This month, we focused on and talked about leveraging and expanding networks on social media and in our Member Exclusive newsletter. But, building the foundation of your network is no easy task, let alone leveraging and expanding it!
And, if you are introverted or shy, it can be incredibly intimidating to attend conferences, approach experts and other nonprofits, conduct government relations (the list goes on!), as part of your overall organizational network strategy.
Nonprofit AF’s blog post for introverts
So to help our introverted and shy nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and leaders, we thought we would share this blog from Nonprofit AF’s Vu Le: Tips from introverts for introverts on how to survive a conference!
“If you are an introvert, attending a conference can be an overwhelming experience. The 12-hours of networking. The constant discomfort of trying to figure out where to sit. The intrusive icebreakers that involve disclosing to strangers things that even your own family members don’t know about you! (“Dad…there’s something I should tell you. My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate fudge brownie.”)
If the thought of spending time with hundreds of other people at a conference for several days makes you want to run home and re-binge-watch all four seasons of “Battlestar Galactica,” you are not alone. (But you probably wish to be! #introvertjokes!) People think I’m an extrovert because I do so much public speaking, but the reality is that as a nonprofit leader I have learned to use extroversion skills for my job, but that I need a lot of alone time to reflect and recharge. This is why I like, and need, to write all the time…and why I’m fully caught up on most popular TV shows.
So I asked the NAF Facebook community for tips on attending conferences as an introvert, and within hours received over 220 comments from fellow introverts. Apparently this is a huge topic, and there are many great resources on it, including:
– This post by Kishshana Palmer called “Getting the Most Out of Your Next Conference”
– This post by Trina Isakson called “The Introvert’s Guide to Network Building”
– This post by Robbie Samuels called “’Can I go home now?’ Networking Tips for Introverts.””
There are a lot of great tips from his community in his post, but there were too many for us to copy onto our blog!
A special thanks to Vu Le for allowing us to share his blog content with our audiences!