Parties offer an opportunity to meet new people.
Conversation is easier for some than it is for others. Finding just the right topic to initiate a conversation or to keep it going eludes many party-goers to the point that they avoid parties altogether. If you like the social aspect of parties but feel awkward or embarrassed when striking up a conversation, learning and practicing the art of conversation can help you feel more at ease at your next gathering.
Practice conversation starters before you head to the party. Come up with five to 10 questions you might ask a stranger or someone you don't know very well to initiate a conversation. That way, you won't have to think on the spot when you get to the party.
Be confident. You may feel self-conscious or uncomfortable because you don't know many -- if any -- people at the party. Keep in mind that other party-goers may be in a similar situation but lack the confidence to approach you. Don't be afraid to initiate conversation using the conversation starters you practiced before you arrived.
Pose open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are questions that can't be answered with one word, such as "yes" or "no." For example, a question that starts with "What do you think of ... " requires your conversation partner to provide an answer of at least one sentence, which will open the door for follow-up questions and further conversation.
Avoid talking too much or talking only about yourself, which can be a turn-off. Keep the focus on your conversation partner, and talk about yourself only if it is necessary to the flow of conversation. This is sometimes referred to as the 80-20 rule: Limit talking about yourself to 20 percent of the conversation, while asking questions or focusing on external subjects 80 percent of the time.
Talk about subjects directly related to the party or the host of the party. Find out how your conversation partner knows the host. Maybe the three of you have a common history -- a school, club or activity that each of you attended or participated in. Try to identify that connection and use it to deepen a conversation.
Tips & Warnings
- Make a good impression on other party guests by smiling and assuming a warm and welcoming appearance. This will make it easier and more tempting for other guests to approach you.