Monday, August 26, 2013
Tips on Working a Room
While discussing how to have a successful convention with some other writers, I suggested these basic tips for "working a room." Most of the other writers had never heard these. So here they are:
1) At most of these events, you will be given a name tag. Which side do you stick it on? Answer: your right. When you hold out your hand to shake hands with someone, that person has to look at your hand. By putting your name tag on your right side, you allow their eyes to travel easily upward from your hand to your name tag. It's a subtle effect, but a real one.
2) If you are holding a drink, keep it in your LEFT hand. (I'm assuming you're not a Muslim or in a part of the world where the left hand is considered unclean.) Shaking hands with someone who has a cold, clammy, damp grip is unpleasant - and it really doesn't matter if your hand is wet because you're nervous, or because you just had a cold beer in that hand.
3) Finally, to insure you don't get stuck talking to just one person in a room full of people you should meet, try this old politician's trick: have the bartender fill your glass just one-quarter full. Then, if you get buttonholed by a bore, you always have an excuse to leave. Just down the liquid in your almost-empty glass, then say, "excuse me - I need to go refill my drink!"
Have a successful convention experience. And remember - you're not there just to have fun. There's a reason it's called WORKING a room - unless you're a natural-born gladhander, it really is work.