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How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online Paperback – December 5, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


“When it comes to connecting with others, some of us are naturals. But those who aren’t -- thank heaven for Susan RoAne . . . If you want to learn how to enter a room and build a network of people you can help and who can help you, read this book.” (Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human)

“I read this book 25 years ago and it helped me tremendously. The updated version makes it more relevant and useful than ever . . . I can’t imagine trying to navigate successfully in the business world today without this amazing tool. ” (Larry Winget, television personality and five-time bestselling author of Grow A Pair: How To Stop Being A Victim and Take Back Your Life, Your Business and Your Sanity)

“Walking into a roomful of strangers? Pleasant? Productive? Profitable? Fun? From tradeshow suites to virtual ‘rooms,’ RoAne promises a lot--and delivers even more! There’s no more critical skill in today’s marketplace than becoming the connected communicator. Highly recommended.” (Dianna Booher, author of Creating Personal Presence and Communicate With Confidence)

About the Author

Susan RoAne is an in-demand professional speaker and the bestselling author of seven books. The self-described Mingling Maven®, RoAne has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan and the Financial Times and on CNN, and She lives in the San Francisco area.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPB; Revised edition (December 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060957859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060957858
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan RoAne leads a double life as a bestselling author and a sought-after keynote speaker Known as "The Mingling Maven'," she gives her multi-generational audiences the required tools, techniques and strategies they need to connect and communicate in today's global business world. Her practical, informative, and interactive presentations are known for what The San Francisco Chronicle calls her 'dynamite sense of humor.'
She received her Master's Degree from San Francisco State University and her Bachelors in English from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, where she was honored at 'Authors Come Home'. She still considers herself one of the Fighting Ilini! A former teacher, Susan now lectures for major corporations and conventions and at major universities such as Yale, Wharton, University of Chicago, University of Texas Law School and will return as guest faculty for the eighth time for NYU's Summer Publishing Institute.
Because of her groundbreaking best-seller, How to Work a Room', Susan is considered the undisputed and original networking and conversation expert. She has sold over a million books worldwide and has launched an industry that she continues to create and shape in the 21st Century. Her forthcoming book, Face To Face: How To Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World will be published October, 2008, by Fireside Books.
An expert on connecting and communicating, Susan RoAne is often quoted in such diverse venues as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, and

Customer Reviews

Good thing I wasn't depending on this book to get me through working a room any time soon.
Jennifer Hansen
Susan RoAne knows how to help navigate people through a multitude of social situations, and her book combines humor with valuable -- and practical -- advice.
Mark Chimsky
I wish I could give this book less than a star because even 1 star is too generous for this book.
S Singh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Baldwin Cheng on June 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book will probably be helpful if you want an easy-to-read guide to the very basics of networking and socializing.
She lays out intuitive, easy-to-follow lists of rules and principles, such as how some of the manners you were taught as a child can become obstacles to meeting people, like, don't talk to strangers. And she perscribes some easy-to-remember, non-threatening tactics for overcoming these fears, such as questions like "I've never been to one of these meetings before. Is there always such a good turnout?"
But I found that most of her major points were fairly common sense. Is it really that helpful to know that arrogance, not listening and poor hygiene will impair your ability to meet people? Or that you should bring business cards to a professional event?
If you feel your social skills are really at ground zero and you need help getting started, this will be a useful guide. But if you're looking for more advanced techniques and ideas for to engage people and loosening yourself up, it's way too easy. It certainly didn't change my life.
I'm now reading Bernardo Carducci's book, "Shyness". It has a much more theoretical and holistic approach--I'll post a review on that book's page as soon as I finish it.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I considered myself an introverted computer scientist. I ordered this and Carducci's book at the same time, looking forward more to Carducci's book. Fortunately this book arrived first, so I gave it a chance.

Don't misconstrue the title; it is not at all a book on manipulating others.

The first chapter --the introduction-- reads like an annoying motor-mouth oratory from Joan Rivers. Persist. Don't be concerned about how you're going to hold an entire book's worth of advice in your head while conversing because you won't need to; it pertains more to pre-schmooze preparation. (In contrast, Carducci's book focuses more on real-time details of conversation.) I've only read through chapter three and have not had time to get to the rest of it because I've been socializing! I kid you not! Sound too good to be true? Bet you don't have as many doubts as I did. Try it. Some of the later chapters are on special situations (airplanes, trade shows, e-mail, etcetera); paging through those I found some pearls, so I look forward to finishing it.

These are light, easy tips that analytical left-brain guys can follow. I read that the author also teaches seminars, but who needs that? Just get the book. You are already on the right track for considering it. There is probably a LOT less "wrong" with you than you might think, and this book is a fast, easy way to become the more sociable person that you want to become.

Amazingly, there is virtually no overlap between this book and Carducci's. Carducci's book is more aimed at micro-details of what to talk about, very elementary. I think the best book in this category is "Lifeskills for Adult Children" by the late Janet Woititz and Alan Garner; it begins with an excellent section on starting and maintaining conversations.

This book is light reading. Try it!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Eduard Van Kleef on December 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book contains 18 chapters. Of those, I'd say some 5 are filled with the information you'd expect.
The book actually starts of quite well, analyzing the reasons why people have difficulties mingling and what to do about them. This part of the book really helped me overcome some of my shyness and move out to people. And that certainly made life easier and more fun! However, I wished there would've been more of this and less of the rest.
After that the book seems to go all over the place. Chatrooms, Etiquette, public speaking, Yiddish dictionary, general life philosophy... you name it! My advice: try some other books first.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rainforest Belle on January 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic! I have been searching and searching for the perfect book to help me when I have to go to a meeting or attend a function where I know NOBODY! I have to deal with the public all the time...and sometimes it isn't easy! In fact, just yesterday, I had to attend an event that required me to chat with four different groups as they came to our facility. I was able to do it without fear, and actually enjoyed it. I just felt better, having some ideas as to what should I do next?
I would recommend this book to anyone who hates attending these kinds of events. You can do it.... Susan RoAne writes so simply, that anyone will benefit from her humor and suggestions.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I suggest not wasting your time with this thin-on-substance guide. Beyond some poorly written musings of common sense, not much is offered aside from the occasional jab at persons Ms. RoAne apparently has issues with. (This is quite hypocritical considering that her basic message is to make friends and play nice.)
Attempts at addressing online networking are rather pathetic, uninformed, and blatantly appended to text from previous editions. (...)
One must also wonder about the need for, and her constant references to, the Yiddish glossary she has so painstakingly included. Call me slow, but I just didn't get the connection between it and a better understanding of "working a room".
As recommended to me, and I to you, "Power Networking" by Donna Fisher and Sandy Vilas is more comprehensive, directed, and references RoAne's few meaningful insights briefly and concisely.
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