introductions at a partyYou know, like Ellen DeGeneres, the talk show host everyone loves to love? You can have a reeeeeally nice show with fabulous music and great special guests, but it’s Ellen who introduces everyone, grins her gigantic grin and jump-starts the party. Woo-hoo! 

Anyhow, so your goal is to find your inner Ellen and get her workin’ the room at your next party. Sidle up to guests and mention how one just got back from Belize or how both of them are mad Iggy Azalea fans. Even if one of them doesn’t even know who Iggy Azalea is! Kidding. Only mention how both of them are Iggy Azalea fans if both of them really like Iggy Azalea. Look, the point is, give ‘em something to talk about besides their dang job, right?

Because there’s nothing more boring than hearing what everyone’s job is, especially if their jobs, like most jobs, are boring. If you can’t think of something off the top of your head that connects two people you’re introducing to each other, introduce one to the other with a specific compliment about that person. “Amanda, I want you to meet Sarah, who makes the best spanakopita I’ve ever had.” Notice the “specific” part. Don’t tell Amanda how nice Sarah is, because Amanda has nowhere to go with that. But spanakopita? Maybe Amanda is going to Greece next summer. Maybe she’s hopeless with puff pastry. Maybe she loves spinach. Maybe today is the day she learns what spanikopita is. The point is, she can pick up that ball and run with it. And bonus, you just made your very nice friend Sarah feel good. 

Hey, we know how it is. By the time you’re actually having a party, you’re probably pretty wiped from all the planning and still trying to put the finishing touches on everything, so it’s easy just to let guests fend for themselves and make their own fun. But guests need a lot more to have a dynamite time than you just providing all the trappings for them to do so. Yeah, it’s great if you have amazing canapés and signature cocktails and a custom dance mix, but many guests are still pretty helpless without their talk show host helping them figure out how to really let go and live it up. Even if you’re hosting a small dinner party where everyone knows each other, your guests are taking their cue from you as the leader of the evening. Remember, you are the Model Bon(ne) Vivant(e) here. Are you hiding in the kitchen, slaving away, stressed and ready for a hot bath? Or are you relaxed, fancy-free and bubbly as Zoey Deschanel in New Girl? Let your guests know what kind of evening this is gonna be. Why not dispense with the formalities and jump right into strip poker? Okay, maybe not, but you get the idea.

So stop trying to be so perfect and make your party to-dos more manageable so next time you’re already long since ready when the first guest rings the doorbell…or, if for some reason you’re not, to stop whatever you’re doing (adding frosting florets to the cake? touching up your ‘do? looking for your go-go boots?) and get out there and enjoy yourself, people. Ellen would be so proud!

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