MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION AT A PARTY
Val Baldwin, CPC
Live Your Ultimate Life
It’s the holiday season. That means it’s time to put yourself on display for your friends, family, coworkers, strangers, and just about everyone else to see. The thought of this can make most anyone feel a bit uncomfortable from time to time. So when you head out to your next holiday party, here are a few simple party pointers to gain instant likeability and be a great guest.
- Arrive Early. When we’re nervous, we often tell ourselves it’ll be easier to arrive when the party’s in full swing – but that’s the worst thing you can do. Being “fashionably late” will usually make you uncomfortable because people will already be engrossed in conversations and it may be harder to join in. However, if you get there early, you’ll meet a few people you can hang out with, and later they’ll introduce you to their friends. Next thing you know, you’re talking to everybody.
- Play the Host, Even if You’re Not. Introducing people to others is one of the best things you can do for the host, the other guests, and to make yourself feel more comfortable. Another great way is to offer to pass out hors d’oeuvres or be the drink refiller. It’s easier to start a conversation that way, or break into one. Plus your take-charge attitude will help you feel more in control, and the bonus is that when good conversations happen around you, people tend to see you as a good conversationalist.
- Look People in the Eye. Looking people in the eye when they’re talking sends the message that you’re sincere. Shifting your eyes around makes people think you’re not listening to them or you’re bored. If you have trouble maintaining eye contact, try concentrating on a person’s eye color to stay focused. By doing this, people will feel instantly connected to you.
- Stay Tuned In. When someone’s telling a story, make the effort to ask follow-up questions. So if someone you just met is telling you about their recent vacation, ask them about the weather, or what kind of activities they did while they were there. Follow-up questions show that you’re interested in the conversation. And when people think you’re interested in what they’re saying, they’ll instantly like you.
- Don’t Hide Your Weaknesses. Even the best party can be spoiled if we’re constantly wishing we were the wittiest, best-looking person there. Remember – it’s not a competition, and a quick anecdote about one of your shortcomings actually makes people warm to you. Are you horrible at directions or hopeless at cooking pasta? Do you have a irrational fear of goldfish? People like to meet others who display their vulnerabilities because doing that actually displays a degree of confidence and makes others feel more comfortable around you.
- Drop a Compliment. Genuine flattery always goes a long way, but avoid using generic compliments – make it specific towards the person you’re talking to. So instead of saying “cool shirt,” say something like “The color of that shirt really compliments your eyes.” It will be hard for people not to like you after such a nice compliment!
- Make a Good Parting Impression. The final secret to making a good impression is one we often forget – saying goodbye. We’re so concerned with starting a conversation that we often forget how to close it well. A sincere “I really enjoyed meeting you,” will leave just the right impact on someone new.
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