Comment on the venue
“Environmental small talk is appropriate for all events as it offers others the opportunity to engage or withdraw according to their comfort level. Try something like ‘I love the high ceilings in here’ or ‘What beautiful decorations, they’ve done an amazing job.’ Follow their lead and don’t be afraid to keep a conversation brief if you’re not receiving signals that they want to further engage.” —Jessica O’Reilly, PhD
Say it with a smile
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
“It is viscerally impossible not to like someone who genuinely smiles at you. This means smiling with your entire face, including your eyes. Try this as you greet friends and colleagues and observe their reaction. A smile will disarm defenses, boost your likeability, and increase the chances of a positive conversation before you say a word.” —Wendy Patrick, JD, PhD, behavioral expert and attorney. Familiarize yourself with the daily habits of naturally charming people.