1. Pretend anyone you talk to is your future best friend.
It’s a little mental trick to help you maintain maximum friendliness with minimum effort.
2. When you forget someone’s name, pull a friend into the convo and do the one-sided introduction.
“Hey, this is my friend Harry.” They’ll introduce themselves to each other, shake hands, and you’re safe.
3. When you meet someone for the first time, work their name three more times into the conversation.
“So, where are you from, Jane?” “How do you know the host, Jane?” NOT IN THAT ORDER. But it will help you remember their name.
BONUS TIP: according to Psychology 101, saying someone’s name after you’ve just met them makes them like you more.
4. Start a conversation with something SPECIFIC.
When you lead a conversation with “What’s new?” or “How’s it going?” you’re putting the onus on the other person to come up with something clever or interesting to say. And usually it just leads to boring conversation filler. Take into account the situation you’re in and start out with a comment about your surroundings or something interesting that happened recently.
5. Hold your drink with your left hand so your right hand isn’t all clammy and wet when you go in for the inevitable handshake.
6. Hold your drink at belly button level, not chest level.
Follow this body language tip to seem more approachable. Holding your drink at chest level gives off a subliminally offensive stance.
7. When meeting someone for the first time, ask them, “What do you like to do?” instead of “What do you do?”
You’ll avoid that awkwardness if the person you’re talking to happens to be unemployed, and you’ll immediately get right to a topic that the other person enjoys talking about.
8. To escape a boring conversation, say, “I’m going to get another drink. Want anything?”
Chances are, the other person will reply with, “NO, I’M GOOD,” and they’ll have moved on to another victim by the time you’re back.
For an extra touch of politeness, bring another person into the mix so that he or she isn’t standing all alone.
9. If you find yourself sweating nervously, go to the bathroom and run cold water on your wrists.
10. If you can’t hear someone at a bar or a concert because the music is too loud, push back that little flap of cartilage in your ear and lean in.
You’ll be able to hear them talking much better.
11. Avoid dreaded wine teeth with bread and sparkling water.
Take a little nom break with bread and sparkling water. Make a trip to the bathroom, run lip balm over your lips, and wipe it off.
Nothing worse than gray teeth and that weird purple crust that settles into the cracks of your lips.
12. Always carry a lighter, and learn how to open beers with it.
It’s always a good icebreaker to be able to offer someone a light or open their beer if an opener isn’t around.
13. Drink something bizarre.
If you’re at a house party, some bartending skills could come in handy. If you’re at a bar, having an odd but yummy-sounding signature drink always invites the question, “Whoa, what are you drinking??”
14. Watch British comedy panel shows on YouTube.
They’re funny and conversational, and you’ll pick up on witty comebacks and phrases. Try Would I Lie to You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, or 8 Out of 10 Cats.
The key is to incorporate the witticisms, which will more or less be fairly obscure to others unless everyone you know is British. You don’t want to be that weird social leper character who quotes Monty Python constantly.
15. Pay attention to your audience when telling a story.
Are they enraptured? Ham it up — punctuate with dramatic pauses and hand gestures.
Are they looking around at other people, as if attempting a polite getaway? WRAP IT UP. You don’t want to become known as The Bore.
16. Learn from your alcohol experiences.
Next time you get all tipsy and charming, make a mental note of it. How are you acting differently than you normally would? Those are the things you need to work on while sober.
And also: Pick your battles. The more you drink, the more tolerance you’ll build up. So just drink in situations where you need that social lubricant, and keep it to three drinks or less.