How to work a room: Susan RoAne


A classic in the world of professional networking. The version I read was the 25th anniversary edition with some updates to include the various advancements in networking when it comes to technology and especially social media.


Most of the fundamentals of networking are tried-and-true and are basically the same since humans have existed. Some are contextual based on the way the world has evolved. It’s interesting to see how even 25 years ago, things have not changed. It speaks to the importance of soft-skills like networking which will stay with you well into your career. Investing in yourself to become better at building relationships will continue to benefit you. Versus learning a new technology or policy that might only exist for 5, 10 or so years. 


I found the 5 roadblocks to be particularly interesting:

  1. Don’t talk to strangers: programmed into us as children to not want to make connections, let alone meaningful ones
  2. Wait to be properly introduced: a notion again, probably acquired when we were younger, to wait for an introduction
  3. Good things come to those who wait: patience may be a virtue, though in networking fortune favours the bold
  4. Risking rejection: the quote from Wayne Gretzky comes to mind “ you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
  5. Mixed messages: being congruent and authentic


Read May 2019

Why I decided to read it

People generally see me as a pretty good networker. That being said, there is always more to learn. I wanted to challenge myself a bit more in the networking and relationship building front, I saw “How to Work a Room” on various reading lists when it comes to networking. So eventually put it on my reading list and just got to it!

Who should read it

Those looking to build more meaningful connections.

Memorable highlights for me

5 roadblocks

“Only the incompetent think they know everything”

Have you read it? What did you think?

Get it on Amazon:

Also published on Medium.