The key to connection is conversation, and the secret to successful conversations is asking good questions. My brother (the legendary guitarist, Robert Fripp) has often said to me, “Sister, you ask people such personal questions!” Though this is true, nobody has ever said to me, “That’s none of your damn business.” People love talking about themselves. A conversation may lead to a relationship, and a relationship may lead to new business. A business relationship when nurtured can and will lead to long term success.
If shyness prevents you from meeting and conversing with new people, you may be missing important business and career opportunities. My friend, bestselling author and professional speaker, Susan RoAne is known as the The Mingling Maven® for her savvy socializing techniques for business growth. I share these tips from Susan:
Eight Great Strategies for “Working” Any Room
by Susan RoAne
Walking into a room full of people, especially strangers, is daunting for over 90% of American adults according to research at Stanford Shyness Clinic. Our careers, businesses and social lives are enhanced by our ability to create visibility as we meet, mingle, interact, socialize and make important and lasting connections. Based on the Silver Anniversary edition of How To Work a Room®, a classic bestseller, there are eight strategies you can easily implement at any event, meeting or conference.
Read name tags.
As you extend your hand and introduce yourself, use the person’s name. Wear yours on the right hand side.
Reintroduce yourself to people.
Please use first and last name. If you forgot their name, most likely they forgot yours. People generally respond in kind and then no one has to struggle with forgotten names. Come prepared with a seven to nine-second pleasantry that is tied to the event.
Look for the white-knuckled drinker.
Whether it’s club soda or wine, the shy, uncomfortable person has the glass gripped tightly. That person would welcome your conversation.
Extricate and circulate.
According to Miss Manners, one must learn to end conversations.. “Well it was great to talk to you about….” Summarize the main thrust of your chat . . . and move about one quarter of the room away. Find another solo or. . . join a group. Stand on the periphery of the group and when acknowledged, step in.
Allow for serendipity.
It is the unexpected bonus that happens to you because you meet people you didn’t expect to meet when you are in the room. “Ya Never Know!” is my theory of marketing, meeting and mingling.
Be nice to everyone.
No one can accurately judge tomorrow’s book by today’s cover.
Ditch the digital devices.
No one wants to talk to someone who is checking their phone messages, emails or texts. It’s off-putting and, sadly, way too common.
People are attracted to others who are enjoying themselves. A sense of humor will help you manage and survive myriad situations because laughter is a great medicine.
Whether it’s a meeting, a neighbor’s barbecue, a church social, a MeetUp or a conference, these eight strategies will serve you well as you mix and mingle at life’s events and gatherings.
Susan RoAne, author of the Silver Anniversary edition of How To Work A Room® is a sought-after keynote speaker, known for her sense of humor. Her books are available in print in local and online bookstores, as audiobooks, and for the Kindle and iPad. For more information on hiring Susan to speak for your organization or company, visit www.susanroane.com Follow her on Twitter for daily tips @susanroane
Thank you Susan!
“Outside of the privacy of your own home, all speaking is ‘public speaking.'” – Patricia Fripp
Are you looking for high-quality presentation skills training and coaching? Ask Patricia Fripp about how you can improve the quality of your training and lower your investment. FrippVirtualTraining delivers quality comprehensive presentation and sales presentations skills training with built in accountability. Available March, 2014.
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As an executive speech coach, my clients include corporate leaders, celebrity speakers, well-known sports and media personalities, and sales teams. You can learn many of the public speaking secrets I share with my executive speech coaching clients at Fripp events: https://fripp.com/public-speaking-events/ or through my DVDs, CDs, and digital downloads: https://fripp.com/store/public-speaking/
Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp is hired by individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.