You’re at a party and you don’t know a single person. Everyone’s mingling, chatting and getting to know one another. You may feel slightly shy, intimidated, unsure of how to proceed. We’ve all been there; and although it can be uncomfortable, it can also be a wonderful opportunity to meet new people.
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To meet new people you have to first start a conversation, which can be tricky if you’re not a social pro, which less face it, few of us are unless we’ve had heaps of practice. It may seem nerve-wracking at first, but gather your courage and simply walk up to whomever looks interesting or available, introduce yourself (Hi, I’m Beatrix) and use a conversation starter (Those are gorgeous earrings you’re wearing).
It’s not necessary to immediately introduce yourself but it can be helpful so to avoid that awkward, “By the way what’s your name?”, after a 15-minute conversation.
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Make use of these 10 foolproof conversation starters the next time you’re in this situation. If you study and practice them ahead of time, you’ll be ready to whip them out of your back pocket when the occasion arises.
- Ask Where They’re From
Where are you from? OR Are you from Munich? (referring to current city you’re in).
- Ask How They Know the Host or Hostess
So how do you know Mary?
- Ask if They’ve Been to the Venue Before
This is such a cozy bar. Have you been here before? OR I’ve never been to a Mongolian restaurant before, have you?
- Compliment Them (try to be genuine)
That’s a beautiful dress, is it Oscar de la Renta? OR What a lovely speech you made.
- Compliment Anything Relevant
Mary has done such a wonderful job with the new living room, I’m dying over the floral sofa. OR The margaritas here are fantastic.
- Ask About Their Plans Relative to the Season
Do you have any plans for the summer/holidays/new year?
- Bring Up Cultural Topics
Have you seen the new Kate Blanchett film? OR Have you been to the Warhol exhibit at the MoMA? OR Are you a Patriots fan? I saw the game last night. It was brutal.
- Offer Up a Bit of Self-Deprecating Humor.
I think I almost had a tumble with the ice sculpture. Wouldn’t Mary have loved that show in her newly decorated living room. OR Beware of the lemon tart; it’s my first attempt. I’m not exactly Julia Child in the kitchen.
- Ask for a Relevant Opinion
How is the lemon tart? Should I give it a try? OR Did you enjoy the ceremony?
- Offer or Ask for Assistance
Can I help you with those plates? OR Can you hand me a napkin from behind you?
Regardless of which conversation starter you use always remember to smile, speak clearly and confidently and look your new acquaintance in the eye. Most people will remember how you made them feel rather than what was actually discussed, so to make the best impression, act interested and really listen to what they’re saying.