If you’re not an extrovert or a social butterfly, being placed in a room where you are forced to mingle can be quite an awkward and stressful phenomenon. You just don’t know what to say or who to go to. It is worse when you are at a social event for work with your superior in the same room. Nevertheless, there is always a solution or some form of hack to get yourself through such situations. Here’s 5 foolproof tips on creating conversations during formal events.
Here is a simple one. All you have to do is introduce yourself and insert a fun interesting fact about yourself. It could be your interest or your current read. That ought to get the ball rolling. If it does not, do like a mini ice-breaker where you get the others to introduce themselves. That way, you get to ask questions while they provide answers.
Ask for opinions
When someone asks you for an opinion, doesn’t it make you feel like your voice is of some sort of importance? Similarly, you can make others feel important by asking their opinion. For instance, “How is the food?”, “What is your opinion on the forum just now?”, “How is it going so far?”. Be wary about bringing up sensitive topics such as religion or politics and always ask open ended questions.
Thread along the current conversation
If there is a conversation already on-going, politely include yourself in and ask further questions. It will not be rude because everyone knows that a social event is meant for socializing. It will also portray your interest in whatever that person is speaking about, hence boosting their ego while you create a good impression. Try not to dominate the conversation because that would be rude.
Make a comment
This is just like asking a question except you are giving a statement. For instance, “The finger food is delicious”, “I think the forum went pretty well”, “This function is quite well-organized”. Based on the comment you make, people would either agree or disagree before providing their reasoning. Before you know it, you are having a conversation.
Mention a mutual colleague
Mutual acquaintances are godsend when you are stuck in a place where you know nobody. It informs the listener that you are part of an extended but mutual social circle. However, be careful not to bring up anything personal. All you really have to do is bring up one name and then they will start bringing up other names you may or may not know and stories related.
These tips are context dependent. Choose wisely and be sure you are comfortable. Manners is of utmost importance when you are at social events. Do not be nervous and be as honest as possible but not in a rude or defensive way. Most importantly, try to have fun.
Kiirtaara is a proud 24 year old Malaysian from the small town of Ipoh. She is a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) graduate and is currently a part-time freelance writer with a full time job. She is also a huge mental-health enthusiast and avid animal lover.