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How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing In Person and Online

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  446 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
More than 38,000 copies of this networking classic have been sold in two audio editions. Now Susan Roane's invaluable advice is available on CD

You enter a crowded room. For a moment every eye is on you. And a little voice inside you cries, "HELP!" If this has ever happened to you, you're not alone! Walking into a room full of people you don't know can be very uncomfortable
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Macmillan Audio (first published September 1989)
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Michal Stawicki
Mar 09, 2015 Michal Stawicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great textbook on working a room. On this particular subject it may be even THE ultimate textbook. Susan RoAne covered everything from exhibits via high school reunions to funeral services. Wow, what a tremendous experience! Susan was on schedule for more meetings than I changed diapers (and changed a lot of them).

But this is not some boring textbook which can substitute for a soothing lullaby. Not at all. This book is packed with both fun and interesting stories. Most of them came dir
Rob Slaven
Mar 23, 2013 Rob Slaven rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I started reading a book in the vicinity of this day. It's completely out of character as it's called, "How to work a Room." Yeah, yeah. Get back on your chair. After 50 pages I'd gleaned a couple of useful facts. By 100 pages I was just about ready to tear the book in half just to guarantee that one copy of this bullshit out of the millions available would not poison another impressionable mind. Anyway, let's start with the good and useful things I was told. Yes, I know, they're obvious but I'm ...more
Reading this was quite helpful.

A few things that I've learned about great communication:
- Be a host = make other people comfortable
- Be prepared = reading the news, preparing your own introduction
- Be genuine and respectful

If you want to go through the quick tips of the whole book Susan RoAne writes two great segments at the end to summarise the book.
Mike Landau
Jan 10, 2017 Mike Landau rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Found this book in my apartment building's shared library. Thought I'd peruse for useful hints. I found no insights. Instead... I found the author to be humblebragging throughout the book about speaking with audiences in the thousands, speaking from a pedestal to her readers who just don't have her experience. To me it felt like I was being lectured to by a parent on how to grow up.
Dec 31, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I met Susan RoAne on a Southwest Flight from SFO to LA on December 30, 2013 enroute to the 2014 Rose Bowl game in Pasadena between Stanford and Michigan State. Susan and I spoke for the duration of the flight about Stanford University, its football team and the exploits of her grandson Shayne Stov (who was a key leader on the Stanford defensive team).

I am a third generation Stanford graduate (Class of '76). Near the end of the flight, Susan informed me she was an author of business
Sep 19, 2016 Charmin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: growth
1. Give the benefit of what you do rather than your job title.

2. Self-Introduction: begin with your name. Include something about yourself that establishes what you have in common with the other people at the event. Lasts about 7-9 seconds. Tag line that tells other people who you are and gives them a way to remember you.

3. What people remember are the warmth, interest, and enthusiasm they feel from you.

4. Good Guests: The good guest is an interested listener, notices guests who are
May 19, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second time reading this. While some parts seem repetitive or obvious there is a lot of really great ideas and info in this book for anyone looking to be more comfortable in a room full of strangers or mostly strangers.
David R.
Mar 07, 2017 David R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This one may be a classic on the entrepreneur's reading list, but it does have some issues. There is a good deal of good material on talking to anyone. Unfortunately there is an awful lot of ego and name dropping throughout.
Nov 10, 2007 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought I’d really like this book — I needed to figure out how to be socially graceful — not the life of the party, necessarily, but likeable enough that I can score some friends.

I think the book does help with that. A few ideas mentioned in the first fifty pages really inspired me, such as:

1. 88% of the population considers themselves “shy,” so you are likely doing people a favor by talking to them (they are not brave enough to initiate conversation!)
2. Not sure how to start a conversation?
Dec 18, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book while browsing through available e-book titles on the library's website. With the popularity of e-readers and a limited selection of e-books, sometimes you have take what you can get. This one was immediately available and I'm always game for a short book with helpful tips on how to navigate life easier.

The premise of How To Work A Room is to give the reader tips to overcome negative feelings that may arrive when you are faced with meeting a group of new people. Susan RoAne fo
Lenny Husen
2 and a half stars. This was OK, very dated, but I realize the author has updated the book and there are new editions out now, that probably tout the virtues email and smart phone address books rather than handwritten thank you notes and Rolodex cards. I won't even comment on the "Cathy" cartoons, my least-favorite comic strip of all time.

