Working the Room with a
Niki Rabren & Sandy Hofmann
Gain perspective on the difference between
networking & connecting so you can “work the
room with purpose”
How do you define networking?
• Networking isn’t about:
– Plugging in
– Dating/scoping out
– Keeping score
– Obligating others
– Collecting business cards
– Building social network counts
Do you create ripples?
“we drop like a pebble into the ponds of each
other’s souls & the orbit of our ripples
continues to expand, intersecting with
Or do you splash, drench or drip?
What are you doing?
“Man did not weave the web of life. He is
merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the
web, he does to himself”.
American Indian Chief Seattle
Isn’t it about connecting?
• Networking is about:
– Making sincere connections
– Engaging with others
– Building relationships
– Fostering exchange
– Creating opportunities
– Being a continuous learner
– Serving others
– Taking chances
Table Exercise: Who are you?
Step 1: Introduce yourself. “Hi! I’m (your name). I am (see
examples below or supply your own). How about you?”
– a first time attendee at the WIT Forums.
– a huge fan of the WIT Forums.
– always feeling (what? Nervous; excited to meet new people, ready to hit the
buffet) at networking events like this!
– really here because (what? Interested in the topic; curious about who is here;
treating myself to a morning out of the office)
Step 2: Ask a question (see examples below) & listen to the
– What is your name?
– What prompted you to attend today?
– How did you get involved with WIT?
– Who do you know here?
– Have you participated in any of the other WIT events?
– Do you belong to any other professional organizations?
– Can I introduce you to (find someone you know or someone who is standing
Are you prepared to connect?
• Know who you are
• Know who you know
– How do you know them?
– Who are they? How are they
spending their life?
– How can you be of service to
• Know who you want to know
• Know where you want to go
What’s your plan?
• What is the event?
– Professional, social, community
• Why important to attend?
– Connect, learn, share, serve
• Who do you want to meet?
– Speakers, host, attendees, peers
• Where & when event held?
– Location, promptness, synchronize
w/meetings & “get in the zone”
Are you behaving?
• Basic etiquette: good manners=good business
• Know the rules & observe graciously
• Handling Introductions:
– Make them!
– Repeat name (& decide to remember it!)
– Present junior to senior (less to more)
• Responding to invitations:
– RSVP means “respond if you please”
– Respond regardless & show up if committed
– Write thank you notes
• Forgetting names:
– Tell the truth (“Forgive me, I’ve drawn a blank on your name”)
– Use humor (“I’ve had a brain cramp & forgotten your name & not sure
Are you ready to connect?
• Get the attitude
• Get out & have a plan
• Focus on what you can do for others
• Practice your elevator speech
• Be a gracious host
• Master the art of listening
• Develop & maintain the relationship
Are you fearless?
“I sort of just run into fear, as I run into chaos.
You breathe deep, and you have to remember
that everyone is scared."
Maryam Banikarim, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at
Gannett, publisher of USA Today
Want to know more?
• 4000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone &
Everyone by Barbara Ann Kipfer
• How to Work a Room by Susan RoAne
• How to Say IT for Women by Phyllis Mindell
• The Heart & Art of NetWeaving by Bob Littell
• The Heart of Networking by Ricky Steele
• The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell