Spring is party season. And I’m thinking about inviting a few people over.
I’m sure you’ve been to parties that just haven’t taken off. Gatherings where the conversation felt stilted and people left early. Deadly… especially if you’re the host.
Ever wonder what you can do to increase the chances of that your party will have a lively effervescence?
Here are six suggestions. Don’t miss the last one!
1. Serve food that shows you care.
Make sure that at least some of the food shows that you’ve put a bit effort into it. A chunk or two of cheese from Costco is okay, but asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto really doesn’t take much effort and feels special. Or try dates wrapped in bacon and baked. Yum.
2. Mix different people.
Invite people from different generations. People who are 70 and 35 really do have things to talk about and the varying perspectives can spice up conversation.
Or, try mixing people from different social and interest groups. Sometimes that backfires when conversations get heated, but more often it works well.
3. Use seating strategically.
Put chairs in small clusters so a few people can sit together to talk. Chairs around the wall or in a circle that’s too big aren’t conducive to interaction.
If it’s a sit-down dinner party with more than 8 people, ask a few people to change their seats between the main course and dessert. That’ll spark new conversations around the table.
4. Introduce something (or someone) of interest.
You might invite and highlight someone or something of interest. If someone you’ve invited has done something remarkable, introduce them and ask them to talk about it. A bit of conversational structure often leads to conversation that’s more meaningful than idle chitchat.
5. Ask guests to bring or prepare something.
The process of preparing something for a party gets your guests in the spirit before they arrive.
You might ask for a food or drink contribution. But if you really want to spice things up, you might ask people to bring a poem or a story or some other interesting item to share with the group.
6. At just the right moment, ask for aspirin.
My mother often used this aspirin trick to bring her parties to a close.
At the right moment, just before the energy flagged, she’d turn to my father and say “Andy, would you please bring me two aspirin.” Then she’d turn to the rest of the group and pronounce with a glint in her eye, “I always take two aspiring a half an hour before I got to bed.”
And presto! The party was over. No dribbling to a sad close. And often, people got a good laugh out of her ploy. It’s become a family tradition!
Consider Ways to Improve Your Parties
Think for a minute about the kinds of parties you enjoy most. Are they big or small? Do they encourage dancing or talking? Light conversation or deep? And then, think about ways you can make your parties work best.
Please share your tips with us in comments below, or boogie on over to Facebook and offer your party tips.
Copyright: dml5050 / 123RF Stock Photo