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Why sitting down is Kryptonite

Last updated: March 27, 2024

Never Sit Down

An easy way to keep icebreakers short and raise the energy is to have everyone stand in a tight circle.

Some new hosts encourage or allow their guests to sit down because they want people to be comfortable.

But this is a total buzzkill. Don’t do it.

Remember, sitting down encourages guests to talk for too long and drops the energy in the room when we’re looking to boost it.

Party Pro Tip: Always ask your guests to stand for icebreakers. Remove chairs if needed and ask anyone who is sitting and is able to stand and join the circle.

Nia’s Story

Nia, a fitness instructor in Texas, chose to host her first event at a local restaurant.

She was worried that her house was too small.

She felt her home wasn’t located in a prestigious or trendy neighborhood. And that it didn’t have the layout to successfully host a group, which she thought should be a large dining table that could seat twelve or more people.

I told Nia these things didn’t matter as much as she thought.

I tried to tell her that sitting down is kryptonite to a successful event and that it would cause her icebreakers to drone on forever and kill the energy level.

sitting vs standing
Standing allows for more dynamic interactions. Sitting keeps people trapped in conversation.

Bloody Marys and Brunch

Nia continued with her plan and hosted her first event at the local restaurant.

She called the party “Bloody Marys and Brunch.”

The brunch went relatively well.

But doing it at the restaurant saddled her with logistical hurdles outside her control:

Splitting checks

Splitting checks between twelve different people was a major distraction.

It prevented the event from ending on a high note.

The room was noisy

It was hard to hear people at normal conversation levels.

Talking to people more than one or two chairs away was impossible.

It was hard to keep the icebreakers short

When Nia started her first round of icebreakers, her guests were already seated.

There wasn’t an easy space in the restaurant to have everyone stand up and gather.

This made it hard for Nia to keep the icebreakers short, and so they ended up taking almost forty minutes to complete.


When Nia later took the leap and hosted an event in her home, she quickly realized how much better it was.

Nobody cared about the size of her house. None of her guests snuck into her guest bedroom to check whether it was clean.

They were simply happy to be there.

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About the author

Nick Gray is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and in a popular TEDx talk. He sold his last company Museum Hack in 2019. Today he’s an expert on networking events, small parties, and creating relationships. Read more about Nick Gray here.

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