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How to Network at a Party, Talk Like a VIP & Interact Like a Social Butterfly

Most people think parties are great only to get drunk or go wild. But there’s a lot more you can do at a good party. Find out how to network at a party.

how to network at a party

Do you understand the real potential of networking at a party?

I know a good load of people who hate partying and clubbing.

It’s generally understood that parties are just a way to spend time, get drunk or lose a good evening of watching the television.

But partying and meeting people at every opportunity you get can do a lot more good than bad, if you really know how to network at a party.

For many party animals, fun wild nights top their list of priorities on a night out.

To me, the high point of my unbuttoned-collar night out is when I meet people.

And by this, I don’t mean beautiful women with heaving bosoms.

I mean meeting people. People, who matter to me, people who can do more good to my existence than an aching hangover the morning after.

How to network at a party

We’ve heard that this is a small world, but how small is it really?

How many times have you wanted to meet someone, but couldn’t get a meeting fixed? Or how badly did you want to meet the celebrity who just signed you an autograph and didn’t look back once? You see, it’s not easy to meet interesting people when all of us are locked up in our office cubicles for almost the entire day.

But the world definitely does open up at dusk. People get home, deck up, and drive out to a watering hole in hordes. At this time of the day, you’re no different than the guy up on the twentieth rung of the ‘richness’ ladder who’s come down to relax over a drink, after work.

Meeting people at parties is like meeting new friends at a friend’s birthday bash. Designations and formalities are washed down with a drink, and it’s pretty much the time to unwind for everyone. Most new entrepreneurs who have just started off their organization rely more on making hierarchical contacts at cocktail parties rather than sitting in the receptionist lobbies of bigger organizations waiting for an appointment that would never come.

Let’s face it, it’s better to be acquainted as a friend before proposing business at a power meeting. Being personal friends always helps because people are willing to listen to your idea completely before they make up their mind.

Party networking and meeting people at parties isn’t really one of the hardest things to do. When you’re attending parties initially, it may feel quite odd to be the loner standing at a party, and quite frankly, you may not really like partying very much to begin with. If you can relax at Starbucks alone, why can’t you do it at a swanky whisky club?

If the thought of hanging out alone is unbearable for you, then go with your partner or a friend.

As you attend parties more frequently, you would be able to recognize the different people who are regulars, the ones who just ‘hang out’, and the ones who come to establish contacts.

And the coterie of regulars would recognize you back. What you need to focus on are the ones who come to these clubs to network and make new professional friends. These people are the ones who hold a drink in their hand and walk around, mingling with different people. They are usually ready to talk to you, if you work your courage up to talk to them. Even if you’re the new guy or girl who’s into a partying circuit, it’s a lot easier to meet people and mingle around than you would think.

How to start networking at a party

There are a few things you should know before you hit the street to paint the town red. For starters, it’s always the finer aspects that you should focus on, if you want to be taken seriously.

Attire

Dress appropriately. Never overdo it. If you’ve got a good body, wear something that will emphasize it rather than reveal it. And guys, lose the body-fit-shirt-silk-pants combo.

Those things are what college kids and wannabes wear. You’re a professional. Dress in subtle colors that will enhance your assets, make you look good and at the same time, make you look, most importantly, rich! Designer cuts always help, but if you can’t afford it, ditch it. To show that you’re class, remember subtlety is the key. Anything overdone gives your trashy attitude away.

Wheels

Yep baby, you need wheels. A good one. Don’t take your broken down jalopy to a party. And don’t even dream of going there on two wheels. No one goes clubbing in a two wheeler. If you have a car that’s war-wounded on the road, see if you can park it in a distant corner, so you can take a quick walk into the lounge or star hotel. As long as you carry yourself off the car with dignity, you’d still be able to shine yourself off the black soot and glow in the party.

Behavior

When you’re trying to network at a party, you need to behave in a comfortable manner. Be open to meeting people, but sit back and watch others around you calmly.

Don’t ever make it look like you’re trying to scrutinize another woman’s attire or a man’s conversational abilities. It would only make meeting new people a lot harder, and other people may avoid you like a cold sore. Most importantly, one of the clear giveaways that you’re a nervous beginner is when you start fidgeting, tugging or wiping sweat beads off your forehead.

Learn to stay calm and look confident when you’re out trying to network at a party.

Knowing how to talk at a party and network the right way can make a big difference in your life and career.

A party isn’t just an excuse to meet the opposite sex.

It can help you create a career too, as you’ve read in the introduction on party networking.

How to talk at a party

Here are a few sneaky moves that are sure to get everyone to think highly of you.

But remember, one wrong move and you may end up shooting yourself in the foot.

Appear busy

Appear busy when you go out to a party. Even if you’ve got no plans, call a few friends from your phone and have a chat with them when you don’t have company.

People always think highly of a person who appears busy even while partying!

So call people up one after the other, until you’ve created enough of the I’m-the-busiest-party-animal alter ego for yourself.

