Networking How to Work a Room in 10 Steps

Q: Where do you find individuals to model?

A: Working the room at networking and/or social events; and so should you.

Networking How to Work a Room in 10 Steps

Successfully working a room is a complex method that either comes naturally to you, or will take a lot of concentration and work to develop the skills necessary.

Your assignment (should you choose to accept it) is to go forth, find a venue and work the room yourself. If it’s outside of your comfort zone, then you are a true hero; not just the hero in your own story but a beacon of hope for others – who, like you – are struggling taking this critical step, too.

If you know people in this venue, do not hang out with them. Make it a priority to meet people that you don’t know, ask them who you should introduce yourself to and set your feet in motion. Consider sitting next to someone you don’t know.

Here are 10 things to help you prepare for the next phase in your journey as you develop your networking skills.

If you can, meet with the most high-ranking person that you already know at the event (a special guest, event promoter, or other friend) visit with them briefly and ask them who you should talk to next (who could most benefit from your service or help promote your service).

How to Work a Room in 10 Steps
1. Introduce yourself
2. 30 second elevator speech
3. Ask about them
4. Listen
5. Care
6. Can they help you?
7. Can you help him/her?
8. Exchange cards
9. Invite them to call you
10. Next

Avoid the person who appears to be purposely avoiding interaction with others. But acknowledge them with a friendly nod as you work the room, letting them gain their own courage (if that is what they lack) from witnessing yours.

How to Work a Room 10 Steps Introduce 30 second ask listen care help exchange invite nextIf you must proceed blindly simply walk up to someone who possesses a commanding presence and isn’t actively engaged in a conversation. Feel confident enough to break character for a moment and honestly say, “I expected to see someone I knew, here, but to tell you the truth, I don’t see anyone in this room that I know. What’s your name?”

Once they’ve recognized your plight, he or she will likely be enthusiastic about introducing you to some other folks in the room to help you get started. If not, try the same approach with another person who appears to be a confident extrovert. Really, all you have to do to get the ball rolling is to

1 Introduce Yourself

Be polite, friendly, smile and say, “Hi, my name is _________ … and you are?” It really is that easy.

They may or may not ask about you, nonetheless, early on, comment on the event, their appearance, then:

2 Give your 30 second elevator speech

You have rehearsed this and can recite your 30 seconds worth without it sounding as if it was simply recited or memorized.

Never be shy discussing your business with anyone. They may not need your services, but may someone who does.

3 Ask about them

After you’ve established who you are and what you do, begin learning about the person you’re meeting. Ask exploratory questions. You’ve indulged yourself, now it is time to connect and discover more.

Have they travelled or done this before? Ask them why they are here.

Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Invite them to expound by asking who, what, when, where and how questions. When they’re answering questions, they’re doing the heavy lifting.

4 Listen

Yes, your intention is to promote yourself but you do so by listening to the person you are meeting.

Listen for clues for ways you can help them on their journey or can help you on yours.

Practice active listening. Look them in the eye (this may be uncomfortable for some, at first but it is an important component of effective communication). Make the effort to paraphrase and repeat portions of what is being expressed by the person you are meeting.

5 Care

Don’t just acknowledge the other person, but show them that you care. You can express caring about a stranger in a brief conversation by nodding or making appropriate facial expressions to mirror the emotions that they might be feeling at a deeper level as they speak.

6 Can they help?

As they are expressing themselves, be listening for ways they might be able to further your purpose.

7 Can you help?

Suggest a way that you might be able to help them, if appropriate, based on this brief exchange.

Emphasize how you can help them rather than how intellectual you are. People are interested in what you can do to help them.

People appreciate generosity and authentic offers of assistance and your help may simply take on the form of an empathetic ear and compassionate understanding of their plight.

8 Exchange cards

Do not force a card on everyone that you speak to. Offer your card only if it would be beneficial for this person to contact you later.

Remember, this is not a sales call, but if this person might see a need for your service, product or skill(s) – or if they have asked for your card – then absolutely you should give them one.

Likewise, if they have skills that you might need, either now or in the future, you should request their card.

