Questions to ask during conversation

166 Conversation Starters For Virtually Any Situation

A good conversation starter can transform an awkward, stilted conversation into an interesting, enjoyable discussion. 

That's important in sales, as having several conversation starters up your sleeve will help you form connections with prospects, referrals, and potential partners. In other words, your ability to start a conversation translates to real business.

Take a look at our list of 166 conversation starters and find your favorite one-liner to kick start your next conversation.

Table of Contents

Conversation Topics

Conversation Starters to Use at a Conference

Conversation Starters to Use at an Industry Event

Conversation Starters to Use at a Networking Happy Hour

Conversation Starters to Use at a Social Event

Questions to Start a Conversation

General Conversation Starters

  1. What's the most interesting thing you've read lately?
  2. What's a fact about you that's not on the internet?
  3. Do you listen to any podcasts? Which ones?
  4. If you were in charge of the playlist, which song would you play next?
  5. What's the best gift you've ever gotten?
  6. What's your favorite part about living in [city]? Least favorite?
  7. Are there any common misconceptions about your job?
  8. Why did you come tonight?
  9. If you had to sum up this event in three words, which would they be?
  10. Are there any upcoming events you're planning on going to?
  11. What conference — real or imaginary — would you absolutely hate to miss?
  12. If you were giving a presentation, what would the topic be?
  13. Great [shoes/haircut/shirt]! Where'd you get it?
  14. I'm trying to plan my next trip — have you traveled anywhere interesting lately?

What makes a good conversation starter? While there isn't an exact formula, you can tailor your questions for different situations. For instance, the conversation starters you use with your friends will differ from, say, your boss. 

Here are the common types of questions:

  1. Open-ended: A broad, open-ended question typically generates a far more engaging answer than a closed, yes-or-no one.
  2. Non-routine: Breaking out of the standard weather and job-related questions will jolt the person you're talking to out of autopilot. You'll also make yourself more memorable.
  3. Professional: Some topics are more suited for your friends and family than strangers or near-strangers. Your questions should never make your conversational partner uncomfortable.
  4. Relevant: If you can, start a conversation about something timely or specific, such as your location, event, industry, jobs, or current interests. The other person will find it easier to contribute.

Conversation Topics

So, you want to start a conversation. But what should you talk about? Here are some topics to kick off a conversation.


If you're attending a conference or event, you can ask questions about the event itself, its location, your industry, the other person's objectives, what they've learned, and more.


At an industry event, talk about the latest news or technology in your industry. Ask how your industry is evolving, and what changes people are most excited about.


Is a person using a phone, tablet, or electronic device you're interested in? Ask them about it.


Ask if they recommend any books, blogs, podcasts, or videos. You might find a mutual interest that you can talk about.

Fun Facts

Start conversations about where they work, their favorite food and restaurants in the area, or chat about something they learned recently. Fun facts are ideal for networking events or happy hours.

To start great conversations, borrow from this list of 166 conversation starters.

Conversation Starters to Use at a Conference

Conferences are chock-full of opportunities to ask thought-provoking, relevant, and engaging questions. You can discuss the specific event, its location, your industry, the other person's objectives, what they've learned, and more.

Keith Grehan, an account manager in HubSpot's Dublin office says:

"I approach conference introductions the same way I approach outbound calls, by having a reason to call/initiate the conversation. Ideally, I'd know something about the prospect, their company and the challenge/hot topics in their industry and use that as a jumping off point. If, however, I was at an event and didn't have a chance to complete prior research, I introduce myself and ask, ‘What are you hoping to get from the day?' It's a great place to start."

