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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2001
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
on May 30, 2001
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
on December 8, 2002
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
on January 27, 2001
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
on December 16, 2002
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2004
This is a decent book to remind us all of what we need to be doing. Although much of it is just common sense, seeing reminders doesn't hurt. There is nothing profound in it.
Unfortunately, it's not well written. This makes it somewhat painful to read and detracts from its credibility. For example, it's "chock full" of trite phrases and the inappropriate use of quotation marks. Both of these writing problems suggest that the author was not entirely comfortable with what she was saying. I still gave Ms. Roane the benefit of the doubt; perhaps she's more of a verbal person than a writer, and verbal communication is the main focus of the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2002
New to networking?
Susan RoAne's book is updated and chock full of ideas to help you plunge forward into a roomful of strangers. This is the perfect book for everyone; it helps you prepare for and to practice opening lines so that you won't HATE networking. One of her suggestions is to seek out a "white knuckle drinker," as she calls them, so that you can focus on making them more comfortable. Soon, you'll forget that you were nervous as well.
Written in a simple, practical style, it offers tips to get your conversations going like "tell me more about the organization...." Comment on the venue, the food or the view. If you need to exit quickly, smile, shake hands and say, "enjoy the event." She suggests that you may want to introduce them to someone else. Obvious, yes, simple, yes, and EFFECTIVE!
We at our IT recruiting firm recommend to all our candidates to help them network better.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2000
Susan RoAne has done it again. Her latest (and I believe greatest) version of How to Work a Room delivers the nuts and bolts of how to work huge crowd, or small group. Her tips on working the Internet are excellent. This is a must have for your personal and professional growth library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2007
Most of the book contains common sense ideas for working a room, ideas in which the average person already inherently knows and will act on without reading this book. Half of the time I was busy looking up the Yiddish terms in the Glossary and the other half of the time the author is trying to sell herself (I don't have to hear that you sell out arenas five times!) and her other books. Good thing I wasn't depending on this book to get me through working a room any time soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2006
This is a good book for someone who can act on things. I was shy most of my life and worked hard to earn a degree from a good school only to fear talking to people so

I sent back to work in a factory. I did not know how to switch gears and mix in a business setting or others where I did not know people. It really hurt and I was determined to get over this. I found this book over 12 years ago and really took it to heart and figured that I would try to do some of the things the author was talking about and just kept building for there. If you can learn from book and try to act on them within reason when you do not have the answers yourself then this book might help you. I give it to my up and coming staff as part of their development if I think it will help them in social/business setting. While I still have a big shy side no one reallyknows it unless I tell them and I speak on a pretty regualr basis to various business and other groups.
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