The dreaded social gathering. Whether a office party or a formal networking event, here’s some tips on how to work a room.
This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Frederick L. Collins:
“There are two types of people – those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am!’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.'”
The key to working a room so that you don’t come across slimy or shallow is to think of it as mission field. You are planting seeds rather than harvesting. Seed planting is giving. Harvesting is taking away.
Three good reasons you should practice the art of working a room:
- Hones how you introduce yourself
- Helps you overcome fear of meeting people
- Good practice for more captive settings (dinner, airplane, etc)
How to enter a conversation:
- Look for a lull. Either someone by themselves or a conversation where body language is facing outward. Avoid closed groups that are highly energetic.
- Find a common experience such as a punch bowl or food line, to strike up a conversation.
- Start with SHE: Smile, Handshake, Eye contact.
How to start a conversation:
- Simple is best. Hello, my name is (just like the nametag)
- If a repeated event (association meeting, church) a good opener might be: “How long have you been coming here?”
- Answer the same question yourself and add what you like. People are more receptive to those who point out positives.
- Ask a simple question about their mutual interests? A shared experience is best.
- Find a way to help.
How to disengage from a conversation:
- Excuse yourself for a drink or snack but make an offer to grab something for them.
- Introduce them to someone else; but only because it will help them.
- Simply say you need to catch someone before they leave.
- Use a wingman, if necessary, help you gracefully exit
This week’s Challenge Me:
At your next social gathering give one of these a try, or leave some tips on the show notes for this episode about how you work a room.
Resources mentioned or related to this podcast that may be helpful to you:
- How to network like a pro, Episode 16 can give you some tips on how to network effectively.