If you're the type of person who has different groups of friends, it can be an exciting idea to throw one big dinner party where the various cross-sections of your life come together. You envision everyone mingling, lots of laughter, an effortless flow of conversation and perhaps some new friendships formed. The reality, however, is that this type of guest list runs the risk of awkwardness, silence and people only sticking to the one or two others they know. So, if you're throwing a party where the guests don't really know each other, digital cooking-show host Hilah Johnson has a few suggestions to help ensure the event goes smoothly.
1. Plan your seating arrangement wisely.
Out of all your friends, pick out a few who you consider to be the best conversationalists. When you're planning who should sit where for dinner, place these friends in the midst of those who may not be as chatty. "Try to spread them out strategically at the dinner table so they can help facilitate the conversation," Johnson says.
2. Kick things off with cocktails.
A pre-dinner happy hour often helps in these situations, Johnson points out. "This is a very standard thing, and I think most people appreciate it," she says. "A little bit of 'liquid courage' at a party where they don't know anyone."
3. Have some games ready to go.
"I know it sounds a little corny, but have some card games, have some trivia games, have some charades if you feel like your guests might be up for that," Johnson suggests. "[It's] something to give people something else to focus on besides themselves... And before you know it, no one's even paying attention to the game. Everyone's just laughing and having fun."
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