How to start good conversations

57 Killer Conversation Starters So You Can Talk to Anyone

Table of Contents

  1. Conversation Starters for Any Situation
  2. Keep the Conversation Going
  3. Take Your Conversation to a Deeper Level
  4. Conversation Starters for Work Appropriate Topics
  5. Conversation Starters for a First Date
  6. Conversation Starters for Kids
  7. Funny Conversation Starters
  8. Calendar Specific Conversation Starters
  9. Birthday Party Conversation Starters
  10. Tinder, Bumble and Other Dating Conversation Starters
  11. BONUS: How to Master Small Talk

How can you have dazzling conversations with everyone you meet? I have a few tips and tricks to using easy conversation starters that lead to amazing and memorable conversations. 

A good conversation starter topic can make a normal conversation great. I have broken down this post into different types of conversational situations you might find yourself in. These conversation starters can help spark interesting, deep, and memorable conversations with anyone.

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Conversation Starters for Any Situation

Let’s start with some killer conversation openers. These are great for simply opening a conversation with someone new or someone you haven’t seen in a while. And they’re far more interesting than the standard “Where are you from?” and “what do you do?” those are so boring. Try these instead.

  1. Tell me about you. This is a great one because it invites the other person to tell you something that they want to share. If they want to tell you about their job, they can. If they want to tell you about their kids, they can. And it’s a great way to know what’s at the top of someone’s mind.
  2. Working on anything exciting lately? This is my alternative to “what do you do?” Asking if someone is working on anything exciting helps the other person talk about something good in their life, as opposed to just giving you a boring update.
  3. What’s your story? This is an interesting conversation starter because it invites someone to tell you a story about them, and you never know what exciting thing they might tell you.
  4. What personal passion project are you working on right now? This is one of my favorites. You never know what secret side hustle someone has. I love asking this one to people I already know in one context, like work, but would love to know more about them personally.
  5. How do you know the host? This one can be modified to any kind of event. If you are at a party, hopefully you both have the host in common. If you are at a networking or work event, you can modify it to “How long have you been a part of this organization?”
  6. What was the highlight of your day today? This is a nice alternative to asking “how are you?” and it gets more interesting answers.
  7. What was the highlight of your week? This is a great one to ask instead of the standard question “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” It helps people share a positive story instead of just giving an autopilot answer of “Fine” or “Good.”
  8. Have you been to an event like this before? This one can be modified for most types of events, from birthday parties (did you come last year?) to networking events (do you come every month?).
  9. What was the high-point and low-point of your day so far? This one is great if you have a talker. If you are speaking with an extrovert, asking questions for them to ruminate and expand on will tickle their fancy. Extroverts love this question.
  10. Has this been a busy time for you? I don’t always like to ask people about being busy, but I use this conversation starter if someone seems distracted or not engaged. Sometimes acknowledging their busy-ness can hook them in.
  11.  How’s that drink / appetizer / artwork / game? One of my favorite context cues is asking about whatever someone is holding or doing. Ask them about their wine. Ask them if they like the artwork they are looking at. Ask them if the food is good. These are very easy openers.
  12. Having fun? A really easy cold approach opener is to look for someone who is by themself, but looks like they are having an okay time. It’s easy to sit next to someone at a table, or stand next to someone at the bar and simply ask, “Having a good time?” or “Enjoying yourself?” It’s a nicer opener than just “How are you?”

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Keep the Conversation Going

Okay, those are my twelve killer openers. How about getting more personal? My next set of conversation starters are to help you continue the conversation.

