The people who know me know that I am not an introvert. I really don’t have problems speaking and connecting with new people. I actually really enjoy it. I do realize that not everyone is built the same way. As I work with different entrepreneurs I am often asked how they can grow their network and improve their communication skills. Many are very shy and introverted and really have fear of public communication. There are a lot of things I suggest to help them along their journey. Here are some of the tips and tricks I suggest. Especially for introverted entrepreneurs that have a fear of public speaking and connecting with new people.
The only thing we have to fear is fear of public speaking… Oh, and spiders, and heights, and death, and the dark, and enclosed spaces, and flying, and being alone, and… you know, just the normal stuff. – Unknown
As an introverted entrepreneur, building communication skills can be challenging, but it is essential for founders as it helps in building relationships and networking, promoting products or services and raising capital. Here are some tips on how to build your communication skills as an introvert entrepreneur:
- Prepare yourself: Before any meeting or networking event, take the time to prepare yourself. This can include researching the people you will be meeting, practicing what you want to say, and setting intentions for the conversation. Be authentic, ask great questions and make the conversations about the other people.
- Practice active listening: As an introvert, you may be more comfortable listening than speaking. Use this to your advantage by practicing active listening when interacting with others. This will not only improve your communication skills but also make the other person feel heard and valued.
- Find your comfort zone: If you’re not comfortable with public speaking, look for other ways to communicate. For example, if you’re not comfortable giving presentations, try writing articles or blog posts instead. That being said, still push yourself into uncomfortable situations…it’s the only way to grow.
- Leverage technology: Use technology to your advantage by communicating through email, text, or video conferencing. This will allow you to communicate effectively without having to be in the same room as the other person. This is not a substitute for face-to-face communication but still has value.
- Take small steps: Building communication skills can be intimidating. Take small steps and gradually increase your comfort level. Start by attending small networking events and gradually work your way up to larger gatherings. Set small goals to talk to 2 strangers as a starting point and build from there. Follow-up with your new contacts with a personalized message afterwords. Remember, building relationships is not about quantity but more about authenticity of the relationship.
- Practice self-care: Introverts often need more alone time to recharge than extroverts. Make sure to take the time to rest and recharge after social interactions.
- Seek mentorship or coaching: Find a mentor or coach who can help you develop your communication skills. They can provide feedback and guidance to help you improve.
- Join a group or club: Joining a group or club that aligns with your interests can be a great way to build your communication skills in a comfortable environment. Be sure to participate and ask questions…especially in front of larger groups.
Remember that it’s important to embrace your introverted nature and not to try to be someone you’re not. With time and practice, you can build your communication skills and become an effective entrepreneur. Make yourself uncomfortable, breath and take small steps to grow your skills as a communicator.
#communication #networking #fearofpublicspeaking #entrepreneurship