If you get someone else’s card, write notes on it, so that you can remember who they were. Getting other people’s cards is actually more important than giving out yours… and this only works if you follow-up and invite them to participate with you.

9 Invite them to call you.

If you’ve given them a card and there is potential that you may be able to serve them in some way, make sure to invite them to call you so that you can discuss more details of the possibilities that may be uncovered in this brief interaction. Remember, this is not a sales call, nor is it a time to close. Keep it brief, because you must move on…

10 Next

Move on to the next person. If you don’t know who you should speak to next, ask the person you are wrapping up with. In most cases, you will find them eager to suggest someone that you should talk to and may even escort you to the person and introduce you.

Exiting the event

Don’t just leave. Thank the presenter, guests; re-connect with the people you’ve connected with before you make your exit.

Following the event

Follow-up. If you do not contact them again, then there will likely not be potential gain. Give them the opportunity to move through your social circles.

It’s all about building lifelong clients and friends via relationship.

Excerpt from Success Attributes © 2008 David M Masters used by permission.

Top 5 Social Skills for Success

There is no doubt that in business, or nearly any area(s) of life, those who wield the best interactive social skills have a huge advantage over those less adept at social interaction.

Some people are born with it; others make the effort to develop these social skills to increase their advantage in the world as we know it. It really all comes down to economy of effort, meaning that the most successful people are able to accomplish so much more in much less time.

Top 5 Social Skills for Success opportunity assessment brand integrity persuasion blend in emotional connectionThe best equipment you could have at your disposal would include these top five specialized social skills tucked away in your tool belt:

  1. Opportunity Assessment
  2. Brand Integrity
  3. Be Persuasive
  4. Blend In
  5. Emotional Communication

Opportunity Assessment

This ability would be considered self-serving by most of the general populace, but being able to quickly identify people to interact with that can best benefit you is a key skill that should be mastered by the successful businessperson or entrepreneur.

Think of it as having two minutes to make the determination whether the individual will be beneficial to you, your professional concerns, or may have skills that will help you to further your purpose.

You must always be polite, never rude, as you quickly express your purpose and try to learn as much as you can about the other person, limiting yourself to your 30 second elevator speech, then ask questions to determine whether there exists a potential opportunity.

Brand Integrity

Take care when interacting with others in the boardroom, in public, from the stage, during interview and face-to-face to stay congruent to, promote and protect your brand. Be cautious.

For some people, it is the person that is their brand; their name, their appearance, their convictions and public persona. Whenever possible in all the things you say and do, be consistent to the image that you want to be remembered as.

For others their brand may be a product or service. Do not expose behind-the-scenes information or data that might reflect poorly on your brand. This means that some topics may need to be avoided in order to protect your brand.

Be Persuasive

One of my mentors insisted that, “salesmanship,” and/or persuasion was the single most important skill to possess if you intend to enjoy any level of intentional success.

Obviously, having the ability to promote and sell your perspective, product or service on-demand can have huge impact on your overall success.

If you’re not born with a persuasive personality, this could be (and often is) the most challenging skill to adequately wield, as it can be the double-edged sword that improperly used could actually backfire and cost you a sale, potential client or cause people to question your motivation. This is a delicate balance that takes both balance and practice. You don’t want someone to remember you as the pushy salesperson or jerk.

Nevertheless, you must be able to encourage others to see from your perspective, whether they are friends, potential fans (who will promote you and/or what you do), customers or clients.

Blend In

This is the ability to relate to anyone on their terms. That means, regardless of whether you are speaking to a group of people or in a one-on-one conversation, you have the ability to see from their perspective, being thoughtful enough to use a similar style of speech (as long as it does not interfere with your brand).

Not just for those with political aspirations, being able to blend in is skill of adapting to any unique social setting and maximizing one’s exposure without standing out too much and being mindful of brand protection.

Emotional Communication

Interact with people in such a way that demonstrates that you are compassionate and passionate with a full array of emotions, communicating with feeling. When active in communication use voice inflection that enables your audience to perceive that you are enthusiastic, confident and competent.

People love emotions and they listen for your emotion in your vocal interactions with them. Speak from your heart to theirs, making an intimate connection.

