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5 Conversation Starters for Holiday Parties

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We are officially smack-dab into holiday season. That means your calendar is filling up with parties. Which also means that it’s time to step-up your conversational skills. Standing around talking about weather and traffic is not going to win you any points in the Most Interesting Woman in the World contest (Yes, it’s a real contest…and don’t bother entering unless you’ve read this article in its entirety).

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A good conversation starter has a few key elements:

  • Your question makes the person stop, pause and smile.
  • Your question reveals a little bit about you, but mostly gives the person an opportunity to talk about themselves (people tend to like that).
  • Your question is not boring. It borders on quirky and fun.
  • Your question is one that they will not hear from anyone else that evening.

Here are some examples that will help you for every type of party that you might encounter:

Your Child’s School Holiday Party

Poor Conversation Starter: “Do you have kids? I don’t have kids, but I really like coming to these types of parties.”

Excellent Conversation Starter: “I remember lip-synching in my school holiday recital because my voice is so horrible. Did you do that too?”

Family Holiday Dinner

Poor Conversation Starter: “Remember when Uncle Barry made a pass at Mom?”

Excellent Conversation Starter: “What was the best holiday present you ever received?”

Work Holiday Party

Poor Conversation Starter: “How many people in the office have you slept with?”

Excellent Conversation Starter: “I love working here … I’ve come a long way since my first job as a cashier at McDonald's! What was your first job?”

Holiday Cocktail Party

Poor Conversation Starter: “Have you ever been so drunk that you didn’t know your name?”

Excellent Conversation Starter: "I just tried my first pomegranate martini and it was amazing. Do you have a favorite holiday cocktail?”

Girlfriend Gift Exchange

Poor Conversation Starter: “Remember last year when Jennifer gave me that re-gifted sweater? Tacky.”

Excellent Conversation Starter: “If you were stuck on an island without any kids, how big would your smile be?”

RELATED: Hosting a Party Pre-Parenthood vs. Post-Parenthood

One last tip as you go into party season: It helps to be lightly informed of current events. You definitely don’t want to strike up a conversation about ISIS, but it could come in handy if you knew what people were talking about if “Kim Kardashian Breaks the Internet” comes up.

What’s the last party you went to and was it amazing or a dud? (See what I did there…ending with a fun question that leaves you talking about you.)

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