- Look interested. Making eye contact and maintaining pleasant facial expressions are both important. Our body language can easily give us away, so watch out for wandering eyes, crossed arms, etc. Instead, stand up straight, smile, and nod occasionally to indicate that you're paying attention to what's being said.
- Ask a question. If you're not a talker, get the other person talking! Asking questions is a great way to know someone, and it's easy to get started. For example, if you just met a fellow wedding guest, ask how they know the bride and groom. Their answer may spark a future topic and the conversation can go from there.
- Listen. In order to comprehend what someone is saying, you must listen. Even if you aren't particularly interested in the current topic of conversation, it's polite to focus and pay attention until you can make your exit.
- Refrain from interrupting. It's easy to get excited and interject during someone's story, but try to wait until the other person has finished their thought before sharing yours. This one is tricky!
- Be interesting! Everyone has stories, so share yours. If you can't think of anything relevant, leverage your knowledge of current events. I read theSkimm on a regular basis, which keeps me current even if I can't read the newspaper every day.
- Work the room. There's no need to stand in one place all night. In fact, this might subject you to boring conversation that's difficult to end. Instead, use opportunities like refreshing your drink at the bar to circulate to a new spot and talk to someone different.
Follow these tips and you're sure to enjoy the event. You may even walk away with a new friend or business connection!