If you feel as though you do not possess this skill, you can practice, practice, practice with a simple audio recorder. Practice reading and talking using a variety of vocal styles. If you have young children, reading children’s books and stories and vocally representing the voice of different characters is perfect practice (plus your kids will never forget your story-telling abilities).

How to Build Your Social Skills for Success

The best way to start building these skills is to start hanging out with other folks who already possess the skills you desire. Keenly observe them and model their behavior. Go to seminars, events and watch videos of live presentations. Study how others perform their social magic, take notes and practice doing what they do.

Excerpt from Success Attributes © 2008 David M Masters used by permission.

Am I Too Shy to be Massively Successful?

Almost anyone can go through periods in their life of shyness, especially if life has caught them off-guard or if they’re in a position to question their worthiness.

Am-I-too-shy-for-massive-successIn the event that you see what may be perceived as shyness come and go, then you probably need to do some internal work on your self confidence. This will help you get back on track and in the flow of self-empowerment.

If it’s a condition that you stuggle with all of your life, day in, day out, you may be an introvert.

Contrary to belief, introverts are not shy but rather approach life and expression of self in a different way that extroverts.

To answer the question, “Am I too shy to be massively successful?” The answer is clearly, “No.”

In fact, you may be comparing yourself to the wrong folks. If you’re comparing yourself to the loud, boisterous, famous people who dominate the press and tabloids, then you would certainly feel inadequate if you think that this is what you need to act like if you desire success.

On the other hand, if you compare yourself to other introverts who have made huge contributions to our world, you realize that you are absolutely perfect just the way you are.

Abraham Lincoln was an introvert and struggling with self-consciousness did not prevent him from taking massive action for the world at large.

Consider these highly successful introverts:

Never-too-shy-to-be-great-albert-einstein-bill-gates-steven-spielbergAlbert Einstein
Audrey Hepburn
Bill Gates
Charles Schwab
Christina Aguilera
Courteney Cox
Eleanor Roosevelt
Emma Watson
J.K. Rowling
Steve Wozniak
Steven Spielberg
Warren Buffet

Not bad to have your name amongst those on that list, right?

First off, you must realize that you are perfect just the way you are. You have certain attributes that come naturally that are difficult for others who are less sensitive to learn. For instance…

If you are an introverts you are more likely:


More cautious and are prone to be less reckless than their extroverted counterparts.


Able to avoid the spotlight (tabloids) and are less likely to receive negative press on the front page news.


Gifted with the ability to carry on meaningful conversations (not just idle chit-chat).


Make other people feel as though you really care and are actively listening.

Deeply Connect

Avoid small talk, have meaningful conversations and active listening.


To under promise and over-deliver, unlike extroverts who tend to overstate and fail to live up to expectations.


Since they can be content with spending time alone and away from the crowd, this gives them time to be more contemplative and creative than their peers.


Work productively in an organized space and manner.


Excel at conducting extensive research

In the corporate world it is not unusual to discover that the introvert who has worked his or her way up the internal hierarchy is considered the “secret weapon” of the organization.

They are highly valued yet do not seek praise or public recognition as they are more comfortable in a respected support position in the background.

In brainstorming sessions and mastermind meetings they are turned to following violent discourses where they sit silently and calmly and are asked, “What do you think?”

Alternatively, there are some things that you’re less likely to be good at. You don’t necessarily have to learn to act as if you are an extrovert, but you might consider expanding your skill set to include some of the things that come naturally to extroverts.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to engage in activities that you have never participated in before. Though this may be an uncomfortable challenge, think of it as learning to help others with similar inhibitions (because we’re more likely to be motivated to do something for someone les, than ourselves). Following the experience, you may be surprised to find it enjoyable or rewarding. Congratulations for getting ‘er done.

Consider getting more comfortable with:

  • Modeling others (try to “act like” someone you admire in a particular situation)
  • Dealing with problems (instead of avoiding them)
  • Tolerance (not judging others so much)
  • Public speaking & giving presentations
  • Networking in group settings
  • Becoming better in negotiations
  • Increasing your sales skills

Remember to take baby-steps toward your success. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. You could be easily overwhelmed and if too far outside your comfort zone, you might tend to bag the whole idea.

