Staying up on current events is a must for interesting conversation at a party. Watch the news and read your local newspapers. Read books. Know what’s on the current bestseller list. Having this in your repertoire gives you the confidence to walk into a room full of strangers.

When at a party, give your full attention to the person to whom you’re talking. Being a good listener is a fine quality of a lady or a gentleman, and is greatly appreciated. When you listen, give eye contact, and be engaged with the talker. Ask a question about the comment to show that you have been listening.

Show interest in the person to whom you’re talking. Ask questions that lead the other person to talk about the things they enjoy or their achievements. Restrain your natural instinct to talk about yourself unless the conversation runs into a dead end. Letting the other person do the talking is always a winner. It keeps you in the mix of the party, and it will give you an opportunity to meet others. Which leads to the next tip.

Circulate. Make yourself known to people that attract you. There is a reason why these people are attractive. Engage in conversation with them to observe their good conversationalist qualities.

Don’t bring up religion, or your opinion about war, or your idea of a just society. It may induce an argument, and nobody wins when we walk away from each other huffy and indignant. When you are invited to a party, be it formal or informal, don’t hug the wall wishing you were at home with your favorite shopping magazines. Get in the mix. Good conversation just may be the beginning of a good friendship.