Because natural conversation doesn’t always come naturally, Toastmasters says.
The folks at the public-speaking organization Toastmasters have put together a few tips for those anxious about attending the office party. The advice:
Look for a friendly face. When you’re feeling out of place, seek the people you know. Also head toward gregarious people; it’s likely they’re good communicators who will help you feel at ease.
Watch your body language. Be sure to face the individual who is speaking, make eye contact and nod to let them know they have your attention. Don’t text or check your phone.
Share your stories. When the timing is appropriate, talk about a humorous and happy holiday memory and encourage others to do the same.
Keep it short. It’s difficult to have in-depth conversations at holiday gatherings, so prepare for others to join in. Don’t expect to resolve any pressing matters at the event.
Know when and how to exit. Before leaving the event, navigate your way around and try to say a brief hello to the people you may have missed. Be sure to thank the hosts of the party.