It’s better to be content with making a little progress every day (or regularly) than expecting to establish a high degree of competency overnight.

Reward yourself with solitude to recharge after engaging in a personal growth exercise and remember to love yourself because you are perfect just the way you are and totally well-equipped and poised for massive success!

Keep growing!

See you at the top.

Excerpt from Success Attributes © 2008 David M Masters used by permission.

How Do You Feel About Yourself?

The better you feel about yourself, the more you will have and be able to give to a troubled world.How do you feel about yourself when you look in the mirrorIf you are not feeling good about who you are as a person, you are more likely to be tired, depressed, feeling as if you are all alone in this world, anxious or unhappy.

How you feel about the person you see when you look in the mirror affects the entire world that surrounds you; your relationships, your career, satisfaction, and overall quality of life.

Here are a dozen questions to ask that can put you on the path of becoming your highest and best enabling you to have more of yourself to share with a world that needs your positive impact.


1. What does my inner voice say about me?

Sometimes our own inner voice is our worst enemy; old recordings that play on in continuous loops touting self criticism or unworthiness.

You can interrupt the pattern with a strike-that-reverse-it strategy. There are many methods to approach this kind of negative self-talk but I have found that the most immediate and abrupt interruptions and reversal methods work best.

Snap It Out

For instance, wearing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it immediately when you sense the negative thought. This creates a stopping point.

Next, you want to say (out-loud, if you can) the opposite, positive reinforcement or reframe of the negative thought three times (this can be silently to yourself if you’re in a public environment where this might be inappropriate).

You might also consider a simple tapping exercise that I encourage my clients to use that goes like this:

Tap It Out

Let’s say your negative thought was, “I’m stupid.” Immediately cock your middle finger with your thumb and flick your ear (just like you might do to your little brother, or maybe you grandmother did that to you to interrupt your pattern of behavior, while remembering that this is not punishment, only a strong signal to stop the thought in its tracks).

You don’t have to flick your ear but I do suggest that you flick yourself somewhere around the vicinity of your head because this recognizes and identifies the location where the transgression originated. With a little practice you can develop a flicking method that couldn’t even be discerned by the unsuspecting public around you.

Then with the same finger that you flicked yourself with, tap the inside center of the palm of your opposite hand repeatedly. While you tap continuously say the negative thought (out-loud, if you can) three times with as much negative emotion associated with the words that you can muster. While you are doing this, imagine seeing the thought travel from your brain to inside the palm of your hand while you are saying the words. Then close your hand tightly, as if you are gripping the thought so as not to release it.

Next, turn over your clenched fist and tap repeatedly at a rapid pace, just like you did before, only this time repeat the opposite supportive positive phrase (out-loud if you can) that counteracts the negative thought. In this case if might be something, like, “I am getting so much smarter and brilliant every day. I’m a genius!” After the third recitation seal the deal by an affirmative closing statement, like, “I love the new me!”

Then, open your hand and let the negative thought fall down to the ground like a rock. Brush the insides of your hands in a cleansing motion and go on about your day a little better than you were before.

Amazingly, the next time that negative thought interrupts your daily life (if at all), you will find that you have less emotional attachment to it. This is an effective method that breaks the pattern and also removes the psychological pain associated with these negative invasions.

This works for my clients – and it will work for you – if you give it a chance.

Some other questions you might ask could be:

2. How positive is my personal outlook?

We all have heard about how we are supposed to maintain a positive mental attitude ad infinitum. But it can sometimes be a challenge top think positively when you’re not feeling so good about yourself or life in general.

It’s not enough that we are bombarded by life circumstances that may be less than desirable but we are commonly exposed to negative influences that are quite easily monitored and filtered by simply paying attention and taking action to protect your personal space.

Find ways to focus on the positive. Start looking for the silver lining in everything in your life and avoid or eliminate anything that does not resonate with your happiness.

3. Do I open myself to destructive programming?

The phrase Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO) originally used amongst computer programmers to refer to erroneous programming code or input producing unrecognizable output. We are not that much different; what we allow as input to our central processing unit (CPU) may produce a perception, belief or feeling based on data that may not be in our best interest.

