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7 Ways To Make Friends As An Introvert

7 Ways To Make Friends As An Introvert

The feeling of loneliness can be a painful reality for some introverts.

Introverts value time, space and energy. Making “friends” as an introvert can feel like another thing to-do. There are several ways to make this “challenge” interesting, and even more adventurous. Below are some ways to make friends as an introvert, and maintain control of your environment without losing your energy.

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1. Start a meetup group

Take the initiative and create your own community. Starting your own community gives you the chance to “hand-pick” the people you want in your circle. Carefully crafted, meetup.com gives you access to a wealth of new social connections without being stuck in somebody else’s group. Choose a hobby or interest you love, create an event, and cap it at 5, 10 or even 20 people. Find a number that makes you feel comfortable. Be sure to include questions for new members to answer and require that each person display their photo for approval. As the group leader, you are in charge of picking events you’d naturally enjoy.

2. Go to lectures

Lectures are a major draw for introverts. You can sit and listen to big ideas and concepts. You can look around the room, observe the curiosity of others, and simply enjoy a close-ended experience. There’s plenty of time to ask questions in an orderly fashion, and pinpoint others you’d like to get to know. Afterwards, it gives you an opportunity to strike up a conversation or engage with a group of people.

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3. Go walking or jogging at the same time everyday

There’s something about taking a walk on a quiet morning and seeing other members of your community in their daily routines. You see familiar faces if you follow the same route. This provides a sense of security and comfort. As an active member of a running or walking group, you easily meet others with the same fitness goals. These types of activities have a clear start and end time, and everyone has something in common to discuss. If you don’t want to talk after a while, you can always change your pace without disappearing.

4. Take a cooking class

Who doesn’t love to talk about food? Cooking classes are a place to indulge, make mistakes and be silly. Letting go of control is challenging as an introvert. However, that is the point. After 2 hours of watching others flub the beef stew, conversation at the sit-down meal is more fun and just flows.

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5. Enjoy being alone when you go out

Most people have experienced the random questions about time, directions, etc. when out alone. To make friends as an introvert, answer these questions with eye contact, and give details if necessary. It’s great practice for talking to strangers, and maybe making a new friend.

6. Have a drink at a hotel bar

Head to the local hotel bar, and meet out of towners who will talk to you just out of curiosity. Do it right, and you may even get a free drink in exchange for tips on the best sights and sounds they can check out.

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7. Find a cafe, bar, beach, park, or bench that is “yours”.

It should be close to home, and take minimal effort. Visit it often, same time, same place. It will take about 3-4 visits until you appear as a regular to the staff, and about two to feel comfortable if you’re an introvert. Normally, after a first visit anywhere, introverts are more relaxed, and “know” the place. It certainly doesn’t take long!

These tips will give you a sense of empowerment as you make friends as an introvert, and create new social connections that can enhance your life.  Don’t be surprised if you attract other introverts as your new friends, too.

Featured photo credit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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