If you really want to test your mingling skills, be sure to try them out the next time you are in a big city. I recently spent a few days in Las Vegas on business, so you know that I could not resist practicing my social skills. This brings me to my tip for today:
MINGLE TIP #21: HOW TO MINGLE IN THE BIG CITY (On location-Las Vegas)
Most of my usual mingling tips also apply in the big city, but there are some things that are either different or more extreme in that situation. Don't forget, the title of this blog is "How to mingle like a gentleman", so I will discuss these from the perspective of trying to keep it civilized. Here are some tips for mingling in the big city:
(1) Make casual conversation and/or throwaway comments everywhere you go. My number one strategy for the of the successful mingler still applies in the big city. It doesn't matter if you are out for the night or walking through your hotel. Try to make eye contact and comment to people who look receptive as much as possible. If you find a good connection, then keep talking. Just be prepared to get some wacky responses.
(2) Be wary of "professionals". Big cities and big money attract people who are in the oldest profession. Here is an actual conversation that I had with two women in a hotel lobby:
Me: How are you?
Woman: Good thank you. What are you doing tonight?
Me: Just hanging out.
Woman: Well do you want to hang out with us? Or maybe just one of us...
Now, if this conversation happens in your small town, they may be talking about going to the movies. Not in Las Vegas. They have something else in mind, and they plan on charging you for it.
(3) DON'T buy drinks for someone you haven't met or just met. This seems to be a classic mingling move for some reason. Why don't you just wear a sign that says, "I am a chump". If you have been reading my blog at all, you know that one of my mingle mantras is to avoid being a "try-hard." I can't think of too many more obvious ways to be a try-hard than buying a stranger drinks. Remember, you aren't trying to impress anyone or win anyone over. You are just hanging out.
(4) Be aware that men are much more likely to want to fight when they have been drinking. Even if you are just making casual conversation with a woman, her drunk boyfriend may get angry about it. In the big city (especially Vegas), you may find drunk people anywhere, anytime. So don't think you will avoid them by just staying out of bars/nightclubs. I didn't experience this first hand, but fights and near fights happen all the time because a jealous, drunk boyfriend feels like he has to show how macho he is. Get out of this situation quickly if it looks like it may be starting to happen.
(4) Be prepared for people who can't speak English. Big cities attract people from all over the world. Don't feel bad if you make a comment to someone and they don't respond or if they don't speak English. It happens. No big deal.
Next time you are in a big city, don't be afraid to test those social skills. Remember--you can mingle anytime, anywhere!
UPDATE: (5) Find out where the people are. Every city has good places to go and bad places to go. Do some quick research and find out where the best spots are in the towns you are visiting (or even your own city!) Ask a random person on the street where the good places are if you need to. Just don't waste time going to a place that sounds like it would be cool without doing a little research first.
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