If you want to take control about how you feel about yourself, it is imperative that you take action to control what information your mind has access to and/or how much attention you will give to certain kinds of data.

I routinely get exposed to data that is extremely interesting to my scientific mind. Then I have to ask myself, “Am I willing to dedicate a great deal of my life’s work and energy to this topic?” One must manage economy of time, effort and concentration. Learn how to say, “No,” to some projects that would be better served by someone else’s expertise. Learning to tune out unnecessary input can help reduce the white noise in your thoughts.

You might consider monitoring, filtering or eliminating other input representing vibrational incongruencies, like media, TV, news, magazines, tabloids, etc… Intentionally seek out more sources of positive input from cognitively selected books, web sites, recordings, videos that are more in line with what you want.

4. What is the quality of my relationships?

You can immediately affect the quality of your self-worth by hanging out with a higher quality of friends and associates. Simply stated, ditch the nay-sayers, nervous perfectionists and compulsive conspiracy theorists and begin to surround yourself with more supportive and positive people.

Some people have a toxic affect on your life. You can tell by the way that you feel after you’ve spent time with them. Ask yourself, “Do I feel better when I’m around them?” Or do they make you feel drained? If they do not make you feel better, then they are not the kind of people that are in your best interest. If they drain you or are toxic, you need to stop spending time with those people.

Start making more time for the people that make you feel better about yourself. This raises the vibration of your personal power bubble.

5. How much gratitude do I exude?

The more thankful that you are for all the things that bring you joy or that you appreciate in your life also raises your self-esteem. To keep from taking things for granted every day, consider taking a daily 2 Minute Gratitude Break.

It’s a good way to take out a couple of minutes to reflect on the day’s events and activities. In a seated upright position with your feet flat on the floor, arms relaxed on your legs with hands palm up, take a deep breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth, repeat as you relax… Concentrate on three things that you are grateful about yourself today (they don’t have to be big things).

Consider getting a small notebook to record the three things that you are grateful for each day. Review the list by reading it back to yourself out loud and smile. You may be surprised that as you look for the things that you are thankful for, you will find more good things happening in your life as you look for them. m down, then read them out loud.

6. At what level do I maintain strength and honor?

When you do the right thing, keep your word and stay true to what you believe in, you bolster your self-esteem. This makes you even stronger as you feel better about yourself and more confident about whom you are as a human being.

Mean what you say, say what you mean, let your word be your bond. Make your handshake and the words you express be integrous and trustworthy.

If you are in a leadership or influential position, don’t tell others what to do (especially if it sounds like judging others or preaching). Instead lead by example. Let others see your good works and allow them to emulate your performance.

Become predictably dependable, giving others confidence in your ability to do what you say you will do.

7. Am I a perfectionist?

For the perfectionist, you need to lighten up and learn to let go of your rigid perfectionism.

Consider cutting yourself some slack and you’ll be surprised at how much more you accomplish in your life which will also make you feel better and better.

It is better to get a thing done, than to do nothing from fear of not being able to complete it perfectly (or procrastination).

Perfectionists have a tendency to lean towards private self-abuse, condemning themselves for falling short (refer back to #1).

Embrace adequacy when doing a project. For instance, if you need to write a report, give yourself a deadline; a date and a time. When the time is up; you’re done. Move one and let it go. You could write and re-write for days… Sure, you could re-edit it at another time, but if you do; create a new deadline and stick to it.

I’m not saying to settle for mediocrity or to compromise your integrity, just to cut yourself some slack… for you. You are amazing and you deserve it. And you might be surprised at how much people appreciate your new level of increased performance.

Perfectionists also tend to expect more from their peers, which tends to be a constant cause of frustration. Learn to be more tolerant and let others do the best they can with the tools that they have (not everyone can be as wonderful as you; and that’s okay). Learn to let others be.

I know, it seems impossible… but it gets easier.

8. What if I Blow it?

You have to stop the self-deprecation. You are no longer allowed to put yourself down for shortcomings.