  1. Which [speaker/panel] are you most excited for?
  2. Which [speaker/panel] did you most enjoy? Which did you find the most useful?
  3. If you could meet one speaker from this event, who would it be?
  4. If you could have your entire company watch a single session from this event, which would it be?
  5. If you were giving a presentation, what would the topic be?
  6. How does this conference compare to others you've attended?
  7. If you were running this conference, what would you do differently?
  8. What did you think of the talk [length, structure, style]?
  9. Have you gone to this conference before? What's changed?
  10. What's the most surprising thing you've learned? (If the conference isn't over, add "so far?")
  11. Why did you decide to attend?
  12. Are you planning on coming back next year?
  13. Are you here with other people? Do you prefer going to conferences solo or with a group?
  14. Are you doing any non-conference activities while you're here? (Alternatively: "Did you fit in any non-conference activities?")
  15. Is this your first time in [city]? What do you think of it?
  16. Are you from the area? (If yes: "Do you have any [food, museum, shopping, music] recommendations?" If no: "Where are you from?")
  17. Do you think the conference could benefit from being a day [shorter, longer]? Why?
  18. I wonder how many people would have attended this conference eight years ago — what do you think?
  19. I wonder how many people will attend this conference in eight years — what do you think?
  20. Do you go to a lot of conferences?
  21. What's the first conference you ever attended?
  22. Would your company ever host a conference? (Or if they're from a large organization: "Does your company host conferences?")
  23. What conference — real or imaginary — would you absolutely hate to miss?
  24. Do you think [industry] needs more conferences? Less?
  25. What's the primary reason you chose to attend [conference name]?
  26. Do you have any plans to explore [city]?
  27. What's your biggest takeaway from [speaker/panel]?
  28. Will you come back to this event next year?
  29. Have you met/seen any of the speakers before?

Conversation Starters to Use at an Industry Event

Attending a highly specific event like a forum comes with some advantages. For one, you usually have a pretty good sense of which roles and interests the other attendees hold. When you're blanking on topics, use this information.

  1. Have you been to any events hosted by [organizer] before?
  2. Why'd you decide to come to this forum?
  3. Is [theme of event] a major professional focus of yours?
  4. Why do you think they chose this specific theme?
  5. By any chance, have you read anything good about [theme of event]?
  6. Do you attend any other forums?
  7. Are there any upcoming events you're planning on going to?
  8. Had you heard of [speaker] before this?
  9. Why do you think they chose [speaker]?
  10. Have you ever organized an event like this? What surprised you about running the scenes?
  11. If you could only remember one fact or insight from this [morning, afternoon, evening], what would it be?
  12. What were your thoughts on [specific point speaker made]?
  13. Do you have any predictions for how the discussion will go? (Or if the event is wrapping up: "Did the discussion meet your expectations?")
  14. You look so familiar! Did you go to [previous event]?
  15. What are your favorite and least favorite things about working in [industry]?
  16. How long have you been in [industry]? Have there been any significant changes since you entered this space?
  17. If you could spend an entire day talking to any expert in our industry, who would it be?
  18. If you were in charge of this forum, and you had an unlimited budget, what would you do differently?
  19. Did you disagree with any of the points made?
  20. Did this event change how you think about [industry] and/or your role in [industry]?
  21. Do you frequently go to these types of events?
  22. How'd you learn about this forum?
  23. I'm in the market for a new [phone, computer, notebook, etc. ], and I noticed you're using an [iPhone 12, Moleskine notebook, etc.] — would you recommend it?
  24. If you had to sum up this event in three words, which would they be?
  25. What new projects do you have lined up?
  26. Which skills in [industry] do you think will be most in demand in the next five years?
  27. Do you listen to any [industry]-specific podcasts?
  28. Where do you like to get your [industry]-related news?

Conversation Starters to Use at a Networking Happy Hour

Socializing with strangers who already express an interest in connecting is always a little easier — or at least, more relaxed — at the end of the day. And, in the case that the majority of attendees are local, you've got a ton of built-in questions about the city, how long they've lived here, what they like to do in the area, and so on at your disposal.

As a general rule, your questions should be a little lighter than the ones you'd use at a conference or speaker event. Happy hours are for mixing work and play, so match your tone accordingly.

Grehan has advice for those preparing for networking happy hours as well. He says:

"At a happy hour, it's important to be more informal. People have had a long day of research and attending seminars, so having someone open with a different topic than the event or what they do for a living can be a breath of fresh air. If anything funny happened or if something didn't go well during the event, a joke about it is a good opener -- nothing brings people together like complaining after a long day!"

