Tag: relationship

How to work a room

How to work a room

Knowing how to ‘work a room’ is a valuable talent.

Make it your mission to meet as many people as possible. Don’t spend all of your time with only one or two people. Even if you buttonhole CEOs, they probably don’t want to spend the whole evening with you glued to their elbow.

Introduce people to other people: everyone is there to meet people. By introducing people you know to others, you are helping the process and creating goodwill to boot.

Obviously, you are there to sell yourself, but don’t just turn into a speechmaker.

Ask questions to get others talking about themselves. Most everyone likes to talk about themselves. And, you could learn some valuable info that you can use later. For example, if someone mentions that their son is on the football team at school, at another meeting it makes a great opening to ask about how their son’s team is doing.

Reserve two pockets for business cards. One pocket is for your cards. The other pocket is where you put cards you receive from others. This keeps them separate and you don’t hand out someone else’s card inadvertently.


Turn your cell phone off. Interruptions are distracting and make it appear that you value your caller more than the person you are talking with.

The old adage of not discussing politics or religion holds true. With so many divergent opinions out there, you do not want to get embroiled in an argument you cannot win. It is the best way to make a bad impression.

And, lastly, industry receptions may look like a party, feel like a party and sound like a party – but they are not parties. They are social business events. If you drink too much and make a fool of yourself, people will remember that about you for years.

6 Ways to refresh your annual conference

6 Ways to refresh your annual conference

An annual conference provides the unique opportunity to bond relationships between peers, clients, investors, vendors, and prospective business partners.

It creates a stage where people can come together and reflect on exceptional accomplishments as well as opportunities missed throughout the year, creating a reflective and honest environment.

This atmosphere can act as the perfect catalyst for supercharging your whole company and motivating members to move forward together towards a common objective.

Your annual conference can prove to be productive time well spent if your audience is engaged and people are poised to collaborate. Here are some ways to breathe life into your annual conference:

Change the scenery

Create anticipation for your meeting even before attendees step foot inside the door.

Host your annual conference in a different location from where you do business to give a feeling of a fresh start and unlimited possibilities. For example, if your office setting is typically in an urban industrial area, try hosting your conference at a forested retreat surrounded by wildlife and natural habitat.

A change in scenery can completely alter the way attendees approach issues and transform perceptions.

Plan some functional free time

Try balancing out a lecture-heavy agenda by adding other non-traditional activities to the mix.

Building excursions, recreation opportunities and friendly competitions into the schedule provides an outlet for creative thinking, thus giving attendees the chance to regroup and fully engage during traditional work sessions.

Sample activities can be as simple as furnishing a bike for each attendee to explore a nearby trail system, or simply providing interactive maps for attendees to discover must-see places throughout the host city.


Get to know your peers

With so many great minds in one place, try to make it easier for people to reach out to one another and start meaningful conversations. Ask attendees to fill out a “nametag” that includes not only a name but also lists the one accomplishment he or she is most proud of for the year, or a question he or she is hoping to have answered by the end of the conference.

This is a great way to get individuals interacting to share similar accomplishments and goals.

Break from the classic break

Sitting stationary for long periods of time is not good for the mind or the body.

Intermittent breaks allow attendees to move around and shake off stiff limbs, clear heads, and seek refuge after a morning filled with strong coffee and bran muffins. Take coveted break time to a whole new level by inviting in special relaxation and movement experts to help loosen the tension.

A few easy yoga moves in the fresh air will get people bending and stretching to increase blood flow and brain function, while a visiting chair massage specialist can ease the aches of sitting all day and give attendees a chance to temporarily zone out so they are less likely to do so in the middle of the session.

Interactive food fare

Food relaxes the atmosphere and helps sustain positive energy levels throughout a conference. Instead of opting for the regular ol’ soda and sandwiches theme, change it up a bit for a new spin on snacking.

Rather than one generic buffet, offer diverse lunch stations with different types of cuisine available in each area. There can be an Italian-themed create-your-own-pasta station, a sushi rolling area, or a station offering food distinct to the area in which you are hosting your conference.

Change the furniture

At one time, banquet chairs in meeting rooms were replaced by ergonomic seating. Now ergonomic seating is being replaced by bean bag chairs, overstuffed couches and “living room” areas where groups can meet and talk in a less formal and more comfortable venue.

Whether it’s incorporating aromas to energize the room, or requesting fitness balls and free weights for breaks at association events, the smallest ideas can breathe life into your traditional conference.

Utilize some of these tricks during your next conference for a brand-new approach to the old way of doing business. They will help foster great ideas to propel your business into the future.

What’s your name?

What’s your name?

What’s the first thing to know in any new relationship? The other person’s name, of course.

So why do so many of us have trouble putting names to faces?  Do some people’s brains come wired with the skill? Not at all. They care. They know it’s important.

The secret is out: Everyone, from your boss to your assistant, needs to work at it.

The first and most important step: recognizing the strategic advantage of using people’s names when you’re talking to them.

Here’s a common strategy for remembering names, which you can fine tune to suit yourself.


Seize the moment as soon as you meet someone new. Lock eyes and offer your hand. If you missed the name, ask for it. Then use it immediately. “Hello, Jason, “or “It’s nice to meet you, Allison.”

Ask a question

Young woman having business meeting in cafe with two men, smiling
If necessary, ask if you’re pronouncing the name correctly. The other person will appreciate that you care enough to get it right. If appropriate, ask for a business card so you can see the spelling—that’s another chance to etch the name deeper into your mind.

Now, resist the urge to launch right into your side of the conversation. Ask a question instead, and make mental notes about what your new acquaintance is saying while repeating the name silently to yourself.

Create a link or picture in your head

Woman leaning her face on her hand and listening to her co-worker
If the name is the same as someone’s you know, picture them standing together. When it comes to encoding memory, the more color and movement you can give the image and the sillier the better. Alliteration works well for some. Rhyming, too. Carrot-top Karen? Carin’ Karen? Dan from Detroit with the dimple?

End the conversation by repeating the name

“It’s so great to meet you, Homer.” “Hope to see you at the session later, Marge.” Then silently repeat the name to yourself.

Keep a record

As soon as practical, write down the name along with a few relevant attributes. If the person gave you a business card, you might jot a note or two on the card. Finally, back home, go over your notes before filing for future reference.

It takes commitment and effort to remember names. But it’s a skill anyone can master, and it gets easier with practice.