Holiday Parties: Let Your Heels Do the Walking

by Mindy Lockard on December 4, 2011

Tis the Season for Holiday Party Manners! All week long we will be chatting about how to wear your Gracious best at this season’s Holiday Parties. Today for the #HolidayHQ I’m talking about working the room, the party room. So warm up those heels ladies and let’s work it!

And speaking of Party Manners, Friday I popped by the FOX 12 Studios to chat about a few of my favorites and our eve echo facebook giveaway

screen-shot-2011-12-04-at-82640-am

See me in action…

Here are My Suggestion for Workin’ the Room

When attending a party, put those hot little party shoes to the test and work the entire room. Don’t make the mistake of camping out at the food table—you’ll miss the opportunity to meet and greet!

Have a direction. As a general rule of thumb, work the room counter-clockwise. Continue to move to the right as you go. However, this doesn’t mean that if there’s someone to your left you’d like to talk to, you have to ignore her—you’re there to socialize!

Stay small. Lunch dates are for involved conversations; cocktail and dinner parties are for small talk. Remember the five party talk conversation taboos—age, income, sex, religion, and politics. Also, don’t spend too much time on your personal anecdotes, even if you think they’re funny or meaningful. It’s hard to truly socialize when you’re monopolizing the conversation.

Keep moving. Don’t hole up with one person and catch up on the last five years in the corner. If you find someone you need to spend quality time with, arrange a lunch or coffee date with her.

Accessorize with Conversation

The key to connecting at social or professional events is your ability to engage others in conversation. Remember that you’re there to meet and greet, not meet and eat! A hostess always hopes her guests will connect and enjoy themselves. While it’s her job to work the room, you can lend a hand by being a savvy guest.

Introduce yourself. Extend your hand and say your first and last name. If at the end of the night you step step out of the party with a long list of amazing conversation but nobody remembers your name, then your hard “work” will be for nothing!

Ask questions. Taking the time to connect with others through asking questions will help you establish a personal connection. This is how relationships begin. Keep your ears open for networking opportunities—you never know when you’ll meet someone with whom you can partner professionally.

Try out different questions until you come up with your favorites. Open-ended questions work well, because they require more than a yes or no answer. Once you find questions that will lead to a comfortable discussion, keep them tucked away for your next meeting and greeting opportunity.

Have a listening ear. Your well-rehearsed questions will be a waste of everyone’s time if you don’t pay attention to the response. Listening is one of the most gracious gifts you can give, and not just during the holiday season! Committing to memory the answers you receive and storing the information away for the future make a great impression. Your conversation partner will be pleased you remembered and continuing your dialogue will be that much simpler.

For more holiday ideas and inspirations, pop over to the rest of the #HolidayHQ posts today and discover what the experts are decorating, cooking and planning for a festive December.  And then join us on Twitter Thursday 8 December at 8pm EST for the popular #HolidayHQ tweet chat for even more holiday ideas.

#HolidayHQ Recommended Reading

Housewife Bliss |  Salt Dough Ornaments
Tatertots & Jello |  Holiday Party Mantel
Celebrations at Home |  The Kids Christmas Table

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris @ Celebrations At Home 12.05.11 at 6:18 am

Great tips!

Jen @ SecondCitySoiree 12.05.11 at 7:53 am

A great pre-party read. Asking questions and limiting personal anecdotes are two particularly good tips.

Dawn Sandomeno 12.05.11 at 8:31 am

Wonderful tips Mindy!

Housewife Bliss 12.05.11 at 9:01 am

Love the tips and watching you in action….you always make me smile. Can’t wait to start putting your tips in action, Coryanne

jen @ tatertots and jello 12.05.11 at 11:33 am

Great tips!!! I can’t wait to try them out :)

xoxo
Jen

Elizabeth 12.05.11 at 12:01 pm

All ready for the cocktail party curcuit – cheers!

cynthia at the daily basics 12.05.11 at 6:07 pm

Mindy you have the best tips!! thank you so much!

Lisa [With Style and Grace] 12.05.11 at 9:06 pm

I think I say this every time, but you’re such a natural on camera! Love your tips – everyone should know how to work it ;)

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