How to Work A Room reviewThis is a great textbook on working a room. On this particular subject it may be even THE ultimate textbook. Susan RoAne covered everything from exhibits via high school reunions to funeral services. Wow, what a tremendous experience! Susan was on schedule for more meetings than I changed diapers (and changed a lot of them).

But this is not some boring textbook which can substitute for a soothing lullaby. Not at all. This book is packed with both fun and interesting stories. Most of them came directly from Susan’s rich array of experiences. That makes the book far from the dreadful image of a textbook.

First some areas where it may have fell short for some users. As a representative of a (relatively) young generation I found her explanations of different social platforms boring. I skimmed through these and went straight to more “meaty” parts. But someone in his sixties may feel exactly opposite.

I also find the book a bit repetitive, but I’m not the kind of guy who shun from repetition. It helps to retain the lessons longer.

Connecting is hard, but she makes it easy

Susan also writes vividly. When she admits that mingling and talking to strangers is hard, I wholeheartedly agree with her. I was a shrinking violet who transformed into a confident person, so I went through quite a lot. 30 months ago I couldn’t say “Hi” to a stranger.

When Susan explains how to make it happen, it sounds fun and easy. I vote for her methods. I verified everything she teaches; every trick from her arsenal, which I knew and used worked as she prescribed. And I got some interesting results too. Since “shrinking violet” times I built a couple of deep friendships by starting conversations on a train to work. I also spoke with strangers about life-death issues.

Working a room mastery

But it was just the introductory part of the book. From there the author goes into room-working and that’s where her mastery really shows. She has a knack for breaking high plane ideas into actionable items. Susan has also a tendency to make a list whenever possible. There are an enormous number of lists and action steps included. And after each chapter you will find a quick summary, again in bullet points or the form of list, which makes for easy reading.

It’s really amazing how she was able to systematize and distill such intangible topic as human relationships.

Her ideas comes down to common sense. You won’t find there any backbreaking manipulation techniques which can be mastered only by years of training. I appreciate that because of the following reasons:

  1. Common sense is nowadays uncommon
  2. I don’t really know what common sense calls for in many situations; for example I have never been on reunion or a trade show.

I loved Susan’s advice on working virtual rooms. I’m not too bad in working them myself. I’ve been noticed by several people with 6 and 7 figure income businesses and obtained their help. I recognized in her advice my approach: just be genuine.

Not one-read kind of a book

I’m sure I’ll be going back to How to Work a Room time after time. The structure of book makes it easy to find just a particular kind of “room” and refresh the lesson in your mind. Now, before any new event I’ll take this book and skim an appropriate chapter.

If you are thinking about any career involving face- to-face contact with people (and most of careers demands at least basic social skills) How to Work a Room is a must read.

I grabbed “How to Work a Room” for a buck thanks to Buck Books service for readers. I recommend it for every frugal reader.

Book Review: How to Work a Room

5 thoughts on “Book Review: How to Work a Room

  • June 16, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Nice review as always, Michal. Very thorough. You’ve made Susan Roane’s book sound very appealing. Thank you for sharing this review.


  • December 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Knowing Susan personally, I can attest that she is the consummate networker that practices what she preaches. How to Work a Room was (and still is) one of my “go-to” books long before I knew her It was instrumental in teaching me to develop several diverse networks that have provided me with tons of new contact (business and personal) that have evolved into rich, rewarding relationships.

    In fact, I can argue that it was because of what she teaches in How to Work A Room that one of the relationships I developed lead to a personal, face-to-face introduction to Susan. This has evolved into a very special friendship. Susan has been a contributor to two of my books and has been an advocate for me (and I for her).

    Thank you for the review. I’ll make sure she’s aware of it and I’m sure you will hear directly from her as well!

    • December 3, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Tim!
      Susan is very approachable. She contributed to my online book event next to the bunch of first-time self-published authors. She is a star!

  • June 29, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    It’s June 29 2023 and I just read your review. THANK YOU. You made my day…And the social media platforms have changed dramatically.
    As a former teacher who was used to immediate student feedback, reading what you wrote was so affirming.
    Continued success to you!


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