Is a room full of strangers your worst nightmare? Have you ever spent a party not knowing whom to talk to, feeling so awkward you wish you could disappear? The party season is pure hell for many men and women, who cringe at the thought of attending social events.
Yet some of these party poopers are now party pros: Olivia Fox Cabane teaches people to work a room with grace, ease and efficiency. Now, she’s giving you ten simple, easy, non-alcoholic tips to go from self-conscious to self-confident.
10 tips to feel more confident at any event
1. Find out everything you can about those who will be attending: Where are they from? What do they do? What are their interests? This is what you can talk to them about.
2. Wear something that people can talk about; anything that will draw attention and inspire people to approach you. What do you have that would be a good conversation starter?
3. Read a couple of mainstream newspapers just before the event so that you can use the headlines as icebreakers. The more conversation fuel you have, the easier it will be to get a conversation going.
4. Get there early: This gives you the opportunity to warm up slowly as the other guests gradually arrive.
5. Remember in detail the accomplishment you’re most proud of just before entering the room. The memory will flood your system with endorphins, which is an instant confidence booster.
6. Breathe! When feeling self-conscious, people often draw short, shallow breaths, which only make things worse. Focus on taking deep breaths, which have an instant calming and grounding effect.
7. Pretend that you’re the host of the party: it boosts your self-confidence because it makes the event your event. Better yet, volunteer to be on the greeting committee if you can.
8. Position yourself around the desert buffet: it makes for easy conversations, and when people eat, their endorphin levels rise, which puts them in a better mood.
9. Approach people standing alone: they’re probably feeling awkward and lonely and will be grateful to you for saving them from anonymity.
10. Compliment them on something they’re wearing, and then ask an open-ended question about it. It’s one of the most effective icebreakers around.