How to “Own a Room”On September 24, the Babson community had the unbelievable opportunity to meet and hear from Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership’s (CWEL) newest entrepreneur in residence–music and fashion powerhouse Sophia Chang. Sophia spent two days with the Babson community, including an interactive networking session where she shared her art of how to “own a room” while networking.
Sophia provided shrewd and honest insight into the ins and outs of successful networking and more specifically, how it pertains to women. Her energy, confidence and passion were evident throughout the entire discussion, and it was obvious why she is as successful as she is. Further, her overall style and uniqueness can only be described in one word: cool.
Sophia had so many wonderful things to say, so here are the highlights (in no particular order):
1. Always act confident no matter what. It’s okay (and encouraged) to ask a question if you don’t understand something, but exude confidence when networking. Humility and confidence can co-exist.
2. Make an impression on everyone you meet. Sometimes you have only 10 seconds, so think about what you are going to say. ALWAYS state your first and last name and make eye contact while giving a firm handshake (no floppy hand shakes).
3. Always wear your business hat. You never know who you’re going to meet.
4. Know how to scope a room. Prior to going to an event, try and find out who will be there and have a mental hit list of those people you want to meet. This will lead to a broadening of your network.
5. Inject humor in conversations. People like to laugh and will remember you for this.
6. Dress the part. Women dress for other women, so go tell a woman that you like her shoes. (Who doesn’t want to hear these compliments?)
7. Don’t ask for something … unless you have the goods to deliver.
8. Don’t get discouraged by men. Many of us will walk into scenarios where the expectations are low; we as women have to work that much harder – if we make half the money, we need to work four times as hard to compensate. We need to excel and surpass males as the playing field is not level.
9. It’s all about passion but you also have to be smart. If you have passion but no smarts, you can’t get very far. Contrary, if you are smart but lack passion you are essentially a robot.
10. Just start. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you’ve missed. Just like anything in life, networking gets easier. Keep doing it and overtime it will become natural… you will own the room!
To find out about future events, please visit CWEL’s website.