The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings

By Nick Gray

Recommended on: 16th June 2022

The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings, by Nick Gray. The more Barb has researched the neuroscience underlying how we learn, the more she (as a shy person simulating an extrovert) has discovered the importance of personal relationships, not only in learning, but in life.  Interacting with people with whom you have become familiar, as it turns out, activates the brain’s reward mechanisms.  It’s little wonder that we teachers like to use techniques such as “Think-Pair-Share,” and collaborative learning sessions sprinkled amongst the more difficult sessions of explicit instruction.

Which leads us right to Nick Gray’s delightful The 2-Hour Cocktail Party! (Nick himself, it should be pointed out, doesn’t drink, so alcohol isn’t at all necessary for Nick’s approach to work.)  The trick to activating those happy feelings of reward, remember, is not just interacting with people—it’s interacting with people with whom you are familiar.  How do you become familiar with people?  Invite them to a short cocktail party!  And that’s part of the trick—the party should be short.  Nick (in real life, one of the world’s nicest people) shows you how to comfortably set up the part, from sending out the first invitations, inviting your great guests (people you’ve wanted to meet!), pre-party prep, navigating the first twenty minutes, icebreakers, how to end on a high note, and what to do the day after.  

This is a wonderful book—Barb is planning her first party for after the launch of MOOC 3 of the Uncommon Sense Teaching specialization (Teaching Online) in two months! 

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