Paschal Agonsi

How to ‘Work A Room’: The Art of Networking


Like all idioms, ‘Work A Room’ is not to be taken literally. It means to talk to the people in a room to get their support, approval. For example, a politician who really knows how to work a room.

In life and business, winning friends and influencing people is key to building mutual benefiting relationships. Networking expert, Will Kintish, shares 5 tips over 2 decades ago that’s still very much relevant today to help anyone, introverts included, become a people genius.

1. Be the Early Bird

Arrive early if you feel nervous. Most people feel uncomfortable so this is one way to avoid the issue. They then have to face you. Look for someone you don’t know standing alone and make the first move. Usually, they are not standing there by choice, they’re nervous and don’t know anyone; that’s why they are alone.

2. Define your Goal

Think positive. “I’m going to meet new contacts, gain useful information, or create new business opportunities.” This should calm the nerves and remind you clearly why you have attended.

3. First Impression

Smile, make good eye contact and offer a firm handshake for your first contact. These actions create that first and long-lasting good impression. Ask permission to join, introduce yourself and start to ask open questions. “Where have you come from?” or “whose guest are you?” are two simple icebreakers.

4. Names are Important

Give your name clearly and slowly; you do want them to know who you are, don’t you? Try first names only, it’s friendlier.

Bear in mind that peoples’ names are, to them, the most important sound in the world. Not remembering peoples’ names is nothing to do with memory it’s all to do with your listening and attitude.

Ask your new contact to repeat their name if you don’t hear it in the first place. They won’t be upset; in fact, they will be pleased that you are interested.

5. Be in Character

Dress appropriately for the occasion. If you want to be different, consider most carefully what image you wish to portray.

Adapt your conversation to the event and the people you are with; you have to be a person for all seasons.

Will Kintish


Walking into a room full of strangers and connecting with them is not as easy as it sounds. It’s challenging for many and for those in business and sales, there’s no escape than to learn the art of networking.

With Kintish’s 5 way rule for successful networking, anyone desirous of a life change has a powerful tool in hand. You will be the same person in 5 years except for the books you read and the company you keep.

Start Networking today.

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