The Strategist

Turning parties into networking

12/14/2018 - 11:08

December is the time of the final meetings, presentations and corporate events. Many people avoid them or spend time in idle chatters, but for a business person, any party is a reason to make a good acquaintance.

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Avoid traps

From the point of view of the party space organization, presentations and corporate parties are similar to each other. There are traps and places favorable for communication.

Trap number 1: Start area. Rushing to the newcomers, you can catch them at the very moment when they are not yet ready to interact. Most likely, they will look out for acquaintances, will want something to drink or go to the bathroom. Here, people are ready to perceive what you want to say less than anywhere else.

Trap number 2: Bathroom. Of course, going there is not forbidden. But do not linger near this room.

Trap number 3: The path leading to the snack table. Not only you will overeat; you will interfere with other guests who want to get to food and drinks. It is difficult to make a conversation in such a situation: someone is trying to fill the plate with snacks, it is almost impossible to shake hands with anyone, and continually uncomfortable moments arise when your interlocutor has to speak with his mouth full.

The communication zone is the place where all the magic happens. The best point to start exploring space is where people go out with drinks in their hands. By the time they are here, anxiety and emotions will slowly subside. With a drink in hand, a person is looking for someone to talk to. You can become his savior and save yourself from a situation when you have to drink alone.

Another auspicious place is right next to the party owner. Having provided yourself with a drink, you can continue to explore the space, heading towards the host to thank them for the invitation. You can also ask them to introduce you to others before they begin to greet guests.

If you don’t like noisy companies, use the cow-grazing method. Instead of attacking the buffet once and pile on a whole mountain of food, it is better to first take a few snacks, then go for the main course, then for a second helping and, finally, for the dessert. This is an easy way to interrupt a boring conversation or change the interlocutor.

Do not linger near friends

Psychologists found out that guests of parties, even if they came to make new contacts, often head straight to their friends and spend the whole evening with them. Meetings with strangers occur only for the reason that the latter were friends of someone's friends. As a result, new connections are being established with people from the same field.

Once you get up in a cozy circle with friends and colleagues, it will be almost impossible to get out of it.
If you want to meet really new people, avoid this trap. It is best to wave to friends as a sign of greeting or give them a short hug as soon as you arrive, and say that you will be back soon. You will be able to stay with them, as soon as the crowd is thinning, and while you are felling best and full of energy, go to areas of communication.

Be sincere

Suppose you started a conversation with a much respected person with whom you have long wanted to meet. And suddenly he asks a question but you do not know what to answer. What do you do?

When we do not know something or do not understand, it is better to honestly admit: “I don’t understand what this is about”.
Pretending that you know what you don’t is the most unfortunate idea. You cannot be an interesting conversationalist, if you demonstrate a false interest in something else. The points you earn by being frank and courageous in conversations compensate for loss of points for not knowing the subject.

Leave a little earlier than planned

You will never regret if you leave the party early - before you are ready for it. Alcohol makes you think that you feel better than you really are. Its other effect is a belated regret. So walk away.

Don't tell anyone that you are leaving. Just walk away. Do not say goodbye to anyone, even to the hosts. You already spoke to them when you came here. Do they show a desire to talk with you right now? Not. So go.

Based on “Captivate. The Science of Succeeding with People”  by Vanessa Van Edwards

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