Google sends me the daily alerts every time the term 'working a room' is in print and it's several times a day. Those alerts come from newspapers and online sites around the world. There are naysayers and "networking experts" who have trashed the term in favor of their flavor of the month but they are missing the point. It's a term that has been in our vernacular for decades--- probably since the 1940's or earlier. Growing up in Chicago, we knew that term as a political one. I first used it as a title for my presentations in the mid 1980's....even before How To Work a Room was a book.
Why has the book sold world-wide? People want to feel comfortable, confident, conversant and memorable. Call it what you will, that is the reality. Being "approachable", "systematic", "strategic", "power-based" or "artful "are pieces of the pie. And the pie is bigger than any of the pieces. Isn't it an axiom that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts?
Being approachable isn't enough. We need a gameplan that includes initiating conversation. Being systematic isn't enough. We need to allow for the serendipitous situations that turn into opportunities that we hadn't planned. Being power-based is a guarantee to turn people off and being artful is good but is insufficient. As I wrote in How To Work a Room, we need to be down to earth and nice to everyone as well as have a focus, yet allow for serendipity.
What I wrote in all versions of the book and share with my audiences: Go everywhere to have FUN... and the room will work you.
What do you do to make the most of the mingling??? Susan@susanroane.com