How to be a charming hostess
Those planning to host parties usually worry about the food, the music, the entertainment. They sometimes forget to be host. By this I mean that they forget that their guests are there for THEM and not just the food, the music and the entertainment. That's why event planners come in. They do the worrying for you while you be the perfect host. Here are some tips on becoming the charming hostess:
Be comfortable. Your guests will take subconscious clues from you. If you’re laughing, talking to people and having a good time, chances are greater that they will too. If the party is at your house, do as much housework as you need to in order to feel the place is presentable. If you’re hosting a gathering at a restaurant or the like, make sure you’re confident the coordinator understands your needs. Your comfort will also come from what you’re wearing. Fidgeting and adjusting is distracting for you and your guests.
Divide labor. You don’t want to be doing everything yourself because that won’t leave to time to spend with your guests. For gatherings held at restaurants or halls, sharing the workload is easier because they staff. For house parties, you’re going to have to do a little recruiting. But there is usually someone who would be glad to keep the music playing, another who will be bartender or make sure there’s always enough ice. And if you know someone who is exceptionally gregarious, ask them to help you keep your guests mingling.
Do your homework. Have a good idea of who your guests are and what you can do to help them feel comfortable. For example, if many of your guests are elderly, have enough places for them to sit. If you’re serving food, find out if any guests have food allergies or special diets so you can have something for them to eat. If most guests are in their fifties, you probably don’t want to be playing hip-hop music.
Mingle. As the host, you are bringing these people together. It is your job to help them interact. Don’t spend all your time with the people you know well. At a family function, make an effort to get to know your nephew’s new girlfriend. At an office party, strike up a conversation with the newest employee. At a house party, help single people meet others.
Essentially, if you are relaxed and have made the comfort of your guests your top priority, most people will have a good time without ever knowing why. That’s another key to being a successful host. Despite all the effort, the party feels natural and easy. And even if you’re feeling anxious at first, once you see your guest having a good time, you will enjoy yourself more.
Being an outstanding host or hostess comes naturally for some, but it is a skill that can be learned. However, there are a few words of caution: First, you can’t make people have a good time. If someone is determined to be miserable, all your planning cannot change that. Do what you can but don’t be disappointed if it has no effect. Second, don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your own labor; have fun!