How to Rock the Holiday Party

Dec 20, 2013   //   by Peter H   //   Concept Development  //  Comments Off

I’ve read too many posts on what not to do at holdiay parties. These tips usually add up to not having fun. Here are some ways to have a great time, become more well liked and even show leadership during your next office holiday party.

Come in Warm

If you are someone who can control their drinking, then warm up with the most importants drinks of the evening. The pre party take the edge of drink(s) means you’ll enter the event socially ready to go. If you don’t have another drink the rest of the night..these two warm ups can take you a long way. Alcohol is of course not needed. And there is no greater high than buzz we receive from a party where people are relaxed, comfortable and having a great time with others. No alcohol needed..but if you drink…be under control. Alcohol is tool for you to use, not for it to use you.

Read the Air

I believe it’s a Japanese saying but reading the air is easy to understand. If I drink too much my ability to read or sense the energy or atmospher of a place or individual is greatly reduced. SO be careful But by watching people’s reactions, their eyes, and body language you will quickly get good at seeing who is having a good time, and who is uncomfortable. Helping those that are bored or uncomfortable feel included helps an entire party. I don’t know why, but it happens. Just be kind, curious, and inclusive at the party and it’s going to be fun.
Say Hello to Everyone
Anyone who catches your eye, say hello. This is especially true of people you might not know well. This is a great time to develop stronger relationships. Introduce yourself and spark up a conversation by asking easy questions. Easy questions work like magic. They are relaxing to answer and they lead to interesting conversations. “Ahh, the holidays. Did you have a favorite Christmas growing up?”

Always Look to Expand the Circle

Conversation circles can grow quickly if you let them. Look for people on the fringes that might want to join. Then use subtle body language to open up the discussion. If it’s just two, step a side and form a triangle. If there are three of you then open it up to make the square. After that, it’s all about the circle, and circles grow quickly and make people at ease.

Look for the Bored or Uncomfortable

Seek the people that are obviously bored or uncomfortable. They are easy to find if you just take five seconds to look at others. Go out of your way to meet them or say hello. If they are a spouse of a co-worker and you can certainly make them feel a little better and maybe get them involved in a conversation. His or her spouse will be grateful and you’ve earned a new ally at work. Don’t flirt. Leave the wolf or cougar at home… One of favorite lines is, “Don’t shit where you eat.” And you eat from work…so just be friendly and unthreatening- men, may have to be more careful than woman on this point. But men should certainly try to help male spouses or guests or even co-workers feel comfortable and included.

Bury the Hatchet

Shall old acquaintance be forgot!? Now is the time to make bygones be bygone! If you had some unresolved issue with a co-worker perhaps the holiday party is the time to say you are sorry, say your regretful or express hopes for better relations. Some people even admit to being wrong! When this happens mountains move and frosty relationships can get back on track in a hurry. Humans are great that way. And if it isn’t well received, you get to simply move forward clear of mind and heart, leaving the other person at the level they have grown. But you have freed yourself to move forward. Bravo!

Keep Looking Around

We got delayed taking care of some work stuff, but now that you’ve taken care of it, get back to helping the other guests. Anyone standing by themselves? Get over there. Spark up a conversation, bring others in and before you know it you’ve created a circle of discussion and the party’s energy continues to lighten. Remember that easy questions start great conversations. “Where do you go on vacations?” And away you all go- to talk on travel…simple and fun!

Time to Eat

Keep your momentum going at the dinner table. Try to keep conversations and topics general so all at the table can enjoy. Spouses do not want to hear work discussions, so as you wait for your food, go back to the basics and present easy questions for all. Read the air, see who is interested, and who is bored. Try to bring that bored person out, and the whole table will benefit from a change in energy.

Don’t Complain About the Food

Complaining about the food in front of people you don’t know that well, makes you a complainer. If you paid for the meal, and it was unacceptable, I have no problems with poinitng this out to the staff. In fact restaurants worth their salt want people to tell them But at the holiday party..let it go. Show gratitude that we have food in the first place. Many don’t. Second, don’t let a bad meal ruin the mood of the party. ANd when people complain, they are viewed as complainers. Let it go. Perhaps dessert will be better or you can suggest a great second party spot that has excellent snack food to match the night caps.

Participate in the Entertainment

If there is dancing, be first. This shows confidence and the party organizers who weren’t sure about the music will love you for it. If there is karaoke, SING! And sing first. Have one song that you are decent at and give it your best shot. If the party is really rolling and the energy is positive, then I give you the homerun tip. Sing Y M C A . This song still kills it, it’s easy to sing and can turn up the energy and unity of a party like no other. After all these years, Y M C A still delivers. Especially to an electric crowd.

The Second Party

If there isn’t a planned second party, have an idea just in case. By this time, you have generated so much goodwill with your energy and friendliness that any place you suggested people will go. Second parties are tricky when it comes to the maybe just asking everyone to pitch in $ 20 or $30 and then order away until the budget is spent. If it’s really rolling, then just add more $ to the pot. Paying first is so much better and people know the score. Also, those non- drinkers, might feel confident to order something like a dessert or an extra appetizer to try to get their money’s worth. That’s great! Everyone’s happy.

The Third Party

The third party will not be covered here. By this time there is no formula. You are on your own. Just keep reading the air.

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