Entertaining Tips: 5 Ways to Get People Talking

Entertaining TIps Series: 5 Ways to Get People Talking

As an introverted party planner I have learned to be strategic in how I plan events to encourage conversation amongst my guests.  At first I wanted to call this post "How to Host a Party if You Don't Like to Talk" or "Entertaining for Introverts" but decided that though I think I am pretty funny (!!!), these tips are not just for introverts.  A good host is thoughtful of her guests, so here are five ways to help get your guests talking (whether you are a talker or not)!

1. Make friends with genuinely kind talkers.
I have a few friends and family members who are super friendly and excel at conversation with people they have never met before.  This is not me.  But by inviting them (of course, not just for this reason!) they fill in some of the quiet spots if you are having trouble doing this yourself.

I will often plan with some of these people ahead of time to make sure they can come.  This is not secretive or a trick--you can genuinely ask a friend who is good at talking, to come a few minutes early to help greet guests or answer the door so that you are freed to finish up getting things ready.  Consider them your entertaining wing (wo)man!


2. Have an activity.
If your event is not surrounded around a theme like a birthday party or baby shower where you may have a more standard schedule of events, creating an activity for yours guests gives them something to do as well as something to start a conversation over.

Our holiday dessert party presents guests the opportunity to talk about the desserts everyone brought while my annual Ladies' Valentine's Tea always includes a craft to fill some of the time.  If you are having an outdoor party, consider setting up a game like Giant Jenga or even a volleyball net.  Seasonal parties can surround around food like decorating cookies at Christmas.

Even something as simple as providing a make your own drink station, encourages an activity and conversation.  I put out my selection of Torani syrups so that guests can add it to their coffee or tea.  Though small, this little event makes guests feel special as well as something to small talk about.

If you are struggling at creating a successful event, consider creating a theme to build interest.


3. Ask people questions.
In a variety of social situations, I have learned that I can sometimes say awkward things when I am uncomfortable (don't we all!!?!?).  And so instead of putting pressure on myself to share about myself, I try to ask my guests questions instead.

People feel good about a conversation when they get to share, so why not make your guests feel great about the time they spent with you! 

4. Provide different food stations.
I am very strategic about where I place the food at a party, especially when entertaining indoors as it is easy to get stuck in one spot inside a house.  By putting the food in one area and the drinks in another, it encourages guests to move around.  This allows bumping into someone new to talk to or an excuse to get up from their seat.  It helps prevent awkward transitions in conversation and keeps the movement going.

I have often experienced feeling stuck before or without someone to talk to in social situations where I do not know the other guests very well.  Though I drink a lot of water, making it inevitable, I often use a trip to the bathroom to excuse myself or get an introverted breather when I am feeling out of place.  I have found that providing such structure for my guests, without them having to hide away in the bathroom (!!!), it hopefully keeps guests comfortable and willing to stick around longer.


5. Let people talk where they are.
I used to get so hung up on where people were standing, making sure they had a seat, and feeling uncomfortable while everyone was standing but there was still places for them to sit.  After I started being aware of this, I began to evaluate this same scenario in other people's homes.  I realized I really didn't mind standing around and often preferred it at times then getting glued to a chair.  Once I realized guests probably did not care too much either, I stopped bugging them to find a seat.  Sure, I still offer to have them sit down, but I realized it was me who was more uncomfortable about it than my guests.

Sometimes guests would be in the middle of a conversation and when I would ask them to sit I was only interrupting their conversation.  This was the last thing I wanted to do and have learned to wait for the appropriate time to offer guests to take a seat or move to the other room.

// The more I host the more realize that having people in my home is not all about me.  It is about my guests and relationships.  If I can foster a place where guests can have conversation and build relationship, I consider that a success.  I know many of my friends and family come to the parties I host for me, but I only hope that they can leave with just a little deeper relationship with others as well. 

