How many times has someone given you the advice to ‘own the room’ when you attend an event? Or, have you heard someone say that a certain person ‘owns the room’ when they enter it? Maybe you’re even that person. Maybe you’ve given this advice to a colleague that needs a confidence boost. Well, quit it.
Yes, quit it! I happen to agree with blogger and author, Justin Patton, in his article ‘Stop trying to own the room’ where he suggests that this is simply ‘awful advice’. (Click Below for full article).
“If the individual already knew how to own the room then she would,” Patton explains and goes on to point out that our own definition of what ‘owning the room’ looks like is likely different from someone else’s point of view. Giving that advice, Patton says, just leads to confusion and probably does nothing to help the recipient’s self confidence.
So, what to do to make an impact? Three Tips.
Tip One: Define What ‘Own the Room’ Means to You.
Like Patton suggests, the idea of owning the room is unique to each person. For me, it’s about having a formidable but approachable presence that people see and are drawn into. When I attend an event, I want people to notice that I’m there and engage me in interesting conversation.
Tip Two: Create Your Own Tactics
My strategy to appear noticeable at an event such as a cocktail reception is to circulate. I like to work the edges a little bit first and see who is there and where the clusters of conversation are happening (and not happening!). Of course, at a reception, the bar is always hopping, but if that’s not the place where you want to spend the night, don’t go there first (I know, hard to do if you’ve got two drink tickets burning a hole in you hand…) but if you don’t at first see someone that you came to connect with, make an effort to that person early on. Besides, you don’t want to be stuck in a dullsville conversation just for free booze…
Tip Three: Attend with Purpose
Probably the best advice to work a room and yet not portend to ‘own it’ is simply to attend with a plan. Why are you there? Is it just because it’s on the agenda? That’s silly. I like to create a list of people I need to talk with or people I’d like to meet. If I’m speaking, I enjoy connecting with audience members to see what they’ve thought of other sessions or if they’re planning to attend mine. Having a purpose or a ‘to-do’ list can also help with your confidence. You’ll know what you are there to accomplish. Once you’re done, sure, go use up those drink tickets!
ACT like a pro out there!
Link to full article mentioned above: