This is a classic move so we had to mention it. Grab that
tray of hors d’oeuvres and start passing it around- you have something to do, you’ll meet a lot of the people there, and if the conversation goes stale you have a great excuse to keep moving through the room.
If you can’t think of anything else just park yourself at the edge of a cluster of people and wait for someone to notice or acknowledge you. At this point you can say something like, “I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I don’t know a soul here! My name is Jane Smith….” The humble nature of this approach, according to Martinet, makes you non –threatening and puts the other person in the position to help you out a little bit. Get help from someone? That sounds even easier than our previous suggestion!
First you’re on the edge of the circle. Then you inch a little closer, discreetly. Then you laugh when they laugh. After hanging out a bit, you chip in on the conversation, as if you had always been part of the group. This is the beauty of the fade-in. Sneaky and easy.
According to Martinet a compliment is always a go-to icebreaker. Good= “I love your dress!” Bad= “I love your dress, it looks like you work out !” (unless you are hitting on someone).
Yup, that’s the last one from Martinet's book. You ask someone how they got here. It’s an open-ended question, it’s something you can both share information about since you both got there, and it just might lead to other conversation. E.g. Sally: “How did you get here?” Jane: “I rode my bicycle here,” Sally: “You ride your bicycle in the winter?” Jane: “Yes, I also cycle to work,” Sally: “Me too!” ……………etc.