  1. What's keeping you busy lately?
  2. Did you come here from work?
  3. What's your favorite part about living in [city]? Least favorite?
  4. What do you think of this venue?
  5. If you could only attend one type of networking function for the rest of your life, would you choose breakfasts or happy hours?
  6. Have you tried any of the food? What's good?
  7. What did you get done today?
  8. Why did you come tonight?
  9. How long have you lived in [city]?
  10. Why did you move to [city]?
  11. Do you think [city] is a place most people move to, or from?
  12. Where did you move to [city] from? What do you miss about your last town — and what were you happy to leave behind?
  13. If you could recommend only one [restaurant, coffee shop, bar] in [city], which one would you choose?
  14. As [day of the week]s go, how was yours? (For example, "Did you have a good Monday, as Mondays go?")
  15. At this time on a typical [day of the week], what would you be doing?
  16. I have a semi-important decision to make, and I'd love your input: Should I have [appetizer #1] or [appetizer #2]?
  17. I just learned "happy hours" were invented in the 1920s on naval ships. To make sea life a little less boring, sailors got daily breaks for wrestling and boxing matches. Do you prefer the modern or original version?
  18. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
  19. What's the last new skill you learned?
  20. Are there any skills you thought would be crucial to your job that turned out to be unimportant?
  21. Are there any common misconceptions about your job?
  22. I read an article claiming nowadays everyone has a side project (or four). Do you agree? Are you working on anything on the side?
  23. Wow, I see a lot of phones out — the email addiction is real! Do you think your company could survive if your CEO banned internal email?
  24. Do you think you're the only [title] in the room?
  25. If someone was making a movie about your current job, what genre would it be? What would they call it?
  26. I love your [tie/bracelet/shoe/attire]! Where did you get it from?
  27. What would you be doing at this time on a normal day?
  28. It's nice to meet you. How has your day been?
  29. Wow, that drink looks good. What is it?
  30. What a great place for an event, right? Have you ever been here before?

Conversation Starters to Use at a Social Event

You might not think of your friend's BBQ or neighbor's block party as prime networking events — but as the most successful reps know, great sales opportunities can appear in unlikely places.

However, steer away from job, career, or industry-related questions. Since you're at a social event, less serious subjects are far more appropriate (and fun). Building rapport is your primary mission — after the party, you can figure out which new connections might benefit from your product.

  1. If you were in charge of the playlist, which song would you play next?
  2. You look like you could be in [random occupation]. Am I anywhere close?
  3. If there was $200 at stake, would you be willing to prepare the food using only lunch meat, the contents of the freezer, and basic kitchen staples?
  4. Have you tried any of the [appetizers, drinks, sides, etc. ]? Any recommendations?
  5. Do you have a signature drink? (Gesture to their glass.)
  6. Is your [day/night] going like you expected?
  7. Do you prefer hosting events or attending them?
  8. Games at parties: Yay, or nay? Why?
  9. Are you a cat or dog person? Do you have any pets?
  10. If you had to switch outfits with one person here, who would it be?
  11. Do you know most of the people here?
  12. If you could invite anyone to this party and they were guaranteed to show up, who would you ask?
  13. I'm trying to plan my next trip — have you traveled anywhere interesting lately?
  14. What do you think are the top three ingredients for a successful party?
  15. Would you rather only host fancy dinner parties or theme parties for the rest of your life?
  16. Great [shoes/haircut/shirt]! Where'd you get it?
  17. What are you reading?
  18. Are there any Netflix/Hulu/television series you'd recommend?
  19. If you were stuck on a desert island with four items of your choice from this room, what would you bring?
  20. What's the last movie you saw in theaters? Was it worth the trip?
  21. What do you not do? (Smile while you ask to show you're being humorous. )
  22. Have you been to any great restaurants lately?
  23. Where's your favorite vacation spot?
  24. Got any fun plans for the weekend? I need some inspiration so I don't end up on the couch with some Netflix and Ben & Jerry's.
  25. Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin?
  26. Did you fulfill your childhood dream?
  27. What's the best gift you've ever gotten? My friend's birthday is coming up and I'd love some ideas.
  28. Are you looking forward to anything in the next few weeks?
  29. Are you looking forward to anything in the next few weeks?
  30. How do you know the host?
  31. Are you keeping up with [sports team/TV show/news] recently?
  32. Have you tried any new restaurants lately?
  33. [For couples] How did you two meet?
  34. Are you having a good time?

Questions to Start a Conversation

Sometimes, a simple introduction is the best way to proceed. But, then what? Open-ended questions are your friend, in these situations. Sales expert, and author of "Networking in the 21st Century," David J.P. Fisher explains his strategy for navigating professional gatherings:

"The most powerful way to start a conversation at industry events is the simplest: introduce yourself! Simply saying, ‘Hi, my name is ______' invites them to respond with their name, and now you have a conversation. It helps to have an open-ended question for follow up after that. Something like, ‘What do you think of the event so far?' or ‘Which has been your favorite session?' works well."