Brag and toot your own horn

This can either be your Houdini move to break your unpopular shackles into the limelight or your spot under the guillotine. But you still need to learn to brag when you’re networking.

When you’re at a party, people around you want to hear interesting deeds of power or gossip. If you’re ever able to bump into a bunch of power party people, and if you can blend into their conversation and add some pointers convincingly, even if they’re quite farfetched, you’d have all the people around you lapping it up in delight.

Don’t think you can brag too well? Then add bits of information that you’re sure of, and wait for someone else to take it further.

You secretly know that GloboCorp is selling out 40% of its stakes, let the others know about the rumor that the organization is selling itself out, along with your professional views. Or do you know that the C.E.O of Imawanker Corp. is having an affair with his secretary and his wife knows nothing about it, tell the whole world the fact in dramatic hushes. Of course, you can add the detail that you heard it from someone else.

Believe me, even if they sound uninterested, you would surely see all ears around you dart out like antennas! Party people and socialites who want to network want nothing more than a bit of gossip. Trust me.

Look important

Looking important is one of the most important things in knowing how to talk at a party. Party people want to be around people who are important. And important people usually carry along with them, the swagger of impatience and a hint of arrogance. They don’t always direct it at everyone around them, but at people who make mistakes.

Of course, a busy, important person didn’t get successful by being nice to people who make silly mistakes. So if you’ve ordered a drink fifteen minutes ago, and it still hasn’t reached your table, call out to your waiter, sit back and remind him about your drink, very clearly.

Even when you meet and talk to your favorite celebrity, look interested but at the same time, look around and slacken yourself a bit. Make your conversation mates push themselves to talk to you once in a while. Nothing can make people believe that you’re really important better than this one move!

Joining the inner circle

Now that you know how to make an important impression and talk at a party, we’ll get to building your networking community.

Once you strike up a conversation with someone, even if it’s the host, you’re pretty much a part of the party. Now, it’s your job to be the life of the party.

You want to meet people

If you know at least one of the party people, hang around with them for a while. Talk about the people around, and ask if your new friend knows anyone around. If they do know someone, that’s great news for you.

Ask your friend to introduce them to you. On the other hand, if your mate doesn’t know anyone, mentally make a note not to spend too much time with them again! Or if there’s a host, think about who you’d like to meet. Are they someone fun, someone sexy, or someone who might be able to get you a career boost? Your host will know exactly who to wheel you over to.

Small talk

Once you’ve met up with someone new, start talking. Don’t go to the regular basics like “nice place, no?” or “oh, so you drink vodka?”

Go power talk. Go straight into their professional life. Ask them about what they do, and learn about their work. Knowing about all fields of work gives you enough confidence to talk about all aspects without looking stupid.

People usually like talking about themselves and their accomplishments, so avoid asking anything that has a direct ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer to your question. Learn to talk and extract information at the same time. This will help create interesting conversations that could even help you.

Don’t stick to anyone

Even if you’re having a great time sitting around with someone, don’t hang around with them the entire night. It’s good to take a break and talk to other people. To get out of the conversation without being abrupt or rude, say that you’re off to get another drink, or that you have to check up on your friend.

You may also find that the conversation would end naturally when you’re introduced to a new person and you start chatting with them and walk away with a smile. No one is going to get offended when you walk around at a party, everyone with brains come to a party to meet people.

Getting drunk and dancing like you’re at a frat party will become the topic of many conversations, and it’s never a great way to meet people at a party. If you want to party, then go on and dance. If you want to meet bigwigs and interesting people, sashay in the crowd and stop occasionally to chitchat.

Timing it right

In most places, unless it’s specified against it, being fashionably late is the in-thing. We see everyone do it, though some people scowl about it.

It’s always better to arrive when the party’s sprung to life rather than getting to the place even before the lights are on. And another fact to remember is that most people wouldn’t have arrived yet, which makes meeting new people that much harder.

When the party’s young, most people prefer to sit down in a corner than walk around. Talking to someone who’s just relaxing will make it look like you’re hitting on them, when all you have in mind is networking! Wait until the party’s starting to come alive with people and everyone’s conversing and willing to open up.

Towards the end of the party, make sure you’ve got phone numbers of all your new friends, and head off before you become party dregs or a part of the furniture.

Talking to people and building your network

Meeting people at parties is the new in-thing. Gone are the days when talking to someone at a party meant that you’re hitting on them. These days, partying is a lot more about communicating rather than hooking up or entering the dance frenzy. If you still think partying is meant only to lay chicks or meet cute blokes, grow up or party at some teenage dance club.

Use these tips on how to talk at a party and strengthen your business network connections. It’s easier and can open more doors of opportunity than you can imagine.

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Keith-Brown
Keith Brown
With a penchant for downing more energy drinks than is sane, Keith Brown is a bartender and amateur mixologist who geeks about superheroes and spends way too mu...
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