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The list of how to make it fun to mingle at a party related to your job

Some mingling and networking is futile, but often it's because people don't take chances and seize the opportunity when it arises. Here are some tips to mingle better.

1. Decide what you need to accomplish even before you go to the party
Don't let pure chance waste your time. You should talk to at least 5 people you don't already know. The big fish - is he/she there? How will you find him/her?

A short but true story:
I went to a publisher's party in 1994. The CEO was on his way to the men's room. I followed him. Next to each other at the urinal, I asked him:
“-Why don't you publish my book in a paperback edition”?
He gave me a surprised look, then called to his editor who happened to be locked up in a toilet booth across the room.
- “Yes, why don't we?”
- “Hrm, hrm”... I guess we could”, the voice from the booth replied.
I picked a good time to talk to him - after the first drinks had been served - and the book came out in a paperback edition the following year. Maybe it was the toilet meeting that did the trick.

2. Learn why shy people always seem to be so nice
Do you know why? Because they ask you things instead of highlighting themselves. They often ask for advice and let you stand in the spotlight. Even if you are shy, you can at least make some use of mingling at a party.

3. Move!
A mingle party tends to be a place where there are people who already know each other in different groups and they often glance at people they don't know. Don't just stay where you are because it's comfortable and homely. Give each person five minutes and then move on.

4. Things to say to a person you don't know:
Ask anything. What time it is, or if he/she knows what the dish on the plates is/which company he/she is with, etc. It's often as simple as that. Everyone is there with an open mind and even the most ridiculous introductory phrase will be excused.

5. Three things to consider when you're stuck with Mr talks-about-such-boring-things-that-I-would-rather- jump-out-the-window-than-stand-here-and-listen-for-another-minute:
• Consider it as a part of your role to listen (if it's a customer or your boss).
• Try to look for important information that can be embedded in the boring performance.
• Ask questions. An uninspired chat may mean that the boring person in front of you isn't very inspired himself/herself. Look for some other topic to talk about to wake him/her up again.

6. Don't be someone who has to sell something all the time
You know the type – the guy who has practiced his thirty second pitch that he treats anyone with a pair of ears to;
–”Speaking of good food, we have a new series of books that provides delicious delights ... “
Zzz ... zzz ... zzz ...

7. And don't forget your business cards
Of course you have a card that says what you can help people with instead of one that just has your name and a fancy title (you can give this card to your friends instead).

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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