Ken Owens Productions, LLC

"Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Author, Entertainer "

Social Dynamics

Each year in the months of November and December we see the greatest number of cocktail parties - normally for the upcoming holiday season. I thought I would put together some ideas that will make you the star of every social gathering and/or office networking event. I used to dislike these settings - it has taken me many hours of work to overcome the stressful feelings I had at these events. I hope these 7 ideas will help you too:

1. Prethink and Prepare - Take a few minutes prior to the event to prepare your thoughts, prethink what you will say/do, and which of the items listed below you will use during the event. Preparation will allow you to feel stress-free during the festive occasion.
2. Everyone Wants Approval - Be gracious with your compliments. Everyone wants approval and likes the 'job well done' or 'keep up the good work' gestures. However, be sincere and don't get fake or 'gushy' with your compliments - they have to be truthful and honest.
3. Be A Mindreader / Magician - There are some 'tricks' that you can study which will make you the talk of the party. If you like magic or mindreading, keep one or two tricks ready at all times to use as icebreakers and conversation pieces. Here is a fun one that you can use: have someone pick a number between 1 and 10, you will have the number 7 written on the back of a business card and will reveal it after they tell you the number that they chose (7). Based on statistical analysis, 77% of all people will pick the number 7. Have fun with this one!
4. Current Events - Watch a few minutes of CNN News, read USA Today, or browse Yahoo News before leaving for the event. For those of you in countries other than the USA, find your best outlet for a brief review of the daily news activities. This will give you an up-to-date overview of the daily news scene and show that you are an intelligent and well-informed person.
5. Don't Be A Bragger - Don't brag about your personal accomplishments or activities. Always turn the conversation to the others who you are talking with. Let them talk about themselves. People love it when you are interested in them! Underplay your abilities and accomplishments to let the others shine.
6. Ask Leading Questions - When having a conversation with others, ask questions that will evoke a discussion and in-depth response. Don't ask questions that people can answer with a 'yes' or 'no' response. Leading questions show your interest in others and show that you are a good listener.
7. Comedy / Fun Facts - Jokes and comedy can be good icebreakers. However, be careful with the type of jokes that you are telling and be sure not to offend people, this ties in with the first point of knowing your group and being prepared. Because I do lots of comedy in my stage shows, it is accepted that I can get away with a little more comedy and jokes than someone who is stiff and nerdy. There are many websites that you can get jokes and fun facts, a couple include and and even listening to the Comedy Channel on TV or XM radio. Again, make sure not to tell off-color jokes that could offend.

I hope these tips will make you feel more at-ease in social gatherings. You need to have fun and enjoy yourself at these events. As you see, just a few minutes of preparations will make you the life of the party!

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