  1. What are you doing this weekend? Ever had that awkward lull in a conversation? This conversation starter is always welcome. And, if it is a Monday or Tuesday, you can modify it to ask “Did you do anything fun this past weekend?” Sometimes, I also try “What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekends?”
  2. What are your favorite restaurants around here? I almost always ask for personal recommendations. They make great conversation starters. Why? I always get great tips! And if someone doesn’t have an answer because they are new to a city, you can talk about where they came from. Win-win!
  3. Keeping up with __sport / tv show / news__ recently? If you are up to date on news or sports, you could also ask your partner if they keep up as well. If so, great, you have a lot in common. If not, you can tell them about it!
  4. Can you recommend any unique cocktails / appetizers / desserts here? Another great way to get recommendations is asking what to order or grab from the buffet. If they haven’t eaten yet, you can go grab some food together.
  5. All the food looks so good… I’m not sure what to get! What are you thinking? Or what have you tried? A variation of asking for a recommendation is asking simply for advice on what to order. Even at networking events, you can walk up to the bar to get recommendations.
  6. What a beautiful / cool / ugly / bizarre venue. Have you been here before? One thing you will always have wherever you are, is context. Whether you are in a house, a restaurant, or a ballroom, there is always something unique to comment on and ask about.
  7. Did you see that viral ____ YouTube video? It was all over my social media today. If there is a great video you just watched, bring it up. If they have seen it you can laugh together. If they haven’t, you can show them!
  8. I’m making a coffee / going to grab a drink, does anyone else want one? This one is fantastic because you can use this to address an entire group–maybe your new team on your first day at a new job, or a group of people you are sitting with for a presentation at a conference. This can be a good way to test the water and open up further conversation with the people who join you on your coffee run.

When in doubt, if you feel a little awkward asking personal questions right out of the gate, use your environment and surroundings to create conversation. Comment on the food and drinks. Ask about the venue or location. You also can ask general interest questions, such as their favorite sports team or YouTube video.

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Take Your Conversation to a Deeper Level

Now let’s get to the deep conversation starters.

Let’s say you have been speaking to someone for a while, or it is a friend you have seen many times before and you need MORE to talk about. These are my deep conversation starters. In my book Captivate, I break down every interaction into 3 phases. The first 5 minutes — this is during your first impression when you are getting to know someone. The first 5 hours — this is when you start meeting for coffee, working together, or going on dates. And last, the first 5 days –that’s when you truly find friends, partners, and long time colleagues. These questions will help transition you from the first 5 hours to the first 5 days.

  1. If you had to pick any character in a book, movie, or TV show who is most similar to you, who would you choose? Why? This is great if someone has just talked about an actor or book or movie. It tells you a lot about a person to hear which character they feel most like.
  2. When you were growing up, what was your dream job? Is any part of that still true? I love asking this one anytime someone has just mentioned something about their childhood or growing up. It also helps you talk about whether their current job is similar to their original dream.
  3. What’s your biggest fear? Whew, this one is deep, but soooo good! It always sparks great conversation.
  4. What’s your biggest regret? Talking about regret can really help you get to know someone and their past. Only ask this if you really want to get to know someone!
  5. Who is your role model? If you are talking about an inspiring person, a boss, an author, or even a celebrity, you might be able to ask the person about their role model. This is a great way to talk about who inspires you too!

Remember: Be bold. Ask the deep stuff. If you are not real, the majority of conversations can hover on the surface-level topics. It’s refreshing to talk about more meaningful areas of our lives. It’s true, some of those conversation starters may be a bit forward, but if the conversation is progressing well, I encourage you to try them. You never know what you will find out!

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Conversation Starters for Work Appropriate Topics

The most successful professionals know how to both be productive at work and be likable. How can you do this? You have to use the right conversation starters to open genuine, authentic conversations in the office. I love all of the conversation starters I have already mentioned for trying with your office colleagues, but here are a few more.

  1. Is there a charitable cause you support? Sometimes at work all you talk about is… well… work. This question is great to learn what someone is passionate about outside of work. Make sure you have your favorite charity picked out before you ask so you have a great answer too!
  2. I’m a bit nervous about the _____. Have you ever done it before? Sharing personal information to others can increase how likable you are perceived to be, and can help form new social bonds. You can use this trick to start a conversation at work with a colleague, and get some good advice on whatever challenge you’re currently facing–whether it’s a new piece of software or a difficult client.
  3. What has been the best thing about working here? This is especially helpful if you are starting a new job. You can also use this one if someone new has joined the team and you want to share your favorite thing with them.

Have you learned any insider tips about working here? You never know what you are going to hear with this conversation starter! It’s a good one! I love to ask for insider tips and insider knowledge.

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Conversation Starters for a First Date

So you’ve ordered your drink and found a nice table. You know how to flirt, but do you know what to talk about on a first date? The best conversation starters for dating are ones that can give both of you an insight into the other’s personality and life.

