Whether you’re at a work party, convention, or some other social event, knowing how to slip away from a dull conversation is an invaluable skill. The trick to giving a good excuse is all in the specifics.
Photo by ING Nederland.
Lynne Waymon, networking consultant and the co-author of Strategic Connections, suggests you avoid giving obvious, open-ended excuses when you want to back out. People can tell when you're lying and that you don't want to talk to them when you say things like "I'm going to grab another drink" or "I guess we should both go circulate".
Instead, be specific and polite. For example, Philip C. Thomas, regional chairman of Vistage, an executive coaching organisation, recommends you say something like "I want to move on because I promised myself I'm going to meet at least 10 new people tonight." The more specific your excuse is, the less likely they will think you're blowing them off. Then finish on a good note by showing your appreciation and thanking them for talking with you. You can find more tips for backing out of a conversation at the link below.
A Conversation Exit Plan [The Wall Street Journal]