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How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections--In Person and Online

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  617 ratings  ·  70 reviews
How to Work a Room, 25th Anniversary Edition by Susan RoAne has descriptive copy which is not yet available from the Publisher.
Paperback, 25th Anniversary Edition, 400 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published September 1989)
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Community Reviews

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3.50  · 
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 ·  617 ratings  ·  70 reviews


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Rob Slaven
Mar 23, 2013 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
Francisca Painhas
Aug 08, 2018 marked it as stopped
Based mainly on sense and sensibility, and bringing nothing new to the table after reading the classical books on people. Maybe useful for shy people or people who need some push to start interacting.
Also, the author goes on way too much on her experiences, and some of the times, in a very judgemental way.
Michal Stawicki
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Charmin
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Highlights:
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
...more
DonutKnow
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
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 rated it did not like it
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.
John
Dec 31, 2013 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
...more
Austin
Sep 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Incredibly basic information. This advice is strictly for an individual that is absolutely clueless on how to even speak to anyone. If you need this type of simplistic advice, then you have literally never been in public ever! Hey Susan, the way you deliver this information is that of a child receiving lessons from a parent! This book should be in the children's section.
Kenny
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To put it simply, this book is about putting yourself out there to meet strangers. Amongst other topics, it covers possible sources of personal apprehension, the mindset to develop, behaviors to adopt (and avoid), strategies for different scenarios and events, and lots - so many - anecdotes. I haven't read any of Susan's other writing so maybe that's just her thing.
Julie
May 19, 2013 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.
Tom
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was not bad and it offered some nice nuggets of advice, but the vast majority of what is offered one already knows through the use of common sense. I think this book would be great for high school or college graduates. For that demographic it offers some sage advice.

At some points in the book the author was repetitive and she contradicted herself at one point, but these are minor flaws.

Overall, this is an easy read, but one that is more geared toward those who are entering the workfo
...more
Esteban Aguilar
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! Great to learn to interact with the world.

For someone that has had trouble mingling in social situations this is a great book. I found the advice very helpful and simple. The few times that I remembered when I did some of it, it really works. Good to brush up on your social skills and manners in all situations.
Krystan
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from this book. I am usually the wildflower on the wall and I really need to get out there more. I think I let my disability get in the way, I automatically think because I am not able bodied I don’t belong in a room. So, I was grateful for her chapter on diversity. I also like all the bullet points so I can go back for quick reference.
Karen Rands
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Old but still relevant, because today with so much interaction based on social networks and digital communication, the art of actually reaching out to introduce yourself and effectively network is a mystery to many. This book provides the fundamentals.
since tech and modes of communication have changed, you would need to sift through some of that to find the gold nuggets.
Mandy Havert
Practical advice

This book is direct and an easy read. The rubber hits the road, so to speak, when you make a plan and put the content exercises to practice.
Scott
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good reminders and suggestions

S lot of good ideas how to meet greet and converse with people. Didn't realize most people were as uncomfortable with it as I am.
Dominic
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
good, but lots of common sense, and sometimes I didn't like the style
Rebecca Jordan
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
"Starting a conversation with the person standing alone is an act of kindness."
Jake
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent!

I learned many tips that were relevant to today's atmosphere. Will read again in the future~ tips for every occasion.
Dianthe
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Though some of the techniques listed are great networking ideas, the book is truly outdated. The author is not at all tech savvy and it is painfully obvious.
Steve
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Common sense stuff. Be yourself, don't let books like this tell you how to be someone you're not!
Briana Byington
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all of life

Great guidelines, tips, tricks, and more for how to work a room for various occasions. Important for personal and professional life.
David R.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Beth
Nov 10, 2007 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?
...more
Amanda
Dec 18, 2011 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
...more
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
...more
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)...tips
...more
Paul Bard
May 18, 2014 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
...more
Steven
Jun 20, 2009 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 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
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