Many people are intimidated by the idea of attending a party or a business function, especially if they are shy. This is a shame, because social shyness can hurt your career chances as well as your potential for romance and friendship.

I’ve put together some tips for you that can help you overcome your sense of shyness and social awkwardness at a business or social event.

Dress the part

It may seem terribly unfair, but when people don’t know you very well, they will make snap judgments about you based on your appearance. They will look at the way you are dressed and groomed, and the way you are standing or sitting. After they have seen you for just a few seconds, they will decide whether or not they want to get to know you better.

People seem to be programmed to feel a bit uncomfortable when they meet someone who seems to be very different than they are, and they will usually feel more comfortable when they meet those who seem to be similar to themselves in a lot of ways.

You can increase the chances that new people will respond favourably when they meet you by dressing appropriately for the occasion. That means, you should wear business attire when others are wearing business attire, and you should dress casually when others are dressed casually. Before a social event of any kind,
it’s a good idea to ask discretely what sort of clothing choices would be most appropriate.

Preparing for the social event

Before you get to the event, you can try a few strategies to prepare yourself. One way to increase your social confidence is to use the techniques of affirmation and visualization to convince yourself that you are a lively, interesting person with a lot to say.

Take a few moments to picture yourself being at the party or social event you will be attending. In your imagination, see yourself as smiling, relaxed and confident. Tell yourself that you find it easier and easier to talk to other people. Tell yourself that other people enjoy talking to you. Allow yourself to feel happy, confident and excited while you enjoy seeing images of yourself talking to other people.

You can also increase your energy by putting on some lively music that you enjoy and letting yourself dance to the music.

It can be very useful to prepare a few topics in advance so that you will have something to talk about with the people you meet. Scan the news for some interesting current events that can be used in a general conversation.

If the event you are going to attend is for business or professional people, take a few moments to look up some current of the issues that are related to that field. Then you will be better prepared to ask a few intelligent questions of the people you meet.

Creating a good impression

When you are at a social event and are being introduced to new people, be sure to shake their hands and make good eye contact with a smile. Repeat their name and use it several times during your conversation.

Stick to a few general topics until you both find a topic you find more interesting.

It’s best not to get too personal in your conversation topics with people you have just met. Use your first few minutes of small talk to find common ground for further conversation.

Remember that most people love to talk about themselves, and their special interests, so use the technique of open ended questions to get the other person to tell you all about their favourite topics.

If liquor or food is being served at the event, pace yourself. Many people who suffer from being socially anxious have a tendency to drink too much at social events because they think the alcohol will make them more sociable. Drinking alcohol to become more sociable can eventually create more problems than it solves. It’s better to be sober and learn real social skills.

Good body language is an important part of making a positive impression.
Remember that closed body language, where you hold your arms folded across your body will probably send out the message that you don’t want anyone to talk to you.

To encourage more people to approach you in conversation, keep your body language open, with your arms relaxed at your sides, and keep a gentle smile on your face.

By following these suggestions and by making them a habit, you will increase the likelihood that you create a good impression on other people. You will create new social connections, and you will enjoy meeting new people in every social occasion.

Author's Bio: 

Royane Real is the author of the popular special report "Your Guide to Making Friendly Conversation" Learn ways to overcome your shyness and have the courage to speak to others. Read many other helpful articles at Royane's new self improvement website at