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Conversation Topics for the Next Party You Go To

Group of girls having fun chattingGoing to parties is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to meet new people, to improve your social skills and to have a laugh. At the same time, if you’re going to a party or an event of a corporate nature, then this is also a great opportunity to network and to perhaps advance your career or help your business.

At the same time though, some of us may feel a little apprehensive before going to a party or gathering, and often this is down to the fact that we will be forced to ‘mingle’ with lots of people we don’t know. Unless you’re the world’s biggest extrovert, most of us find it at least slightly intimidating having to make conversation with large groups of people that we haven’t met before and putting ourselves out there.

As such then sometimes we can find ourselves shying away from conversation, or even avoid going to the parties at all – which obviously is a real shame if it means you miss out (and if it means that you don’t ever improve your social skills as a result).

Something that can help though is to have prepared a number of different conversation topics that can help you to get by and that you can fall back on in the case of a lull in the conversation. Here are some ideas.

Asking What People Did With Their Day

This is perhaps my favourite fall-back conversation topic and the easiest one to use naturally. When you meet someone you know well and you talk naturally, normally this is the kind of thing you would talk about ‘so, how’s your day been?’ and normally you’ll find this leads on naturally to lots more conversation all of which runs smoothly and which automatically informs you as you go on their personality, opinions and lifestyle. If you use this style of conversation then it will come across as so natural that you won’t seem to be nervous or awkward at all – because you’ll just be acting normal.

The News

If you’re in a larger group then asking what people did with their day doesn’t work as easily. As such then you should look for a topic that applies to more people – and something that happened in the news is a great option here. Watch the news that morning, and then at the party you’ll be able to simply ask ‘did anyone BLANK in the news?’. This again is a great way to get an idea of people’s opinions and personalities and it’s something that can lead naturally to other topics.

Smaller Questions

There are many other simple questions that come up commonly at party venues and events. These include:

  • How do you know the host?
  • What do you make of this party?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What do you enjoy doing? (Often more telling than just what they do as a career)
  • Do you have any plans this weekend/next week?
  • How was your journey here?

The secret then though is to let them speak and listen to the answer rather than trying to influence where the conversation goes. A bad conversationalist will try and move the topic onto what they want to talk about, but if you just listen to the response and show genuine interest, and let the conversation flow naturally from point to point. Pretty soon you’ll forget you were ever worried and be making fast friends…

The article is written by Jamie Watt who has worked for many event management company and shares his experience through guest posts.

Prime Minister Literary Awards for 2012

Yesterday, the Prime Minister and Arts Minister announced the winners of the 2012 Prime Minister Literary Wards. Such awards are always a good thing, but being the National Year of Reading seems to add some significance to the event.

I’d certainly feel ‘special’ if I’d written a winning book this year!

And given that they had a record number of entries this year, I’m assuming others feel the same way about winning (or being acknowledged) in 2012.

Prime Minister Literary Award 2012

You can look at the shortlisted books but this year’s winners are…

Fiction

Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears

Non-fiction

An eye for eternity: the life of Manning-Clark by Mark McKenna

Australian history

The biggest estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia by Bill Gammage

Children’s fiction

Goodnight, mice! by Frances Watts, illustrated by Judy Watson

Young adult fiction

When we were two by Robert Newton

Poetry

Interferon Psalms by Luke Davies

Congratulations to all those writers! I look forward to reading at least some of them before the end of 2012.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Climate change action day

Last week we encouraged everyone to read about climate change as part of blog action day. Following on from that, this Saturday is the International Day of Climate Change where we can again make ourselves heard on this issue.

A few facts and details about the 24th October:

  • likely to be the biggest environmental action on the planet to date
  • events are being held across the world (see our side menu to find your closest events) and images will be posted online to a common gallery
  • the aim is show everyone and especially those involved in the Copenhagen discussions, the importance of 359.  “350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for parts per million carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. 350 is the number humanity needs to get below as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change. (Watch this animation – scroll down the page). “
  • reducing global carbon emissions is really our only hope to get below 350 and slow climate change. We can all do a bit towards that and our leaders in Copenhagen need to do more

As you join in events, let us know so we can continue the discussion about affecting climate change.

