Networking Tips for a Cheerful and Stress-Free Holiday Party

The holidays are truly the most wonderful time of the year. Unless you’re like me. An introvert with social anxiety whose worst nightmare is the idea of attending a holiday party where you’re forced to make conversation with people you barely know. While the pandemic let many of us off the hook for several years, we can’t avoid holiday parties and networking events forever.  

Fortunately, there are tricks to making the most of the events. Below are five networking tips for a cheerful and stress-free holiday party.

Bring your business cards

While holiday parties are often pitched as a fun event to relax and have fun, most attendees forget that one of the greatest rewards of attending these gatherings is the opportunity to network and gain connections. Although I don’t recommend selling your products or services during this time, bring a handful of business cards with you. You never know who you’ll meet at these events.

Decrease your drink intake

An open bar may seem like an invitation to drink as many complimentary alcoholic beverages as humanly possible, but please, do yourself a favor and control yourself. While holiday parties invite guests to have fun and enjoy the night, it should go without saying that this isn’t the time and place to get completely wasted. Be professional. One or two alcoholic beverages should suffice.

Be yourself

After a long year of work, people crave authentic conversations that don’t pertain to their work. Holiday parties are a perfect opportunity to get to know guests and for them to know you. Try to keep work conversations to a minimum. Instead, ask about the person’s hobbies, family, or holiday plans.

Listen and uplift

With so many distractions around us, it’s not uncommon to have conversations with people who genuinely don’t seem to care. You’d be surprised how far the simple act of listening will go. While there might be countless distractions around you, focus on the person speaking. Then, continue the conversation by making an uplifting comment about what they just shared.

Happy Holidays (and networking!)