  1. What job did you want to do when you were a kid? Maybe they wanted to be an astronaut, or a vet. You can ask follow up questions too. Are they still interested in space studies? What changed when they grew up. Do they love the job they are in now? This type of conversation starter can open up topics such as future goals and professional development too.
  2. If you had to pick one–skydiving, bungee jumping, or scuba diving–which would you do? This first date question is great to figure out if your date is an adventurer. It might turn out that they have done one or more of these things already. Or, they might be terrified of the idea of any of them. And if you are adventurous, good news: adventurous people are usually considered more attractive. Either way, you’re bound to get a great answer and an insight into the way they approach risk.
  3. What’s the most important thing I should know about you? On a first date, you are trying to really get to know each other. Basically, you are trying to suss out if someone would be a great fit for you (and you for them). This question is a great way to get to the heart of the matter.
  4. When you were a kid, what did you think your life would look like now? The ideal conversation starter for a first date is a Trojan Horse –something light and whimsical–and,actually, it’s a good excuse for you to share your aspirations with your date and open up potential conversations about your childhoods, education, or hobbies.
  5. Which of your family members are you most like? Are they particularly close to their mom, their dad, their great aunt? This question gives you an idea of their family setting, and also gives them an easy opportunity to describe themselves simply. They might say they are most like their godfather because they love books, or like their brother because they have a crude sense of humor. Their relationships with key people in their lives is likely to give you some insight into how their relationship might look like with you.

There are so many great conversation starters that can be used on a date. We even have a dedicated post on first date questions if you need even more ammo!

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Conversation Starters for Kids

“Sure, I don’t mind babysitting for the night.” The words kind of slip out before you can think it through, and you’re left with a kid you don’t know. Is Batman still cool? Are Dinosaurs? Is it even still cool to say cool?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you. With these great conversation starters with kids, you’ll never run out of discussion topics. If it feels awkward, remember that research suggests back and forth conversations with children helps boost their brain development.

  1. Do you think there are aliens on other planets? This one is fun and there is no wrong answer; either way, the conversation will be great. If they say no, ask them why; if they say yes, ask them to think about what life on another planet might look like. Kids’ answers are usually surprisingly profound and creative.
  2. If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why? This is an easy way for a child to tell you about their personality. They might relate to a puppy because they’re playful and run around a lot, or a fish because they love swimming. Also consider, what would you be? They’ll probably ask you back, so make sure you have a good answer.
  3. When you’re a grown up, what type of house will you live in? This is a more exciting take than the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question. Loads of adults will ask that–b o r i n g. Instead, ask about what their house will look like. Do they want a swimming pool, a garden full of jungle plants, a slide from their bedroom into the living room? Encourage them to get creative. It might give you some fun home decor tips too.
  4. Who would win in a fight, a robot or a dinosaur? You can take cues from things around you–do they have some toys in the room, or a superhero on their shirt? Use this to form a question, the sillier the better. You’ll make them laugh, and they’ll rate you as the coolest grown up.

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Funny Conversation Starters

Funny conversation starters can be used in (almost) all of the situations above and they serve only one purpose: to make people laugh.

Laughter is important for bringing people together, so you’re sure to be the life of the party with one of these funny conversation starters.

  1. What was your worst fashion disaster? Everyone has a few outfits from their past that seemed like a good idea at the time. This conversation starter will help you get to know what the people in your life were like before you met them. It will probably come with a few great stories about their days as an early 2000s emo or 1960s mod. What makes this funny conversation starter especially useful is it can cross the age divide, bringing older members of the party into center stage with fashion faux pas from the past.
  2. What’s the most embarrassing thing you did at school / when you were a kid? This conversation starter works best in groups, when people will have time to think of their own story while laughing at the others sharing theirs. Reminiscing about the past can make people feel calmer (so it may be worth cracking open this conversation starter on a tough day at the office).
  3. If you had a reality TV show about your life, what would your theme song be? It’s a good way of talking about music without asking people what bands they like (which can be a bit stilted and boring), and it short-circuits any indier-than-thou posturing in the name of fun. Bring it to life in the style of a ‘90s sitcom by probing people on the cheesy clips that might accompany their montage bonus points if you get your friends to suggest your theme tune).
  4. What’s your plan if there was a zombie apocalypse? Honestly, you’ll be surprised by the amount of detail people can go into it while describing their remote getaway or elaborate escape routes. This funny conversation starter can turn raucous as you pick holes in each other’s doomsday survival plans.