  1. What's the most interesting thing you've read lately?
  2. How many days do you think it takes you to scroll a mile on your phone? One day? One week?
  3. What's a fact about you that's not on the internet?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  5. Do you have a go-to conversation starter for these types of events? What is it?
  6. Which blogs do you read?
  7. Do you listen to any podcasts? Which ones?
  8. You remind me of a celebrity, but I'm having trouble remembering their name… Whom are you normally compared to?
  9. Did you hear about the trend of dinner party hosts banning small talk? Would you ever try that?
  10. Would you recommend the last documentary you watched? Why or why not?
  11. What's something in your industry you consider underrated?
  12. What are your company's unique traditions?
  13. If you could only [read, watch, listen to] one genre of [books, shows, music] for the rest of your life, which would it be?
  14. On what topic do people always come to you with questions?
  15. If you could spend one month at any period in the past — and you were guaranteed not to suffer any harm or change the course of history -- when would it be?
  16. If you weren't in [X profession], which one would you be in?
  17. Who was your childhood hero?
  18. Do you have a secret talent?
  19. What's the best event freebie you've ever gotten?
  20. If you could publish a book on any subject, what would it be?
  21. Let's say you could invite any three people in [industry, role, organization] to dinner. Who would you ask?
  22. What's the last thing you learned outside of work?
  23. How do you feel about unlimited vacation policies? Do you think they work as intended?
  24. What's one company perk you'd love to have?
  25. Have you taken any professional development courses lately?
  26. If you could be a fly on the wall for a C-suite meeting at any company, which company would it be?
  27. Do you prefer working remotely or in-person — and why?
  28. What's one thing you'd love to be an expert at?
  29. If there were no dress code, how would you dress for work?
  30. Tell me about the best boss you ever had — what made them so great?
  31.   What’s the quality that people admire most about you?
  32.  What is one non-work related goal that you would like to achieve in the next five years?
  33.  Suppose you get to redecorate the conference room — what would you do?

The Ultimate Conversation Starter

Last but not least, the ultimate networking question that you can ask anyone, anywhere, anytime:

What do you love about what you do?

This question gives people the chance to dig into their passions — automatically putting them in a good mood and making them more likely to enjoy your conversation. Plus, it's a fresh twist on an old standby. You'll instantly stand out from the hordes of other people making small talk.

Topics: Building Rapport

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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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80 questions that will turn a sluggish conversation into an exciting conversation / Bright Side


We say thousands of words a day and deal with dozens of interlocutors, but some conversations fly out of our heads a second after they end, while others are remembered for a lifetime. If you are tired of idle chatter or want to talk to a new acquaintance, try asking something unusual, for example, what pill would he choose in Neo's place or what would he say to aliens as a representative of all mankind, and you will not only have a great time, but people will also remember as an engaging conversationalist.

ADME has compiled a large list of questions that will allow you to get away from the usual circle of topics and learn a lot of interesting things about the people around you, even if you have known them for a long time.

© La La Land / Lionsgate

  • If you were permanently banned from your current job, what new career would you choose?
  • If you had the opportunity to never work again, would you take it?
  • Did you have dreams that you remember for the rest of your life?
  • What kind of person do you admire?
  • Would you like to be friends with a person like you?
  • What was the most beautiful place you have ever visited?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • If you could live anywhere, what would it be?
  • If the list of 7 wonders of the world had to be rewritten, what would you include?
  • What exactly should every person experience at least once in their life?
  • What is your greatest fear in the world?
  • Have you had an event in your life when it seemed that everything was bad, and then it turned out that everything was for the best?
  • Are there films or books that everyone admires, but you can't stand them, and vice versa?
  • Have you ever cried over a book or a movie? What books and films were they?
  • If you could be a character in a book or movie, what would it be?
  • If your life were a movie, what would it be called?
  • What is the strangest compliment you have ever been given?
  • What was the most embarrassing situation you've ever had in your life?
  • Do you have any "shameful pleasures" that, however, give you a feeling of happiness and fullness of life?
  • If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?
  • If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  • If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • If you had to live the same day over and over again, which day in your life would you choose?
  • Would you like to become immortal?
  • If you had a year to live, how would you spend it?
  • If you could give advice to yourself at 15, what would it be?
  • What is your best childhood memory?
  • If as a child you could put all your favorite things in a time capsule and send them to the future, what items would be there?
  • How do you envision your ideal day?
  • If you could only own 5 things, what would they be?
  • What is the wisest thought you have ever heard?
  • If you could learn anything in half an hour, what would you learn?
  • If you could stay at a certain age forever, what age would you choose?
  • If you could start your life again at the age of 10, but still retain all your experience and knowledge, would you do it?
  • If you could choose an era in which to live, which era would suit you best?
  • If you could see with your own eyes any event from the past, present or future, which would you choose?
  • What superpower would you like to have?
  • If you had to choose only one option, would you like your child to grow up smart or kind?
  • If you were offered eternal youth and a lot of money on the condition that you will never have love and a family, would you agree?
  • Is there some piece of information or theory that you simply believe because there is no evidence for it? Why?

