How to Work a Room

Posted by on Feb 2, 2011 in Blog, Networking, Review | 0 comments

This book is a national bestseller. How to Work a Room: Your Essential Guide to Savvy Socializing by Susan RoAne has a lot of great nuggets to help you work a room.

I heard about this book a few times, but didn’t have any real interest in it until my friend, Rafael Fermoselle, had mentioned that he was reading the book. While this book isn’t the best book about business networking, it is more geared towards how to be the type of person that people want to get to know. The gold nuggets in this book definitely make it worth buying the book.

The book starts talking about the roadblocks that prevents meeting people and what to do about it.

  1. Roadblock #1: “Don’t talk to strangers.”
  2. Roadblock #2: “Wait to be properly introduced.”
  3. Roadblock #3: “Don’t be pushy. Good things come to those who wait.”
  4. Roadblock #4: “Better safe than sorry.” (risking rejection)
  5. Roadblock #5: “Mangled and mixed messages.”

Extending yourself to people feels risky, but the benefits are well worth the discomfort.

Remember, what you think is the worst thing that could happen most often won’t.

  1. Remedy #1: Redefine the term “stranger.”
  2. Remedy #2: Practice a self-introduction.
  3. Remedy #3: Move from “guest” behavior to “host” behavior.
  4. Remedy #5: Unmix the mixed message.

Charm: The secret ingredient

…Charm includes..an elusive quality that draws us to people and makes us believe they care about us.

Getting permission is important and can enhance business success. Not everyone who gives you a business card at an event wants to receive your weekly e-mailed missives, sales pitches, or recirculated jokes.

Never leave home without [business cards]…

If you want to give your card to someone who has not asked for it, ask for that person’s first. “May I have your card?” Most people will respond in kind, especially if you hold your own card conspicuously, as if you are ready to trade. “May I offer you my card?” is clear and polite.

Not everyone should have your business card. … The exchange of cards should follow a conversation in which rapport has been established.

When you receive a card, honor it by looking at it, looking at the person. Perhaps you can make a comment about the card.

A card is the best way to exchange information. But if you don’t follow up, the card is meaningless.

Small talk should intrigue, delight, amuse, fill up time pleasantly.

You will walk into a room with more confidence if you have at least three pieces if small talk prepared – light conversations that you can have with anyone you meet.

Engaging in eye contact, being in the moment, and having a smile are critical in building rapport.

Always place the name tag on your right hand side. When you extend your right hand for a handshake, the line of sight is to the other person’s right side.

[In conversation,] To make your exit easier, wait until you have just finished a comment. Then smile, extend your hand for a closing handshake, and say, “Nice meeting you. It’s interesting…” and summarize the conversation in a sentence, it shows you have been listening.

We cannot know people in sixty seconds. Unfortunately, technology has foisted us into a split-second society. We make snap judgments. … One of the truths that we must bear in mind before making snap judgments: “We don’t know who they know.” To dismiss people because of our instantaneous reactions is a mistake. Dr Misner further explains, “Never underestimate the depth of the pool of the pool your fellow networkers are swimming in.”

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