We are guessing you probably have a holiday party or two on your calendar over the next few weeks. Are we right? Cocktail parties can give even the most seasoned party-goers some anxiety when it comes to entering a room full of strangers. Here at High Point Discovered we happen to have a handful of Extroverts (that’s with a capital “E”) so grab a glass of bubbly — or a glass of sparkling water, if you please — and walk through some conversation starters and party tips that’ll make you the toast of any occasion.
It’s not about you. Nobody wants to be at a party with a Debbie Downer. Think Pooh, not Eeyore. Even if you’ve had a not-so-great-day at the office, this is your chance to relax and shine. Put on a smile, stand up straight, and mingle, mingle, mingle!
So what’s there to talk about? The standard go-to topic is the weather. But who really wants to chat about the weather around the holidays! Think creatively.
Ask: Did you ever have snow on Christmas Day? Did the weather ever foil your holiday plans?
People love to talk about themselves. Get to know your fellow attendees.
Ask: Do you work away from home? Do you have kids? Pets? A spouse? (or, maybe not in that order!) What’s the best job you’ve ever had?
Ah, the memories. The holidays seem to bring out the nostalgia in all of us.
Ask: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? What about the one you didn’t get? What is your favorite gift you have ever given?
Holiday shopping. It’s fascinating to talk to folks who actually put their lists on spreadsheets … and those who are in the stores on Christmas Eve! Congratulate the guests who are finished, and commiserate with those who aren’t.
Decorating. Who in the crowd will admit to having a Griswold house? Who’s a bit more subdued?
Ask: What’s your favorite/most meaningful Christmas ornament? How much do you decorate for the holiday?
Tradition! It seems like some holiday schedules never change, from the menu, the gift giving, the way they decorate or even the order in which presents are opened.
Ask: What’s your family’s favorite holiday tradition? If someone is a different faith than you, find out what their traditions are. You’ll likely learn something new.
Uh-oh. You’re stuck in a corner with someone who will Not. Stop. Talking. What to do? Again, put on that winning smile, pat their arm and say, “I hate to interrupt, but our hostess will simply kill me if I don’t take the time to speak to George Clooney” — or whichever guest you happen to spy out of the corner of your eye. Again, end the conversation with your terrific smile and say, “It’s been so nice to talk with you” as you gracefully ease away.
There you go. Hopefully you’re better prepared now to face this season’s round of soirees. So get out there and have some fun, and happy holidays from all of us at High Point Discovered!
Discovering our High Points,
The HP Discovered Team