Parties are pretty important. Future business partners, romantic prospects, and new friends can potentially show up at nearly any given time to one of these. However, not everyone out there is the most confident party-goer, and upping your party game can level the playing field when navigating the party scenes. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered in mastering the art of conversations and connections to get you effortlessly mingling through the night.
1. Have a mission
Unless you’re the biggest extrovert who ever lived, chances are you are not going to know a lot of people or connections. Instead of freaking out, single out why you must go – assuming you want to go; we don’t recommend forcing yourself. Is it to relax? Good food or wine, a new business connection, or even romance? It can help bolster your mindset in advance, as it gives you something to focus on other than all these people you don’t know.
Plus, know what you want to do before you enter the venue. You can also ask your friends or the host to help brainstorm topics in advance. It not only gives you a head start but allows you to size up who is worth your hitlist for the night.
2. Dress the part
Of course, the dress code should be followed, but honestly, things that help you tap into the best you – are an infallible talisman. Rather than shopping around for a new outfit, go for something tried and true. It’s not so much about looking the best – but feeling the best, so if you have a jacket, necklace, or pants that always seem to work for you – go for it.
3. What are you bringing?
Etiquette dictates showing up with something, but that isn’t always the case nowadays. You don’t need to show up with something for your good friends, so you can take the weight off by bringing something you’re comfortable with. Maybe a bottle of wine, or some chocolates you like. If they say just bring yourself, then you can most likely take their word for it. Remember that the gift isn’t going to do the talking for you, so don’t stress it too much. Bring something simple, and have a few topics in mind to get the conversation rolling.
4. Be fashionably early
The cliche is to arrive late with a posse of friends, but being early can set you up to work your way into certain groups before the party begins. If you’d like to play on the less side, going in alone can work wonders for you, as that person is usually the most approachable in the room for incoming guests. If you come with a group, you can separate from them momentarily and go mingle; while still having someone to return to when you’ve had enough chatter.
5. Remember the 3 tiers
So, you’ve managed to get talking, now what? Remember that most people love talking about themselves, but don’t go probing until they’ve opened a certain level of conversation. Tier one is safe territory, like sports, pop-culture, or any shared experience. Tier two gets potentially controversial with dating, politics, and even religion. Don’t push too far with these if they’re not interested. Lastly, tier three is the more intimate talk, like family, hobbies, and kids. Another good thing to note, don’t put people in a spot; try to make them as comfortable as possible. Stuff like “What’s going on in your life?” Don’t ask where their partner or friends are if you do not see them present.
6. You’re interesting if interested
You don’t have to leave everyone in stitches to call it a success. Instead, get people to talk to you more, like Oprah. Talking a lot can exhaust you; ask questions, then listen. They will think you’re a better conversationalist than if you were just talking. Based on Harvard studies, talking about yourself triggers the same pleasurable sensation in your brain as food does. You can take advantage of this by asking a question in an unassuming manner and listen to the responses.