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Working A Room With "Mingling Maven" Susan RoAne

By Arel Moodie

If you're like 90% of people out there, you're shy when it comes to networking. What exactly is the networking game and how am I supposed to introduce myself to a stranger just like that? I'm meeting with Susan RoAne today to talk about how you can overcome that shyness and networking.

On top of that, imagine being able to work a room as well, knowing and interacting smoothly with everyone. You will be able to do that along with your new awesome skills of networking? Intrigued? I sure am! Read on...

Quick Rundown:

10:25: "The roof is the introduction!"

13:40: "Small talk is the biggest talk!" Why it's so important, and how to get good at it:

23:40: Working a room vs. networking

25:00: How to pick out (and become) a savvy networker:

35:50: Throw out the elevator speech-Susan recommends a different kind of intro speech.

42:50: How to remember names better:

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"Mingling Maven" Susan RoAne joins us today on the Art of Likability to talk overcoming shyness and working a room. Even though 90% of people think of themselves as shy, this doesn't have to get in the way of making business connections and partners.  But if you're curious like me (and most everyone else), you probably wondered...

"What's a 'mingling maven?'"

Susan's an expert in networking and working a room. Actually, she wrote the book on it! She's the best-selling author of How to Work A Room and influencer for major companies like Coca-Cola, Yale University, Proctor and Gamble, and (her personal favorite) Hershey's Chocolate,

Instead of stating her titles (which you find on a resume), Susan's actively engaging her audience. ​ Anyone curious or even remotely interested in mingling and doing it better may be interested to learn from and about Susan.

This also give people the feeling that they are great conversationalists since they are driving the conversation and asking questions. If most people are shy, this is one great feeling for them! Don't underestimate how you make someone feel-it's how they'll best remember you.

Make 'Em Comfortable

If people remember you as the person they were super comfortable interacting with and even a great conversationalist, that will make them super comfortable with you.

This is where small talk comes into play-making people comfortable.  A lot of people may not be comfortable with small talk and may wonder why you have to make "idle chit-chat" before discussing business.  You can't just immediately start talking business with someone, or they'll see and feel that you have an agenda.  This will put them on guard-are you trying to sell them something or get by them?  

Talk to them like a person, not a prospect.  Kindness isn't a tool.  You're kind to people because they are people, and this is why you can take the time for small talk.

But what then to make small talk about? What if you're at a fundraiser and you don't know anyone? Susan quotes Mel Brooks here in telling us that "the roof is the introduction." You all are under the same roof, and what does that mean?

If you're all at the same event, you all have something in common! This is the golden ticket towards starting small talk-something in common, just like the roof over your heads. At a networking event? Talk about how you both came across this event! What about a fundraiser? There's obviously something both you you two care about enough to invest your time and money in a fundraiser.

Now about remembering your audience's name...

How To Remember Names Better

Everyone forgets names-we've all been there before.  So how can you cut down on that awkward experience of forgetting someone's name?  It's even worse if you're looking to work with that person!

Susan discusses a few tips to remember someone's name better. The first one sounds simple, but easier said than done: when someone's telling you their name, focus! Don't think about the shopping list you have to make or what's going to be for dinner.

Here's a unique tip: ​ask for their business card and associate it with something unique about the person. If they've said or shown anything unique about themselves, ask them if you can "write it down on their card." This way, this mnemonic becomes tactile and visual (a physical card) as well as memorable (the unique characteristic) along with the name.

Thanks a ton to Susan for coming onto the show! If you have questions relating the episode or how to overcome shyness and work a room, you can find Susan at http://susanroane.com, or even reach her by email or phone at her contact page!

I hope you're as excited as I am to work a room with the best of 'em now! But what when you get leads or job interviews out of your new skills? Ace these with the Art of Likability Dream Job Interview Manual

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