How To Own The Room


Everyone has the potential to be an irresistible, room-captivating rockstar- even if they don’t know it yet. I recently saw the beautiful and talented Jazz singer, Ariana Savalas, perform and what I found inspiring about her is that she knows how to captivate and own her audience, flawlessly. Her style and charm is very reminiscent of the former days of sophisticated stardom; channeling the charming, sultry and witty, glamorously clad legends of the old hollywood era. What better way to learn how to ‘own the room’ than from the woman who could enter a room, without saying a word, and still steal the hearts of everyone in her presence? Follow these 6 tips, from Ariana herself, on becoming a room-captivating maven.

Ariana Savalas IV-2

1. Start small: Working with smaller crowds allows for you to really stand out amongst those around you. You are in turn allowed to introduce yourself (always use your first and last name), and be able to converse in a well-versed manner, all of which all sets the stage for people to know and remember who you are.

2. Slowly expand your crowd: Ariana started performing in front of family and close friends during her formative years. In other words, she had a tremendous amount of practice before she was comfortable performing in front of larger crowds. Once you become comfortable with practicing in smaller groups, you can transition into working with large ones. By starting small, you’ll notice how much more comfortable you’ll become in front of larger groups.

Ariana Savalas V-2

3. Practice makes perfect: You are certainly not going to be great at owning the room first time around (which is why tip no. 2 is so important). You might get nervous, fumble your words, or not know what to say… Just remember to breathe and be yourself. If your first time out doesn’t go as expected, try again! Practice really does make perfect and you’ll be confident, owning the room in no time.

Ariana Savalas I-2

4. Be well rested and focused: No one has ever owned a room when they’re looking and acting as if they just rolled out of bed. If you are planning on attending an event, be sure to rest well, drink plenty of water, and keep your head clear to remain completely focused and in the moment.Basically don’t plan a wild girls night out ( or girls night in, for that matter) when you have a big company presentation at 9 am the next morning.

5. Know your crowd: Ariana knows how to reads her audience well. She states, “It’s like a first date – you try to find out their background, room atmosphere so that you can know whether to amp up the jokes or tone it down.” This is an excellent tid-bit of advice. Even if you have never met the people who surround you, you can learn a great deal about them. A great way to do this is by watching the conversation-styles and listening to the topics being discussed by those around you, prior to diving into a conversation. Learn your audience, then you can take them by storm!

Ariana Savalas III-2

6. Give credit where credit is due: This is particularly important if you are sharing the stage with others (your friends or partner perhaps).  “You want them to help you out and giving you their best,” says Ariana. Be each others support system and own the room together. Be prepared, the results may turn out even better than expected!

Pretty simple, right? Now that you have the 6 steps necessary to ‘own the room’ and and engage an audience, put them to use! You’ll be able to successfully mingle and make new connections, whether for work or play. The benefits to learning to own the room are essentially endless!Now if only I can rock a rocking animal print dress and 6 inch heels to my next meeting.

The Five Most Important Questions

What are the most important questions you should ask yourself as go-getting leader at work in 2015?

Well, many years before the age of Blackberrys (2008 to be exact) a management guru called Peter Drucker wrote a little 100-pager book called The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization.  The book has now been rewritten for 2015  with some pretty kickass #bossladies as the new co-writers. One of them is Millennial Expert, international speaker and leadership expert Joan Snyder Kuhl, the founder of Why Millennials Matter.


So What Are These 5 Most Important Questions?

  1. What Is Our Mission?

  2. Who Is Our  Customer?

  3. What Does The Customer Value?

  4. What Are Our Results?

  5. What Is Our Plan?

Sometimes, we tend to overlook the most important questions because they seem to obvious.  And while the questions in the book do seem simple enough, the answers themselves are not. But this concise book does answer them all quite thoroughly.

“Never subordinate the mission in order to get money. If there are opportunities that threaten the integrity of the organization, you must say no.” – Peter Drucker, Author of The Five Most Important Questions

I love that the book discusses the process of self-assessment to transitioning towards leadership and explores answers from a diverse group of leaders representing a wide array of sectors.

5 Most Important Questions also features (very important to me) opinions of thoughts on leadership from many female leaders, and includes expanded observations from Drucker along with anecdotes from other management heavyweights such as commentary from six distinguished management gurus, including Jim Collins (of Good to Great book fame), Judith Rodin (Rockefeller Foundation president) and Frances Hesselbein (chairman of Leader to Leader Institute and former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA).

I suppose it’s true – great things do come in small 100-page packages (that’s hundreds of pages less than Vogue’s some fashion magazine’s September issues, FYI) so it would be a short but worthwhile read. 5 Questions is available easily on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles.

PS : Joan Kuhl will be speaking on June 4th in NYC about “Moving From Achieving To Leading At Work”.
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