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Gayatree Sehgal is Founder Director of "The Image 360" that helps individuals and organizations project the right image on any occasion. Here she blogs on how to break the ice at a social gathering. Whether it's post-work cocktails with colleagues, birthday bash or a casual gathering... imbibe these conversation breakers to make it an enjoyable evening. It's a great way to break the ice at a party where people are just meeting each other... be it the shy wallflower or the social extrovert!

Dress nicely and preferably sport a unique look
Take time to dress for the party keeping in mind the venue, the guests, the occasion and the theme if any. When you put thought into your look by adding uniqueness through accessories, colors etc it makes you feel edgy and confident... and this in itself is bound to get you the attention and compliments from onlookers.
Go early and make introductions
Most people go late to a party if they do not know many people who are attending. Instead it helps to go early in this case. When you are one of the first ones to arrive there will be very less people when you reach and in this situation it is easy to strike a conversation.  Slowly you will form a group and as others come in... they will join you.
Smile: there is no better accessory
Never enter a party without your biggest accessory: your smile. Everyone wants to be with people who are cheerful and interesting and moreover a smile indicates approachability. So sport it whether you reach early or late. It will also elevate your own mood and confidence. If you meet an acquaintance, take the initiative to make introductions with other people in the group. Similarly if you join a table and do not know anyone, make introductions with them after asking whether you can join them.
Compliment and make others feel special
Some people face a lot of trouble with small talk which is usually the norm with introductory conversations where you talk about general topics like the city, sports or weather. A great way to warm up to the other person is to give him or her a compliment. However it must be genuine and not be so difficult at a party with well dressed people!!
Establish Instant Connections
Nobody wants to spend time with boring people or those who just talk about themselves. During the first few minutes, establish linkages with the person you are standing with like perhaps the same city, the same industry or similar interests. Once you do that, it gives you a special place in their heart because now they know somebody who has some similarity with them.
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21-MAY-2012 preetam singh
It's helped me immeasurably in life. I think everyone should read it. Kudos to Dale Carnage.
21-MAY-2012 Namrata Guha
nice ones! My guru in such situations was the classic 'How To make Friends and Influence People'
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