27 comments:

  1. I have been with my hubby of 18 years since high school. We dated for less than a year when he asked me to marry him. Of course there has been ups and downs, but it has always been true love!
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  2. tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/479001884263321603
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  3. https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/479361021745045504

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  4. My husband brought me warm socks on a cold, wet day. I thought anyone who would think about their girlfriend's wet feet must be a keeper :)

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  5. I married my husband three months after we met. We have been married since 1979.

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  6. This is absolutely ridiculous and a horrible example for young girls everywhere. Marriage is a commitment and partnership and the idea of "stop cleaning and give your husband your full attention" is demeaning and sexist. In addition, you do not address why you use the word serve, which obviously shows your lack of appreciation for the rights women have fought hard for in this country. Why on earth women find being the perfect server and wife to be their goal in life is beyond belief to me and shows lack of ambition and respect for self. Be a better example for women everywhere and stop this sexist, anti-feminist and absolutely IGNORANT blog.

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  7. My husband and I were friends for years, and then it developed into something more unexpectedly. We have been inseparable ever since...10 years later.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  8. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/481469155497893888

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  9. My husband and I met in college, we had the same classes and sat next to each other in every single one.A whole semester passed by before we became friends. Soon after he moved to an apartment next door to mine we became inseparable, we were best friends and although everyone thought we belong together we just couldn't see it but then one night it clicked! We were in love!! We'll be celebrating our 10th year anniversary in november.
    neiddyruiz@gmail.com

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  10. Shared on twitter -https://twitter.com/neiddy_ruiz/status/481850378468597760
    neiddyruiz@gmail.com

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  11. I've been married to my husband for 53 years. We've traveled all over the globe and had so many adventures together.

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  12. Here's my tweet! https://twitter.com/pixel_berry_pie/status/482273132427083777

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  13. I met my fella while we were volunteering at a homeless shelter! It was love at first sight :)

    runningmatey at Hotmail dot com

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  14. I met my husband through a friend and actually tried to set him up on a blind date with one of my friends,but we ended up hitting it off and have been together 16 years


    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  15. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/482736503869554688


    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  16. I am not engaged yet..hope to be soon though. We will see. He is worth waiting for!

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  17. https://twitter.com/electricstar/status/482901676815155200

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  18. My story of love began in 1999, I met my husband in a chatroom on line and I didn't know he was the one until we started getting older together. We have now been together for 14 years, he was only 19 and I was 21 and we have over come a lot. But I wouldn't want to go on in life without him. sweepmorey at gmail dot com

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  19. tweeted https://twitter.com/mommysdizzy/status/482916358070763521 sweepmorey at gmail dot com

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  20. I knew he was the one when I met him. We have been married for 23 years.

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  21. https://twitter.com/kj20082006/status/483085842148499456

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  22. This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me....My name is maria cooker ... My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called papa ork who i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. There was one particular testimony I saw, it was about a woman called grace,she testified about how papa ork brought back her Ex lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of her testimony she drop papa ork e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give papa a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before. papa ork is really a talented and gifted man and i will not to stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man...If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve that problem for you. Try the great papa ork today, he might be the answer to your problem. Here's his contact: orkstarspell@gmail.com Thank you great ork. Contact him for the following:

