Guest Blogger: Working a Room

Working A Room
by Anita Rothwell Lindsay, January 12, 2012
Did you know that 75% of those considered great conversationalists consider themselves SHY? None of these individuals consider small talk unimportant, in fact, they found small talk helped to put others at ease and established common interests. Small talk is a marvelous segue to making business contacts. Working a room is a skill they have developed, which you can develop too.
Tip #1: Become more comfortable with talking to strangers by talking to strangers: fellow customers standing in the checkout line at a store, the people in your building, etc.
Tip #2: Get out of the house, solo, and attend a social/community event at least every-other week. Socializing is a skill, developed like any other skill.
Tip #3: Keep up with current news. The day before attending a network opportunity, scan the daily. Decide on three or four topics of conversation.
Tip #4: Before the networking event, get a list of those who will be attending.
Tip #5: Choose 3-5 people who you would like to meet. 
Tip #6: Research these people on Facebook and Linkedin for background information and mutual interests. People like to know you have made that effort to learn about their business and mission.
Tip #7: Send an e-mail or other social media to those you would like to meet to let them know you look forward to meeting them at the upcoming event. The communication gives them someone to look forward to meeting and may also help them feel less uncomfortable about meeting new people.
Tip #8: Pack your business cards or calling cards (once again popular) before you head out the door.  
Tip #9: Wear a name tag. If someone has met you before and your name remains on the tip-of-their -tongue, a name tag will make reconnecting easier. A name tag will also make you a bit more approachable.
Tip #10: Upon entering the room, stop to catch your breath, and scan the room.
Tip #11: Wear a smile, make eye contact, and be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is contagious.  
Tip #12: Talk to the first person you see standing alone and you will become engaged and less nervous and your partner may feel relieved.
Tip #13: Conversation is mutually beneficial endeavor: they talk, you listen, you talk, they listen.
Tip #14: Keep the conversation short and if you want to meet with them again, tell them.
Tip# 15: Depart with a “nice talking to you” salutation and offer your card.
P.S. Some people may behave badly, lacking in social skill. Smile, then excuse yourself saying you want to check out the refreshment table or need a drink.  It’s not personal, move on and beyond the snub.
Remember, to develop any skill takes practice. Get out of the house, begin light conversations with strangers, carry your business cards, smile, and exude enthusiasm. Practicing will hone your skills and before you know it, you’ll be working a room with ease.
RoAne, Susan. “BIG Deal About SMALL Talk.” SusanRoAne, The Mingling Maven®. n.d.
Ebersole, Glenn. “Working A Room – The Top Ten Tips, From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach.”  n.d.
“Desk Demon 15 Tips on ‘Working the Room’ At Business Networking Events.” Evan Carmichael.  n.d.



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Google keyword search: business networking, working a room, small talk, social networking
Anita Rothwell Lindsay, Information Specialist, Educator, and Workshop Facilitator, currently employed as a librarian at a local technical institute. Creative design consultant to ShoutOUT® Enterprises, Inc., Chimera Investigative Group, Inc. and Next30 Productions Inc. Contact Anita directly:

About ShoutOUT

Founder of ShoutOUT. Love to discover, share, and connect my community to events, businesses, and services locally, nationally and internationally.
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