesome opportunity to connect with new prospects and old friends.
What are YOUR best tips for surviving the holiday party for introverts?