It might sound counterintuitive, but despite learning some great conversation starters, keep it relaxed and natural. Keep these ideas somewhere in the back of your head for lulls in conversation and awkward silences;don’t try to crowbar them into a conversation that is naturally flowing in a difficult direction. Just be yourself, have a genuine interest in people and their lives, and try to learn about them.

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Calendar Specific Conversation Starters

You can also use time to help you think of great conversation starters. These are really helpful to have in your back pocket. Whenever there is an upcoming holiday or special event, I use these as a basis for fun and light-hearted conversations. Here is a calendar-inspired conversation starter list for you. Remember you can be creative with these as well. If there is ANY holiday or event coming up, be sure to ask about it!

  1. January: What’s your New Year’s Resolution?
  2. February: Do you usually celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you think it is a real or fake holiday?
  3. March: “I went to the coolest Irish bar last St. Patrick’s Day. Doing anything fun this year for it?”
  4. April: How long did you believe in the Easter Bunny?
  5. July: What’s the best fireworks display you’ve seen on the 4th of July?
  6. October: What’s the best Halloween costume you ever had? Or Do you like haunted houses or scary rides?
  7. November: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Dinner food?
  8. December: How does your family celebrate the holidays?

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Birthday Party Conversation Starters

If you have a birthday or are celebrating someone else’s birthday, I always ask these to get the conversation going:

  1. To the birthday person: “What was the highlight of your last year?” Or, “What do you want to achieve for next year?”
  2. To fellow celebrators: “How do you usually celebrate your birthday?” Or, “What was the best birthday you ever had?”
  3. To everyone else: “What was the best (or worst) birthday gift you ever received?” This is a great one to do around a dinner table. The answers are always hilarious.

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Tinder, Bumble and Other Dating Conversation Starters

Tinder can be a challenge to having deep conversations — but it can be done! The best conversation starters on Tinder or other dating apps isn’t always a cheesy pick-up line. Instead, you want an opener that works twofold. You want to communicate that you have taken the time to read their profile and learned something about them, and also to tell the other person something about yourself. It’s a win-win, and the conversation will flow naturally from there once you have found some common ground.

Choose one of these great conversation starters to open a conversation on Tinder, and modify it to show your own personality. You just have to fill in the blank:

  1. You have a ___? Me too! Tell me more. Anything you have that is similar to the person you are interested in is a great conversation starter on Tinder. We like people like us. This is known as the similarity-attraction effect. Fill in the blank with your similarity, and then ask for more details.
  2. Hey – you’re a _______? That sounds really interesting. What’s your favorite thing about your job? People love talking about themselves. Keep this in mind when you’re starting conversations online too. People are more likely to respond to you if you ask a question. It goes without saying, but modify this conversation starter depending on their profile.
  3. Sorry if this is a bit forward, but I’m going to try out that new _____ that opens downtown next week–would you like to come?  Straight to the point, this conversation opener makes it clear that you’re interested in a genuine relationship and would like to meet in real life. Make sure to keep your language casual and friendly, and you’ll ace it.
  4. Hey, how is your week / weekend going? This one is nice and simple, but can open a conversation to a lot of different directions–perhaps they’ve had a weekend stuck in the office working, or they’ve had an amazing week of sales. It’s important to give them some information to reply to, too.

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BONUS: How to Master Small Talk

Are you bored of the following questions:

  • “How are you?”
  • “How’s the weather?”
  • “The traffic here was pretty bad, huh?”

I used to dread getting these questions. But fear not! I now LOVE getting asked these normal conversation starters, all because I found one AMAZING trick to change them from boring to magical! Watch my video below to find out how:

Any and all of these conversation starters will work for you, if you are courageous enough to drop the boring ones and get to the good ones. Most people are so relieved to have you start and continue the conversation anyway! Remember, you also want to have YOUR answers to these questions ready to go. If someone doesn’t know their answer, you can jump in with yours to make them feel more comfortable. Good luck! Can’t wait for you to have your next convo.

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10 Conversation Starters for Families While at Home

If you are spending lots of time at home due to social distancing or quarantine, then this is the perfect time for some conversation starters to jump-start that deep, soul-searching talk with those you love.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a public health practice aimed at keeping healthy individuals away from sick individuals. It is used to reduce the spread of highly contagious diseases.

And having great conversations is more meaningful now than ever: in a 2018 study by the University of Arizona, researchers found that people are more satisfied with their lives when they have better conversations with others!