From now on, you must learn to forgive yourself and learn to let things go (see #1). Some people ride themselves so hard that they get physically sick.

If you blow it, remember that you are a good person and you’re getting better every day.

Then take a look at the facts; what made you do what you did? This is an important step, because we all make mistakes, but if we examine the evidence and identify where we broke weak, we are more likely to prevent stumbling again. (At least in this way, because let’s face it, we all misstep sometimes. Nobody’s perfect.)

Congratulate yourself for figuring it out and make yourself a promise to look out more for yourself in the future. You have just completed another course in what not to do next time.

Always look for the silver lining, use positive reinforcement, forgive yourself, give yourself a big hug and tell your inner self, “I love you. You are awesome.” Because you are.

9. How Do I Treat Others?

Helping others makes you feel better about yourself. Be kind and generous. Commit to random acts of kindness. Volunteer your talent or time to an honorable cause. It feels good to help others who are less fortunate than you.

There’s nothing better than The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” No matter what you station in life (even if you feel like you’re at the bottom), there’s always somebody worse off than you.

I know that I help people every day, and some days… when I feel like I have nothing to give (yes, even I have my down days), but when I force myself to go through the motions on the behalf of someone else; it helps me to resonate with my strength and I get re-charged when my life affects someone else’s in a positive manner.

Just a simple compliment can make someone’s day, makes you feel better, and others feel better about you, too.

10. When’s the last time I tried something new?

Doing something you’ve never done before (especially something you may have avoided because the thought of it made you uncomfortable) builds self-esteem.

It can be something that you’ve always wanted to do, or maybe something that may not have even occurred to you.

As you look for opportunities to experience something new, they will appear before you… and engaging in these activities – even it if turns out that you don’t like them – gives you self-confidence and assurance in yourself.

It is better to say, “No thanks. I tried it and didn’t like it,” than to shy away, just because you’ve never done it before. (Note: this does not apply to illegal activities, which would be contrary to your strength and honor. See #6.)

11. Do I Compare Myself to Others?

Most of the clients I attract are upwardly mobile, focused and committed to high levels of personal excellence and they do tend to struggle with comparing themselves to others. Simply stated, comparing yourself to others drains your personal power.

So what, if someone’s better at something than you are? Guess what? You’re better at something than someone else. Instead of trying to beat out that person’s performance in that area, congratulate them on their strength in that area and move on.

Appreciate others for their unique abilities and you embrace your uniqueness.

Use healthy modeling. When you see in someone else an attribute that you would like to adopt as your own – go ahead – set a goal to attain it for yourself. Try it on; if it doesn’t feel comfortable, no problem. You can still have access to that attribute in your life by outsourcing it.

Make a friend or hire a professional that has that attribute as their innate skill.

If you compare yourself to anyone, compare who you are today to whom you were yesterday and continue to grow, measure your growth regularly and applaud your progress.

12. Who could I be?

Whoever you want to be: Be that!

Your path of personal growth is constant and never ending. You are continually growing, changing, reinventing, recreating and expanding into the new, improved you.

As an author, I am discouraged sometimes about the trail of documentation that I leave behind me that is a constant reminder of who I was yesterday. Does that slow me down? No way; onward and upward I go!

Don’t get stuck in the past and resist letting it drag you back from whence you came.

Model your mentors and heroes, act as if. I hear you saying, “You mean to fake it?” Yes, fake it ‘til you make it. It what everyone learns to do; royalty learns to act like royalty by “acting the part,” just like an actor plays a part. As his or her highness is adequately groomed and coached, they appear to be the person they are supposed to be.

When they feel that sense of 100% congruency with whom they are supposed to be; who knows? (Truth be known, they may never feel worthy of the role that they play.)

Dress nicer, groom yourself better and smile. Celebrate the you who is everything that you could be and remember that no matter how far you’ve come it can be even better.

Invite a glowing self-image by pretending that you have the highest self-esteem ever, and this feeling will find a home to live within you.

There is no higher calling than to accept the call to be your highest and best. I applaud you for the new you that you are becoming. You are a shining light peering out of the darkness.

Let it be.

Excerpt from Success Attributes © 2008 David M Masters used by permission.