Making Connections: Networking Tips for Extroverts

At first glance, it would seem that extroverts have the advantage when it comes to networking. Their natural ability to approach new people and form connections seems tailor-made for events like conferences and job fairs. But some of the very qualities that make extroverts who they are—gregariousness, a tendency to dominate conversations—can occasionally backfire. Read on for some tips on how to succeed at networking as an extrovert.

Think before you speak

Extroverts like to chat, but that can sometimes mean they open their mouths to speak without thinking first. It might take a bit of effort, but work on training yourself to take a deep breath and count slowly to three before speaking, especially when you’re feeling excited or nervous. Doing so will help you organize your thoughts so that you can better present yourself to potential contacts.

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network event - NYC

Don’t interrupt

Along those same lines, extroverts sometimes tend to speak over others. This can be seen as pushy or even rude—not the impression you want to make at a networking event. Concentrate on being a superb listener and hearing out what the other person has to say before speaking yourself.

Ask questions

Instead of making the conversation all about you and your interests and accomplishments, make a point to ask questions. Mentally prepare a list of questions before the event so that you can have a few conversation starters at the forefront of your mind on the big day. Make sure these are general questions, not personal ones. Which leads us to…

Consider the audience

Bear in mind that anyone you connect with at a networking event might very well be an introvert who feels thoroughly befuddled by your extroverted ways. Err on the side of caution and avoid asking overly invasive or personal questions, which can make introverts uncomfortable. Be sure to leave plenty of space between you and your conversation partner as introverts tend to be overly aware of their personal space. And take advantage of your own chattiness if the conversation lags! If someone seems particularly shy or unwilling to talk to you, proffer one of your professionally printed business cards and move on.

Follow up with appointments

EI First Monday in November

Introverts and extroverts alike appreciate those who respect their schedules, but introverts in particular tend to feel strongly about punctuality. Make follow-up appointments with anyone you connect with at your conference and make sure you stick to them. Arrive on time—or even early—to impress even the pickiest time stickler.

As an extrovert, your primary goal for a networking event should be to make the most of your naturally social nature while also reining it in a bit so as not to overwhelm others. Try to go slowly and not let your nerves get the best of you. Use your inherent friendliness to help you make connections that will help you further your career in both the short and long term.

Making Connections: Networking Tips for Extroverts

If you’d like to find out more on networking tips for introverts, please see my previous article on the topic.

Posted in

Matt Herndon

Matt Herndon is a dad and husband who loves to write about almost anything, especially leadership development and family. He won't write about cats or politics. Connect with Matt.

Reader Interactions


  1. Bob McIntosh says

    Ah, finally some tips for extraverts. While there are plenty of self-help posts for introverts, rarely do you see them for extraverts. As if extraverts don’t need the occasional reminders. Thanks, I was beginning to feel insecure.

  2. Cindy J says

    Great article for Extroverts. Listening and living in the moment have worked for me. And yes, it is hard to stick to this plan…being aware that you are an Extrovert and being aware of others around you. Thanks for these tips, Matt.

  3. Michael Shoeff says

    I consider that the most important thing when meeting new persons is to focus on your strengths. Empathy is also an important aspect when you try to establish a connection with someone. You may also talk about yourself and share knowledge and connections.


  1. […] Public speaking and leadership go hand-in-hand — think of a renowned world leader and his or her ability to speak with authority and passion. Great leaders need to be able to speak confidently and honestly in order to inspire trust. The same is true in your everyday life, so college is a great time to think about how you can be a stronger communicator. […]


Pin It on Pinterest