How To Do Everything Better: Work a Room Like a Social Butterfly

Leah Bourne

circulateatparty How To Do Everything Better: Work a Room Like a Social Butterfly
New year, new you. With that in mind, follow along as we hit up experts in far-ranging fields from fashion to hospitality to travel for their thoughts on how to do everything better this year.
Sure you love to party, but sometimes stepping into a party where you don’t that many people (or in some cases, anyone at all) can be utterly nerve-wracking. Susan RoAne, known as The Mingling Maven and best-selling author of How to Work a Room, to the rescue. If anyone knows how to work a room like a social butterfly it is RoAne. So the next time you head to a soiree, make sure to brush up on her tips.
1.Prepare In Advance. “Read the paper, find out what’s going on in your community, business world, real world, because then you will feel more prepared to make conversation,” RoAne advises. “Have a self-intro, but a pleasantry, not an elevator speech.”
2. Go To the Outside of a Party. “There are people who say head to the middle, but I say look to the periphery,” RoAne says. “They’re easy to approach. They could be just one of the 93 percent who self-identify as shy who are more uncomfortable than you. Stand in the periphery, do agreeable body language, and when someone includes you visually or verbally, step in. When you’re invited, give a bit about yourself. A savvy mingler stops and adds the magic words, ‘And what about you?’ and then you’re in a conversation.”
3. Break the Ice Yourself. “When there is a break, say ‘Excuse me, may I join you?’ It is very elegant. Never has anybody said no,” she says. “Invariably, when you say it politely with a smile on your face, someone will step back and include you. But you don’t change it to your agenda or your pitch.”
4. Remember, It’s About Conversation. “You will hear people say, ‘Just ask a lot of questions.’ Don’t you dare do that. You don’t want to seem like the FBI. Conversation is a mix,” she says.
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