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    ,,.,

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  23. Be careful here nobody can help you here or even suggest how you can get your ex or love back,any testimonies of most spell caster here must be ignore.because most of them are scam i mean real scam which i was a victim and i got ripped of thousands of dollars because i was so anxious to get my wife back after she left me for over 2 years with my 7 years old son jerry,i have applied to 7 different spell caster here and all to no avail they all ask for same thing send your name your ex name address and picture phone number etc which i did over and over again and most of them were from west Africa until i saw a post about mama Anita spell and i decided to gave her my last trail.she ask me four things my real name,my ex and my ex mother name and $180 and said my ex will come back in 24hours, i have paid over $3000 on spell casting and courier and nothing have work for me after 3 days i was thinking about how much i have lost so far so i said let me give her a try so i called her again and send my real name,my ex and my ex mother name and the $180 because i swear it was my last try so i was waiting as she told me to wait till next day and i could not sleep that night because i really love my wife and want her back at 9pm that day i saw my wife on line on face book and she said hi at first i was shock because she never talk with me for the past a year and 9 month now i did not reply again she said are you there? i quickly reply yes and she said can we see tomorrow i said yes and she went off-line i was confused i try to chat her again but she was no more on line i could not sleep that night as i was wondering what she is going to say, by 7.am the next morning she gave me a miss call i decided not to call back as i was still on shock again she call and i pick she said can we see after work today i said yes so she end the call immediately i got off work she call me and we meet and now we are back again i call mama anita the next day thanking her for what she has done in fact i still call her and thank her as my life was not complete without my wife please be careful here i have been scam thousands of dollars if you want a true love spell then contact mama Anita (mama.anitatruelovespell@gmail.com)

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  24. MY NAME IS JANICES WALLOCKS FROM HOUSTON,TEXAS.I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS OR MAGIC UNTIL I MET THIS SPELL CASTER ONCE WHEN I WENT TO AFRICA IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR ON A BUSINESS SUMMIT. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE'S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER LOOKING FOR SOME ONE TO LOVE YOU, BRING BACK LOST MONEY AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I'M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE MAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS... I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD sheWHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO TEXAS, MY BOYFRIEND (NOW HUSBAND) CALLED ME BY HIMSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND HE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY BOYFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED sheTO DO... WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY HUSBAND ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS WEBSITE ADDRESS IS:, http://drossolution.webs.com/ or Email: Drossuva@gmail.com


    ,.,.,.,,

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  25. BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK,ANY TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE.BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE BACK AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2 YEARS WITH MY 7 YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 7 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND MOST OF THEM WERE FROM WEST AFRICA UNTIL ISAW A POST ABOUT MAMA ANITA SPELL AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HER MY LAST TRAIL.SHE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND $180 AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS, I HAVE PAID OVER $3000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR SO I SAID LET ME GIVE HER A TRY SO I CALLED HER AGAIN AND SEND MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND THE $180 BECAUSE I SWEAR IT WAS MY LAST TRY SO I WAS WAITING AS SHE TOLD ME TO WAIT TILL NEXT DAY AND I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT BECAUSE I REALLY LOVE MY WIFE AND WANT HER BACK AT 9PM THAT DAY I SAW MY WIFE ON LINE ON FACE BOOK AND SHE SAID HI AT FIRST I WAS SHOCK BECAUSE SHE NEVER TALK WITH ME FOR THE PAST A YEAR AND 9 MONTH NOW I DID NOT REPLY AGAIN SHE SAID ARE YOU THERE? I QUICKLY REPLY YES AND SHE SAID CAN WE SEE TOMORROW I SAID YES AND SHE WENT OFF-LINE I WAS CONFUSED I TRY TO CHAT HER AGAIN BUT SHE WAS NO MORE ON LINE I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT AS I WAS WONDERING WHAT SHE IS GOING TO SAY, BY 7.AM THE NEXT MORNING SHE GAVE ME A MISS CALL I DECIDED NOT TO CALL BACK AS I WAS STILL ON SHOCK AGAIN SHE CALL AND I PICK SHE SAID CAN WE SEE AFTER WORK TODAY I SAID YES SO SHE END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY I GOT OFF WORK SHE CALL ME AND WE MEET AND NOW WE ARE BACK AGAIN I CALL MAMA ANITA THE NEXT DAY THANKING HER FOR WHAT SHE HAS DONE IN FACT I STILL CALL HER AND THANK HER AS MY LIFE WAS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT MY WIFE PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE I HAVE BEEN SCAM THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IF YOU WANT A TRUE LOVE SPELL THEN CONTACT MAMA ANITA (mama.anitatruelovespell@gmail.com)

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You can also email me at domesticfashionista {at} yahoo {dot} com.

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