Some May Madness…

The annual Save Time Online May Madness celebration is underway, but here are a few of the specials you can grab this month…

Save Time Online feature listings booked during May and quoting “May Madness” will get a 15% discount on the listing fee and any other advertising booked at the same time.
Precious Water will give a 10% discount for all custom-made water tanks sold to people mentioning May Madness when ordering. Offer ends 31 May 2009.
Every new project booked with Word Constructions during May 2009 will receive a free edit of the content of one webpage.
Business Mums Guides is offering the Easy Peasy Straight Forward Guide to Business Planning for only $5 instead of $12.50. Available via paypal only until the end of May.
The Business Mums Magazine is offering 35 word classified ads for only $5 if booked (enter the code MM-2009) by 31 May 2009.
Baubles, Bubbles & Bags is offering a $5 voucher to spend on our site.  Code to enter is BMNMAY. 
Just us kids is offering FREE delivery – enter the code BMNMAY at the check out.
Vista Print is offering 50% off various printed items – that is MAD!
Lifetime Health is offering a free Wombat Baby Snooze Mate when you place an order over $250 placed before 31 May 2009

 

More listings will be added throughout the month so keep checking for bargains! And if you run a business, you can join the madness*, too, as the more we offer, the more fun it is for everyone!

* Want to join May Madness? All family-friendly Australian businesses and websites are welcome to participate if they meet the following criteria:

  • make a genuine offer to people throughout the month of May
  • promote the May Madness promotion by linking to this page as often as possible 

May Madness!

Yes, It is the first of May and that means the annualMay Madness Save Time Online May Madness Mayhem 

Every year, Save Time Online bring you offers from a collection of businesses so you can save money and time from one place.

To find out about the offers and specials, just visit our May Madness page. Find the specials that will save you time and money, and follow the link to that site to start saving.

Keep coming back as we add offers throughout May as more and more businesses join in the madness.

If you run a business, you can join in, too. Simply make a genuine offer to people during May, add it to your website with a link back to our May Madness feature, then we’ll add your offer to the collection.

Enjoy May!

Mothers Day

Yes, it’s almost Mothers Day again – have you thought about how to thank your Mum for everything she has done for you?

As always, we have a mothers day page brimming with ideas  for you, but thought we’d give you a few extras here as well…

World Maths Day – 4 March 2009

World Maths Day is almost here again* – and Australia isn’t on the hall of fame’s top 10 yet so maybe its time you joined the celebrations!

Students play in real time against students from anywhere in the world in 60 second games. The competition runs for 48 hours and includes school and class groups as well as individuals.

There are even prizes available based on the number of questions answered, but the real value is in building enthusiasm for maths and the knowledge that program sales will help UNICEF give more children a chance at education.

Our post last year listed some other maths day actvities, too.

* It officially starts in Eastern Australia at 10pm Tuesday 3 March as that’s when the first country (New Zealand) reaches 4 March.

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month (WHM) originated in America back in 1980 to broadcast the historical achievements made by women through history.

WHM was introduced to Australia in 2000 by Helen Leonard and started the Australian Women’s History Forum Commitee with the aims to;

- Raise awareness and provide hostorical informations of women in Australia and their contributions

- Encourage initiatives across educational and community sectors

- Support institutions and organisations in arranging local activities during WHM.

Until as recently as the 1970’s women have virtually been left out of history. WHM works to change this and encourages upcoming women to strive to be a part of history.
With the month starting on the 1st of March, we encourage other women out there to join in with the movement.

A Valentines gift with a difference…

We came across a Valentines deal that doesn’t involve chocolates or flowers, so we thought we’d share it with everyone who prefers a gift that gives for longer. Here is what their site says:

Site Build It! (“SBI!”) is the only, all-in-one, site-brainstorming-and-building-and-hosting-and-marketing, step-by-step system of software tools that delivers thriving, profitable business.

The right process, the right tools that remove all the barriers and mysteries, correctly applied at the right time. That is how you grow long-term profits. And that is how SBI! works.

SBI! owners do not just “put up Web sites.” They build genuine, profitable, evergrowing businesses. And that, in turn, delivers life-changing freedom (the “It!” in Site Build It!).

You can do the same, build Web sites that work, with SBI!

Between now and February 14, you can get an extra subscription to give as a gift (for someone else or yourself!) for only $100. Why not check it out?

You can even use it to prepare websites for clients

For other Valentines Day ideas, don’t forget to check our Valentines Day feature