How To Work A Room

Do You Want to Work a Room, or a Zoom, with Confidence and Impact?

*UPDATED* For Online Events And Virtual Networking

If you want to be a success in business and in life, you need to know how to work a room. Any room. Every room. In virtual rooms, online, and in person. These are the new rooms, and you need to work them: Zoom rooms; virtual networking events, online classes, workshops, webinars, and conferences; Google hangouts; Facetime; Facebook groups; Slack channels; social media accounts, comments and live events; and social events: cheers to happy hours, dance parties, and virtual dates. Strategic Networking is about deciding WHERE you show up, WHY you show up, and HOW you show up and interact and communicate with other people. These decisions can be based on your time, schedule, energy, focus, interests, personality, and goals. These decisions impact your reputation and brand: how people perceive you, react to you, interact with you and remember you. They determine how you develop your network, market your brand, and succeed – or not.

You need to know how to find opportunities wherever you go. Whether in person at a conference, in a boardroom, at a bar, or even at the ballet barre. Whether you’re online, on the phone, on a video call, or at a virtual networking event.

Top 5 Tips For Working A VIRTUAL (Or Live) Room

  • Decide on your goals for each room you enter: WHY are you there? WHO do you want to meet? WHAT do you need? WHAT can you offer to help other? HOW do you want people to perceive you, and WHAT specifically do you want them to remember about you: which leads to:
  • Prepare and practice your unique ‘Fireball Pitch’. Keep it brief and engaging. INCLUDE professional AND personal items, so others can get to know you on all levels. The boundaries between home and work are blurring more and more. This gives us a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level, and build more meaningful, impactful relationships. Throw out corporate jargon and cliche pitch points. This is the time to be truly authentic. Which leads to:
  • Ask how you can help, and for specific details and /or examples. Make strategic introductions for others, send links to relevant resources (organizations, events, articles, videos), and invite them to other events they might appreciate.
  • Show us, don’t just tell us. The overall impression you make – in person or online – is much more powerful than any specific words or phrases. The intangibles include your tone of voice, energy (positive or negative, direct or subtle, casual or formal), body language and focus. Are you paying attention when others speak, or are you looking down at your phone? Are you truly listening to others, or only focused on getting your point across? Do you seem to be collaborative, decisive, thoughtful, considerate, inclusive, or discriminating? Comments, questions, and chat functions are how we learn about each other in online events. Learn about the organization relevant to that event, to that topic, to the other participants. Listen, and learn. Offer information, advice, and resources relevant to that room in general.
  • Schedule follow-up meetings: by phone, and video, and virtual events – one on one, in small groups, or at events (and eventually in person, post-pandemic). Meeting someone once is: I met them. Meeting twice: I might remember them. Meeting three times: I know them. Now you’ve progressed from simply meeting, to developing a relationship.
  • Bonus Tip: Keep An Open Mind.

You never know how the next person you meet might change your life.

Deena “Fireball” Baikowitz