But, you may be wondering…

Isn’t it harder to have good conversations during times of social isolation?

Not if you know how to start a good conversation!

Being in isolation doesn’t mean you can’t connect with others!

In fact, NOW is the perfect time to strike up some good conversation topics.

Before we get into the conversation starters, we need to know two things:

  • What makes a bad conversation starter? And…
  • What makes them good?

What Makes a Bad Conversation Starter?

AVOID bad conversation starters at all costs. Bad conversation starters are:

Awkward: You know them; they are the conversations that make you feel itchy and have you wanting to run in the other direction. Avoid using these, unless you’re just being silly with your loved one.

Boring: These are the questions you fire off when you’re on autopilot… the questions you’ve heard over a HUNDRED times before… the questions that would even put the sheep to sleep. Social psychologist Mark Leary conducted a study on boring people,  and the results were nothing short of harsh. People who were judged as being boring conversationalists were:

  • liked less
  • judged to be less friendly and enthusiastic
  • harder to get to know
  • judged less likely to be a strong or capable leader

Impersonal: These questions happen when you’re trying too hard to be polite. They show you’re not getting to know the other person on a deeper level (read: not showing enough character), so make sure to avoid impersonal questions—especially with your loved ones.

Offensive: Being offensive is one of the fastest ways to turn a close friend/loved one into your enemy or—even sneakier—a frenemy!  

Okay, so we know what to AVOID to have a great conversation! But…

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What Makes a Good Conversation Starter?

A good conversation starter has the following traits:

Engaging: The conversation is new, exciting, funny, and it has emotion! The more you and the other person are emotionally invested in the conversation topic, the better the conversation!

Personal: Great conversation starters don’t just skim the surface—they dig deeper than the normal conversation would! Ask them something about their own life:

  • their hopes, goals, and dreams
  • the problems they’re currently facing
  • how current events are affecting them

Open-ended: When you ask open-ended questions, you can easily follow up with other questions! Need help with open-ended questions? Here’s an example of how to rephrase:

  • Not so open-ended conversation starter: “How are you today?”
  • How to rephrase it: “What was the high point and low point of your day so far?

By asking open-ended questions, you’ll be able to follow-up with more meaningful ones, which happens to be the final quality of great conversation starters…

Meaningful: Great conversation starters have meaning. According to Harvard Researchers who analyzed over 300 conversations, they found that…

People who asked more meaningful follow-up questions were much more likable!

So if your conversation starter has these elements, great! You’ve got one AMAZING conversation starter.

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The 10 Best Starters for Great Conversation

Here are 10 conversation starters to try with your partner, kids and friends. They check ALL the positive boxes, and none of the bad ones.

When can you try them?:

  • with your partner over a long home-cooked meal
  • when texting with friends you miss
  • with your colleagues at the start of a video call
  • with your kids as a break from TV

What’s one thing you have always wanted to try, but never have? Why haven’t you done it yet?

I LOVE this question. It always surprises me. I also ask this question over and over again to the people I love because their answers change! You never know what you might discover about someone.

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What has been the highlight of your year so far?

We need to focus on the positive. This question is a great way to get people thinking and reminiscing about what’s good.

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What book, TV or movie character do you most relate to?

This is not an aspirational question—it’s not who you most want to be like. But rather, ask who you think you are currently most similar to. This can be fun because it often turns into a group discussion and everyone can help think of characters you are reminded of! It can be fun and dramatic.

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What is your biggest regret?

Want to go deep? Then this question is for you! I find that this question can really bring you closer to the person you are speaking with. I am also always surprised at what I learn about people from their answers..

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What do you daydream about?

Do you daydream about starting a business? Traveling the world? Calling that old crush? Now is the time to spill—and to hear people’s secret wanderings and desires. Or something silly. Some people daydream about the news, what they are having for dinner, or a movie they watched. The nice thing is that there are no wrong answers.

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Who would play you in a movie?

Which celebrity do you look most like? I like this question because you can brainstorm together. It might even require some deep Googling. Bonus points if you can pick someone similar in age to you!

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If you could trade places with anyone for one week, who would it be?

This is a really fun question because it requires you to think strategically. Some people pick fun and curious trades (think celebs and sports players), and others pick strategic ones (think political leaders and people from history). I’ll let you decide if people can switch with people both living and dead. Live on the edge!

