Every so often, you may be in luck and attend a party where you know the the host well and they can introduce you to anyone you would like to meet.  However, you may not always have this luxury and, unless you want to stand in the corner and watch others having fun, you need to develop your own ability to meet new people.  The good news is that meeting new people at a party doesn't have to be awkward; in fact, it can actually be a lot of fun if you follow these 3-easy steps!

Prepare a Self-Introduction

One of the easiest way to connect with strangers at a party is to have a self-introduction prepared.  A good self-introduction should be tailored to the event that your attending  and typically include two important pieces of information:  your name and information about yourself that shows you have something in common with other people at the party.  For example, you could say something like this if you're attending a wedding, "Hi, my name is Jack.  The groom and I were roommates in college.  How do you know the bride and groom?"A good self-introduction doesn't need to be lengthy;  it should be quick, casual, and, more importantly, it should allow others the opportunity to respond and move the conversation forward. 

Have Something Interesting to Say

Now that you've introduced yourself and the lines of communications are open, it's important to actually have something interesting to say.  One of the easiest topics to talk about would be the party itself.  You can discuss party topics such as the the organization, the venue, and the food.  Stay upbeat and positive, and don't be afraid to share something interesting (and appropriate) about yourself - this lets other people know that your approachable. 

Current topics are also great conversation starters so its important to be knowledgeable on up-to-date events.  One of the best ways to stay currect is by reading the local newspaper or going online to sites such as Yahoo.com or CNN.com.  You don't need to read every article, but reading these resources daily should give you enough information to respond during a conversation. 

Be an Active Listener and Have Some Fun

When meeting and conversing with new people, it's important to be genuinely interested in what they have to say.  A common mistake is failing to realize that a conversation is a two-way activity, and you need to be able to listen as well as talk in order for it to be successful.  Simple gestures such as nodding, making eye-contact, and smiling demonstrates that you're interested in what they're saying and engaged in the conversation.  Lastly, relax and dont put too much pressure on yourself.  Keep in mind that you are still attending a party and the most important thing is to have some fun!