Meetups are a great place to meet like minded people and share the thoughts and ideas. But honestly, being an introvert at a meetup is NOT fun. You know you wanna learn but you are constantly thinking about, how you are not contributing to any conversation. And just thinking about how intimidating this whole thing is. I am from a foreign country and live in Germany. It's even harder to jump into conversation in a language you barely know.
I just want to clear that, I am not a subject matter expert. I go to a lot of meetups and have personally gone through some problems with talking to people. This is kind of my experience and How I am trying to get over that fear.
- if you are nervous
- if you don't know anyone
- if you just feel like leaving, because you feel nobody's gonna miss you, if you're gone
It's all okay, these things have happened to most people. Just remember, you are here to learn.
Find the right meetup for you:
If you are at a meetup, where you cared about the topic, you will feel like you know the topic or you don't know and are very curious about it. Both of these things can help with starting a conversation
Listening sounds so simple yet is very helpful. You become a more active listener: you’re guaranteed to learn more and have a good reason to start a conversation with speakers during or after the event. When you listen to what people are talking about. It is often easier to ask counter questions
Maintaining eye contact, having an open posture establishes you as a confident person. Right alignment shows you are interested in a conversation. Greeting people with smile and handshake just sets the tone for whole conversation.
It is sometimes very hard to break the ice. In this case, smile goes a long way. If you have met someone at another meetup, just say Hi to people you’ve already met. You’ll be able to politely join conversations and meet more people.
Importance of starting the conversation:
Don't wait around thinking that someone will notice and speak with you. Chances of that happening are very slim. Instead just find a group of people you feel you can talk to. Go over there, introduce yourself, just be curious about the person and about their tech stack and within no time, conversation will flow.
Ask a lot of questions:
If you don’t make your experiences engaging for yourself, you are guaranteed to be bored. Talk to the speaker or the people sitting next to you, whoever. Ask for recommendations for books, websites or other meetups. If you don’t become an active participant in your own learning, don’t be surprised if not much of what you experience is relevant to you.
Every person is unique. If one approach isn't working for you. Just change the approach and "rinse and repeat" again till you find the right approach for yourself.
So now go out there and get the most learning experience out of the meetup. Here are some of the questions you can start with
- How did you find this meetup?
- Is this your first time here?
- What interesting approach you take to solve a similar problem?
- Book and website recommendations on the topic
Stay positive and happy Learning!!!