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What is something you have always wanted to learn?

New language? New skill? New idea? We have to encourage each other to keep learning, ESPECIALLY in times like these. This might kick off a great conversation about how you can start learning together.

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What is your best memory?

I love a good story and this question is meant to get someone to share a good one. Whenever I ask this question I hear about amazing proposals, wedding days, and life highlights. 

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What question have you always wanted to ask me? What do you wish you knew about me?

I love to end question sessions or deep conversations with this question. Usually someone has a secret knowledge wish—something they wish they knew about you. This is your opportunity to find out what.

Want more? Try my “36 Questions to Fall In Love”

…they are great for friends too! Researcher Arthur Aronson developed a set of 36 questions to fall in love. I actually used one above. Try all 36 with the people you care about.

You might also like:

  • 3 Steps to Amazing Conversation: Our free mini-course on how to have deeper conversations.
  • Our FREE Conversation Starter App
  • 57 Killer Conversation Starters…in case you need even more conversation starters.

9 Ways to Start a Conversation with Absolutely Anyone

  • Many people are afraid of public speaking - and this can extend to one-on-one conversations.
  • However, by forgoing small talk and asking people for their opinion or advice, you can deal with this problem.
  • Use what you know about them to start a conversation or ask about their interests.

Did you know that public speaking is often considered the thing people fear the most?

But while getting up on stage in front of an audience can certainly be nerve-wracking, many people find it just as intimidating to strike up a one-on-one conversation.

The person you're talking to might be the CEO of your company, a new colleague, a guy at the post office, an IT girl, or a stranger on the street.

Whoever you want to talk to, there is a way to strike up a conversation. And the best news is that it gets easier with practice.

Try these conversation starter tips to talk to absolutely anyone:

1. Skip small talk

“How is the weather today?” and “How was [insert name of local sports team] last game?” are as bad conversation starters as cheesy pickup lines. Avoid boring topics. Each situation is unique, so you must be able to find a unique way to strike up a conversation.

2. Ask them for their opinion

Everyone has an opinion! For those you don't know well, start with easy subjects like food, music, atmosphere and so on. “Do you like margaritas with or without salt? Do you watch horror movies? How do you like this song? It's probably best to stay away from really sensitive topics like politics if you don't know the person well enough yet.

3. Ask for their advice or recommendations

This method works great when you comment on someone's appearance or someone's accessory in style: “What a chic tie! Where did you buy it? or, commenting on the food, in the style: “Looks delicious. What do you have?"

4. Ask them a question that is easy to answer

It's great when you know or find out that a person has experience in a certain area. For example, if you are talking to an IT specialist in your company, you can ask him if he specializes in hardware or specializes in software. But avoid asking anyone to explain anything overcomplicated or involved; if that's where the conversation is going, great, but asking a really hard question right off the bat can make you seem overly demanding.

5. Comment on the environment

No matter where you are, there are things you can comment on: music, food, lights, guests, and so on. Even if you are stuck in an elevator with someone, you can comment on the music, speed, flea market, and so on.

6. Find out the latest news

If you don't know the person well or know them only by their reputation, ask them to tell you about news that relates to their activities, for example: “Oh Mary, you mentioned that you took classes swing. Liked?".

7. Ask open-ended questions whenever possible

If your question can be answered with a simple yes or no, don't be surprised if that's what you get. If you have open questions in your arsenal, they will help you facilitate communication. If you ask a person what kind of food he prefers, then in response, for example, you can continue: “Sounds great. Can you tell me what wine goes well with this dish? Almost any answer can be accompanied by the question: "Why?". (Just don't ask it too often or you'll look like a three year old!).

8. Ask a hypothetical question

These questions can be great conversation starters, but try to relate them to something happening at the event or current setting so it doesn't sound completely random. You can say something along the lines of, “I recently watched a movie where all the laws were canceled for one day. What would you do if within a day the laws ceased to exist?

9. Ask about children, pets or hobbies

People like to talk about things that are important to them. If you know that your boss is into sailing, then asking him about his latest outing will surely get him talking.

13 Tips for Starting a Conversation

How good do you think you are as a conversationalist? Have you ever had awkward pauses in a conversation? A few tips described in this article will help you become a better conversationalist, and awkward pauses will be a thing of the past. Being a good conversationalist is just a combination of different methods of communication. Body language, a few tricks and you will be able to easily carry on a conversation with any people.

