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Mingling with Intent: How to Work a Room

To some people the concept of working a room is seen as massively daunting.  But when you look at it another way, it really is just about how you mingle and meet different people in a courteous and friendly way.

So forget working and remember Mingling and Hosting because this is what you do at a party when you are relaxed and having a good time.  It isn’t work so relax and focus on having fun while getting to know new friends and connecting people.  Picture who and how you can help others and you will build great new relationships.

There are some very simple rules to observe and these will make the whole experience easy for you.

Firstly, there are essentially two ways people will stand when in conversation.  They will either be in open or closed groups.

Open means they are standing almost alongside each other or not directly facing each other so they leave a space or an ‘open’ side that means they are not in a deep conversation and will welcome others to join them.  Typically they will stand as an open two, three, four or more.

Closed means they are standing directly facing each other and are in a deeper conversation which you would be rude to interrupt.  As with the open groups, these can be as a closed two, three, four or more.

Study the room and notice who is standing in which type of group and then you can easily spot the people to approach.  Many experienced networkers will be aware of ‘lone rangers’ and will easily and naturally invite them into the conversation.

All you need to break the ice and make an effortless introduction is a great smile.  Make eye contact with someone and smile – invariably, they will smile back at you.  Then simply say something like ‘Hi, may I join you?’ or ‘Hi, would you mind if I join you?’

Relax and mingle rather than stand on the outside and feel uncomfortable.  Move around the room and be in amongst the main body of people in the room rather than on the periphery as this makes it easy for others to spot you too.

With a good, clear and simple name badge that is easy to read from a few feet away, you make it easy for others to see you and come to say hello to you too so you don’t have to always be the one to make first contact.

February 23, 2011 | Category: Etiquette & Courtesy, Hello Made Easy, Rapport Building — Tony Altham
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