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What Not to Do at the Office Holiday Party

With the holidays come parties, and with parties come opportunities to create good, or bad, impressions. The annual office party in particular presents a chance for employees to enhance their professional image by socializing with people they don't typically work with. Toastmasters International, a global organization devoted to communication and leadership skills development, offers strategies that can help anyone build relationships by turning small talk into smart talk at holiday functions.

Holiday Parties Holiday Parties

Follow these techniques to make a good impression at office parties or any social function.

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Plan Your Topics Plan Your Topics

Think of two to three topics you can discuss with anyone.

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Keep It Lighthearted Keep It Lighthearted

Avoid office gossip and controversial topics. Stay clear of topics related to sex, religion and politics.

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Meet Someone New Meet Someone New

Take the initiative to introduce yourself to the CEO. Or talk to someone new while waiting in the food line.

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Spark a Conversation Spark a Conversation

Ask open-ended questions about the person you're getting to know.

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Listen Attentively Listen Attentively

Ask follow-up questions about the person or group you're conversing with. Listen more than you talk.

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Be Gracious Be Gracious

If you're recognized for your accomplishments, gracefully accept the praise, thank the host and acknowledge your manager and your team.

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Introduce Others Introduce Others

Be sure to introduce a newcomer to those you're conversing with.

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Consider Cultural Differences Consider Cultural Differences

Take into account figures of speech, how you present humor and personal space.
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Limit Alcohol Consumption Limit Alcohol Consumption

Know your drink limit or avoid alcohol altogether to keep your composure.

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