Start with a question

Do you want the person to remember you? Ask him an interesting question and listen carefully. This will give you the opportunity to make friends.

Get someone else's opinion

For example:

  • Could you recommend me a good cocktail?
  • Do you know the city well? Can you recommend me a good restaurant?
  • Where did you buy this phone/accessory/clothes?
  • What do you think of this party?

Applying economics to a conversation

Imagine your conversation is a bank. If you have a lot of investments, then things are going well. If loans are more than investments, then something should be changed. Transferring this metaphor to communication, we get this.

Emotional investment

  1. Agree with the interlocutor
  2. Proper body language
  3. Use the interlocutor's name
  4. Make jokes
  5. Encourage the interlocutor's ideas
  6. Carefully listen to
  7. Ask opinion

Emotional loans

  1. Do not agree with the interlocutor
  2. The wrong body language
  3. talk a lot about yourself
  4. 9000 the conversation starts with a zero balance and do everything to increase it!

    Copying body language

    The practice of copying body language can be very helpful. Is your interlocutor cross-legged? Cross yours. Put your hands on the table? Do the same. Everything is very simple. Time is also very important. Wait a moment:

    • When the interlocutor tells something interesting
    • When you are interested
    • When the interlocutor is proud of something

    And then copy it. The person will assume that you empathize with him and it will be great if this is true.

    How to talk about yourself without being terribly boring

    You can be an incredibly charismatic and interesting person. But, people are just not interested in hearing about others, no matter how wonderful you are. If you continue to follow our economic concept, then you must make an emotional investment. Make the interlocutor experience emotions and he will be very interested in talking with you.

    Change the depth of the conversation

    You know the proverb: small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas? Use it. Start small and play a prank on someone, then get the other person's opinion on an event, and then move on to ideas related to that event. For example:

    Intro: Hello, how was your day?

    Event: Are you planning something with Katya for Valentine's Day?

    Idea: I saw an article on the internet about how we've perverted Valentine's Day from its traditional meaning.

    Ask the other person to be interesting

    Everyone is interesting in their own way, but few people really open up. So give them a chance to open up and they will only think of you. Here is a simple example:

    Tell me something interesting about yourself.

    This is a great conversation starter that will make you seem more attentive and at the same time give you the opportunity to learn something really interesting about the person.

    How to ask people what they do

    How do you spend your time when not...?

    Instead of a blank, there should be something at the end that you know about the person. Here are a few examples:

    How do you spend your time when you're not writing your exciting blog?

    How do you spend your time when you are not on Facebook*?

    How do you spend your time when you don't go to the gym?

    Be a good listener

    If you were to ask me for one piece of advice on how to be a good conversationalist, I would stop there. This is the most important part. Listen to the person. Be genuinely interested in what he is talking about. Lead the interviewer's story with your questions. Be interested in him and he will be interested in you in return.

    Speed ​​of conversation

    In general, a fast pace of conversation is a sign of nervousness and excitement, while a moderate pace is a sign of confidence. Therefore, try to speak at a moderate pace, but if your interlocutor speaks at a fast pace, copy it and speak the same way.

    Correctly change the topic of conversation

    It has happened to everyone: you are discussing something with your acquaintance, but then a third person bursts into your conversation and turns the whole conversation in his direction. It's terribly annoying. But, only if you're doing it wrong. You must make an emotional investment at the end of your monologue. This will divert attention and you won't look like an idiot by changing the subject. Example:

    Chris: My son is a very good football player.

    Me: Cool! You once talked about where he trained. My son recently earned a black belt in Karate and is leaving for Korea on a student exchange program. After all, your son trained in Korea? Can you give me some tips?

    In this dialogue, the emotional investment was a compliment to Chris and his son. I changed the topic of conversation to the one I needed, doing it right.

    Give the Right Compliments

    Compliments are a very powerful tool when used correctly. The correct way to use compliments is to make them about what the person is proud of. For example:

    • If the person is in good shape and obviously spends a lot of time in the gym, compliment their figure.
    • If the person is successful in their career, compliment their creativity, business acumen, or intelligence.

    Don't compliment people's qualities if they haven't made it on their own. Don't tell a beautiful girl that she is beautiful. She already knows it.

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