Lately, I’ve been attending more and more events where I don’t know anyone. As nerve wracking as it is, I don’t want to stand by myself the whole night. While some people are too shy to start a conversation (and that may be yourself as well), here are some tips to start a conversation when you don’t know anyone:
- Talk about the food. My go-to conversation starter is to stand by the food table and talk about anything related to it. I would ask, “have you tried the hummus yet?” or “do you know what this is?”. Guaranteed since they’re standing around the table, they will reply.
- Compliment them. Whether it’s their jewelry, shoes, or smile, and compliment can go a long way, especially if you ask them a question afterwards. This could be “where did you get those?” or “Has anyone told you that…?”. It will be sure to flatter them and start the conversation off right.
- Ask how their day was. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking someone how their day way. Depending on how they answer, you can either ask them more questions or relate to them. This will create an interest and generate more topics. Just let the conversation flow.
- Find someone solo. It’s often intimidating going into huge groups and introducing yourself, especially when the conversation has already started. Look for someone who is flying solo and engage with them. Chances are, they are glad you did.
- Genuinely get to know the person. There’s often times when we have a conversation for the sake of having one. Or we small talk our way to the next person. Instead, make sure you genuinely get to know the other person so that the conversation isn’t boring or fake. If you don’t connect, excuse yourself and talk to someone else.
Whether you’re at work, a networking event, a party, or a singles mixer, these tricks and tips should ease your nerves. Remember, the other person may be just as nervous as you are so make it as comfortable and natural as possible. Who knows, maybe you’ll hit if off and have a new office best friend or a significant other!