I love to mingle. I love to chat with others about everything and nothing. I can’t ever remember being described as shy. I recently read, though that about 93% of you identify yourselves as shy. Here are some ideas about how to talk to a room full of strangers.

If there is food available, hang out by the desserts. People who are trying to keep themselves from grabbing that second brownie will welcome the distraction.

Try approaching a group of three or four people instead of two people in conversation. Two people might be engaged in a private or sensitive discussion. That’s not likely with a slightly larger group.

How do you join them? Simple. Simply say, “Excuse me. May I join you?” I can’t ever remember being told no.

Try wearing a conversation starter. I’ve heard that Madeleine Albright made a habit of wearing unusual brooches, which allowed people an opportunity to start a conversation about that.

If there’s a chance you’ll encounter acquaintances at the event, do a little social media reconnaissance first. Check out their most recent postings on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll be able to ask them about their trip to the Grand Canyon or their daughter’s first day of kindergarten. It’s a great way to get the conversation rolling.


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