How to Make Conversation at Parties
First, get a drink. If it's a cocktail, it'll loosen you up, but even if it's just club soda, it's good to have a prop to hold if you're feeling nervous. Next, approach someone—a person, not a group—and ask how he or she knows the host. After that, be authentic and interested and ask questions, and others will float over and join in. A good host will have considered the mix of people, so when you arrive, ask, "Who should I meet?" Most important: Even if you won't know anyone and you're feeling intimidated, you must go. Do not stay home
. So many people are afraid that no one will talk to them and they'll leave feeling awful—but has that ever happened to you? Me, neither. Usually I end up laughing and eating and drinking and making friends, and that's what it's all about.
—Marjorie Gubelmann CEO of Vie Luxe and society hostess extraordinaire