How To Work A Room In Social Settings

By Matt Lindner
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Not everyone can, nor necessarily wants to, be the star of the show. With that in mind, experts say there are plenty of ways to go about working a room.

Chicago Tribune

As surely as winter brings with it falling temperatures and shorter days, so too does it bring myriad work and family social engagements.

From the company party to the holiday-themed bar crawl to that get-together at your second cousin twice removed in-law’s place, more often than not, you’ll find yourself making small talk with those who aren’t necessarily your nearest and dearest at some point over the next month or so.

“So many people don’t like small talk,” says Bela Gandhi, founder of date coaching firm Smart Dating Academy. “All friends were once strangers. Small talk is what leads to big talk.”

So, how can you own a room and leave a memorable mark on everyone in attendance in a social setting?

Peter Diamond, a Chicago-based executive coach and author, says it’s important to be true to yourself.

“People can spot someone who is a fake or who is trying too hard,” he says. “If you’re a great storyteller or you tell great jokes, those are the people where it’s easy for them to become the hit of the party. People easily gravitate toward them.

That’s a small group of people that can really do that well. If you’re not really good at doing that, it’s probably not the time to try and showcase those skills.”

Not everyone can, nor necessarily wants to, be the star of the show. With that in mind, experts say there are plenty of ways to go about working a room.

Josh Udashkin, founder and CEO of luggage manufacturer Raden, says reading a person’s body language is key.

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