Trellis White paper Ad 770 Spot #6
share TWEET PIN IT share share 0
Networking Tips

How to Take the Awkward Out of Holiday Parties

By Stephanie R. Hanna

Holiday parties can be more awkward than meeting the parents. Follow these tips and you can be confident in your approach — and even make holiday parties an enjoyable (and beneficial) experience.

Take the Awkward Out of Holiday Parties

Five Ways to Feel More Confident

1. Be “The Friendly Face.” Instead of looking for the friendly face, get comfortable being the friendly face. Look for a person standing alone and strike up a conversation or invite them to join your group. Adopting this tactic instantly takes the pressure off of finding someone to talk with and gives you something to focus on if approaching others makes you uncomfortable.

2. Tongue-tied? Prepare a list of topics. Come up with a list of things to talk about, and think about your answers to potential questions on those topics. Think of your favorite podcasts, vacations and books ahead of time so you’re prepared to make recommendations, ask questions and be comfortable without fear of running out of things to discuss.

3. Stay upbeat. This is a party, after all. Keep conversations positive. Don’t complain about work and never (ever) talk negatively about other colleagues, clients or, really, anyone. The world is much smaller than you think and you never know how others are connected.

4. Practice. The best way to take care of holiday party jitters is to practice delivering a few rehearsed lines with confidence. That’s really all it takes to trick your brain into being confident and relaxing. Whether it’s with someone you trust, in the mirror or in the car on your way to the party, taking the time to practice is one of the smartest ways to invest in your professional development.

5. Know how to make a graceful exit. Nobody likes to hang out in the awkward space between having nothing else to talk about and finally making your exit. Know when to end it — and have a few key phrases lined up. “So glad we connected.” Or: “It was great catching up. I have a few other people to catch up with.”

Before you make your final exit from the party, be sure to find your host and thank them. You’ll stand out because so many people don’t.

Bonus Tips from Attorney at Work

For super-specific tips on everything from where to put your name badge, to where to sit to how to deploy a wing person, be sure to read:

Illustration ©

Subscribe to Attorney at Work

Get really good ideas every day for your law practice: Subscribe to the Daily Dispatch (it’s free). Follow us on Twitter @attnyatwork.

share TWEET PIN IT share share
Stephanie Hanna Stephanie R. Hanna

Stephanie Hanna is an attorney and people connector who knows what it takes to develop and maintain key relationships. For more than a decade, she has been coaching law students and lawyers to navigate the profession and develop their careers. Stephanie understands that only 15% of job success comes from technical skills, so she created the program “The Other 85” to help clients master the other 85%. Follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.


More Posts By This Author
MUST READ Articles for Law Firms Click to expand

Welcome to Attorney at Work!

Sign up for our free newsletter.


All fields are required. By signing up, you are opting in to Attorney at Work's free practice tips newsletter and occasional emails with news and offers. By using this service, you indicate that you agree to our Terms and Conditions and have read and understand our Privacy Policy.