Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

The Gift of the Gab, but No Skills Working a Room

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

The Gift of the Gab, but No Skills Working a Room

Article excerpt

MY communication skills arenat too bad. Heck, why am I being modest? Theyare actually quite good.

I can take to the microphone in front of a large group and give a reasonable presentation as a guest speaker.

Iam fine on the telephone too, getting my message or point across quickly without preamble or wasting anyoneas time.

Face to face situations donat bother me.

Iam even pretty good at filling awkward gaps in conversations and can always rush in with something to say to fill the embarrassment.

As a feature writer, I can conduct an interview with a local resident who might have a small parochial story to tell, just as well as I can conduct an interview with a celebrity who might have a big global story to tell.

But there is one part of this communication gig I cannot get right. No matter how hard and often Iave tried, I am still woefully inadequate at it. Working a room.

I watch with envy as other people work a room with confidence, gliding smoothly from one group to another, shaking a hand here, kissing a cheek there, beaming their charm at everyone in their path.

They exchange business cards, make appropriate jokes or witty remarks and then move effortlessly on to the next group.

How do you do that? Oh, how I would love to have that skill.

Me, I enter a crowded room and get stuck at the door with the first person I see.

It is as though my feet are glued to the spot and are unable to move.

On the rare occasions I have managed to go up to a group, I always interrupt just as someone has reached the punchline of his joke and I ruin it. Then Iam forced to slink away with dark looks drilling into my back.

I have attended countless parties and networking functions where I have stayed in the one place all night while others with me have ducked and weaved around the room with confidence and style. …

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