The problem wasn't the dated-ness but the repetitiousness ("bring a supply of business cards to hand out" is advised no less than 9 different times in this bo
Peggy Payne Paustenbach
as a pathologically shy somebody who needs to learn to work a room....the majority of this book is just basic common sense and some platitudes..don't get drunk, do research, read newspapers, have a sense of humor, pay attention to the handshake, don't dress like a slut at business events, be nice...etc, etc.

There were useful "nuggets" thrown in various chapters: in terms of personality...reminders to always be a "host" (active participant)in a room, rather than a "guest" (someone passive)
Paul Bard
May 18, 2014 Paul Bard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turns out that the negative reviews were not accurate for this book in one way.

If you've read "How to make friends and influence people" you know it gives basic advice in a simple format. But is that a basis for criticism.

Likewise, critics of this book are missing both the point and the message of the book.

The point of this book is to give the precise simple instructions on social success in business contexts.

The message of this book is that a light, humorous, gracious attitude, combined with a
Jun 20, 2009 Steven rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Steven by: Jon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carre Gardner
Oct 13, 2010 Carre Gardner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Uh...I guess I didn't realize that there are people in the world who need to be taught to take an interest in others and make conversation with them in a social setting. Isn't that something that you just do, if you like people? RoAne (this can't be her real surname, can it?) breaks it down for us in painful detail, but I don't think you can actually teach someone how to be charming, how to be interesting, and how to take a genuine interest in someone else. Either you're that kind of person, or ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am usually anti-self-help books, but this was the title I chose for the required reading portion of a class on politics and networking that I took. There is nothing I hate more than walking into a room full of people I don't know. Thought this might help. Picked up a few pointers. Mostly, don't cling desperately to the only person you know in a room (my usual tactic.) Move around, mingle and be yourself. Remember, everyone else hates it as much as you do. (So why do we do this to ourselves?) A ...more
Fabulous, fabulous, FABULOUS! Even if you THINK you're the most social person in the world and don't need to learn anything about socializing; think again and take a look at this book. I needed some help overcoming some of my anxiety about meeting new people and I figured I'd learn a tip or two about breaking the ice from "How to Work a Room" - I never thought I would be re-learning everything I thought I knew about socializing as an adult! RoAne provides tips, tricks and insights that will help ...more
Mar 22, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book which talks about more than networking, but about connecting with others in a professional manner. Good practical advice (most common sense), but it sinks in deeper each time you hear/read it.
Note, that there are several versions of this book so make sure to read the most update version or you'll be distracted by some of the dated materials (e.g., the section on electronic etiquette).
Keshov Sharma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I want my children to read this book. There are so many skills addressed that make a real difference in how we connect with those around us. By following her advise, we may become more profitable in our business pursuits, but I think the greater value is in the relationships and interpersonal transactions we will enjoy connecting with others. She demonstrates there is no need to ever be "alone."
Frank Dodd
Apr 08, 2013 Frank Dodd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Stuff we should have known - but may not have known. Why didn't our parents tell us how to do this? Or maybe why don't they teach this in school. Really should be a basic college class or maybe a high school class.
Great summary's and quick hint guides in each chapter. Could use a little more humor or story telling. But Susan did much better than most when building this type of book.
Feb 04, 2010 Carl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible book. I thought it would be something about networking but it's full of the most obvious advice ever. My favorite was "don't be shy, if you're afraid to talk to someone just assume they feel the same way and will be happy you approach them." This might be useful for 13 year old boys.
Evie Burke
3/2013 - Okay book. Good general guidelines. Sometimes moves very abruptly between topics/sections or isn't completely clear. Again, good guidelines and a good read for anyone jumping into networking, but isn't sure how to
Palle Svensson
I read it after a great interview with her and was really enthusiastic to read it.
It started of great, but after a while I realized that it wasn't more then common sense advice throughout the book. I would had want her to really dig deeper into the subject.
Christian Stevenson
Lots of great tips, tricks and coaching on how to make an impact and get the greatest bang for your buck. However, it was a bit long in the tooth with personal anecdotes and some common sense topics.
Apr 18, 2008 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listed to this on CD. Nothing surprising...everyone is uncomfortable at a social gathering, so just go up and introduce yourself...There was an interesting section on email etiquette - actually talking about how "framming" your friends is rude.
Sep 03, 2010 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was well-written with a lot of practical tips. Each chapter has a concise summary at the end which makes it easy to scan the book for tips and then decide which sections you want to explore further.
Jan 16, 2016 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advice, 2014
Although there were some chapters added relating to email, I found the content to be dated and irrevelant.
Chris Cohen
Easy read. Mostly common-sense material, but some gold nuggets (e.g., discussion on making proper introductions, name tag placement).
D Kimbrew
i will let you know if it works later when i finish..
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