How to strike up a conversation by dating expert Bridget Holland, General Manager of TeleCafe.

Christmas and New Year is almost guaranteed to be the busiest time in your social calendar so why not use this time as an opportunity to start up a conversation and meet someone new? You might make a new friend, find out some juicy gossip about your fellow party guests or even discover a spark with a handsome stranger.

It’s not always as easy as it sounds to approach someone you’ve never met before. Good conversational skills and confidence are the keys to success when chatting to new people, especially of the opposite sex. I’ve put together my top tips which should set you on the path to chatting your way through the party circuit this festive season. You never know what might happen!

My top chatting tips this festive season:


Keep in mind that the average person speaks over 16, 000 words per day – proving that anyone can be good at talking! Don’t put pressure on yourself to meet the love of your life every time you are out. Be open to meeting new people and different experiences.


Nothing is sexier than someone who oozes confidence through their voice and body language. Make sure you look the other person in the eye, don’t fidget and dress to impress.


If chatting to new people isn’t your strength all you need to do is put yourself out there more often to overcome that initial fear. You can do this by circulating at parties and trying to engage with as many people as possible. If this is still too daunting consider trying TeleCafe or internet dating first where you can start talking from the comfort of your own home and even be anonymous if you like. In no time at all you’ll be able to use these skills when you are next out and about.

Introduce yourself properly

Ever been stuck talking to someone who’s name you cant remember? It’s distracting and can lead to awkward situations. When you approach someone new make sure you pronounce your name clearly and don’t be afraid of clarifying his or hers too. It might seem old fashioned but it’s important and can help you make the leap into other topics – for example about where the person is originally from.

Ask questions

Whoever said flattery will get you everywhere was right! Try to focus the conversation on the other person. You’ll quickly discover what they like and dislike and avoid boring them by talking about something that interests you but not them.


These days we are always in a rush. This holiday slow down and take the time to really listen and think about your responses – most people don’t ever get the chance to be heard to so if you are the one to do it they will love you for it.

Don’t drink too much

It’s very straight forward but a trap we have all fallen into. Keep your intake of water above that of champagne and you should be on the road to finding a good balance. Slurring is not a good look.

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