Bring someone else into the conversation

“Bob, have you met Suzy yet? Hey Suzy, Bob was just telling me about his pet ferret. Didn’t you have a ferret growing up? If you will excuse me.”

Tell the person you’ve enjoyed speaking with them

“Beverly, I have so enjoyed speaking with you and if you will excuse me, I have just seen a colleague/friend/another person that I need to speak with”

Excuse yourself

Use the refreshment table, the restroom, or the need to speak to the host/ hostess as a reason, if you feel you need to supply one.

Ask for the major plot points

“How did it turn out in the end?” or “what was the final outcome of the situation?”

Give the other person a task

“Hey, you should go try the jalapeño poppers in the kitchen—they’re delicious!”

At networking events, hand over your business card