© Perfetti sconosciuti / Leone Film Group

  • You are having lunch with someone you respect a lot. Suddenly, he starts telling nasty gossip about your close friend and taunting him, not knowing that he is your friend. What are you going to do?
  • You have access to JK Rowling's Twitter for one day. What new information about the magical world would you publish?
  • You return home from work and see that a clone has taken your place, and your spouse and children have not noticed the substitution. How to prove that their real relative is you?
  • After a divorce, you find a lottery ticket in the apartment that your ex-spouse bought and win $100,000. Share with your ex?
  • If you were in Neo's place in The Matrix, would you like to know the truth or remain ignorant?
  • Imagine that you can become the most beautiful person on the planet, but with every first kiss you will involuntarily hiccup. Agree?
  • You will receive $1 million if you hide a bunch of keys so that the entire country's police force cannot find them. Where will you hide them?
  • You have been invited to take part in an experiment: you must remain alone for a whole month, without communicating with a single person, in a room where there is only a bed, a toilet, water and food. If you don't give up, get $1 million. Do you agree or not?
  • You found out that your best friend is the same person who robs expensive car drivers on the road, taking money and jewelry, and then gives them to children with cancer for treatment. Will you hand him over to the police?
  • Aliens have taken over Earth. You are a representative of earthlings, and in a conversation they say that they plan to eat 10 million people a year. You categorically object: "It's not fair!" The aliens are surprised: “We don’t understand! Humans eat other living beings! We are a more developed race, for us there is no difference between a man and a cow, why can't we eat you? What arguments will you find to convince them?
  • You are the only surgeon in the hospital. You have just been informed that your relatives died in an accident, the driver was drunk. A minute later, he is brought to the operating room in a serious condition. How will you do it?
  • Imagine that you could choose to leave the world as it is, or rid it of wars and conflicts, but the internet would also disappear forever. What do you decide?
  • Imagine that there is a magic pill that gives the person who takes it beauty, good luck in all matters and a happy fate. But the day after his 35th birthday, this person will die. Would you take such a pill?
  • The government began to distribute delicious pills to people for free, taking which a person feels that the world is paradise, he himself is happy, and the people around are the best creatures on Earth. The action of the tablets lasts several hours, there are no side effects, they do not affect health and do not cause addiction. The decision whether to use them or not depends only on the person himself. Would you take pills like other people around?
  • Your ship has hit an iceberg. The crew and passengers could hardly fit into 2 lifeboats. A storm began, and it became clear that the overloaded boats were about to capsize. To save yourself, you need to push some of the people overboard. You are the captain. How do you do? How do you decide who to donate?
  • You have been offered to freeze your body for 200 years for free at any time you want. Agree?
  • Let us assume that life after death exists. What would hell and heaven look like if you invented them?

© The Big Bang Theory / Warner Bros. Television

  • If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
  • Would you rather have 3 legs or 3 arms?
  • Would you rather have a cat in the body of a dog or a dog in the body of a cat?
  • Which would you rather read minds or see through walls?
  • Would you rather be the richest person in the world or the smartest?
  • Would you rather be able to speak all the languages ​​of the world or be able to talk to animals?
  • What would you prefer: to be able to read other people's minds or to fly?
  • Would you rather be married to someone who loves you but you don't love him or someone you love unrequitedly?
  • Would you rather look like a 20 year old but feel like an 80 year old or look like an 80 year old but feel like a 20 year old?
  • Would you rather be able to erase your memories or those of other people?
  • What would you prefer: to have unearthly beauty or an unsurpassed sense of humor?
  • Would you rather have a photographic memory or an incredibly high IQ?
  • Which would you prefer: an allergy to chocolate or an allergy to a smartphone?
  • Would you rather never hear music again or lose the ability to read? What will you choose?
  • What would you rather not taste or see the world in black and white?
  • Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?
  • Which would you prefer: a trunk like an elephant or a neck like a giraffe?
  • Which is worse: losing sight or hearing?
  • Imagine that the genes of an embryo during pregnancy can be changed without side effects. Would you allow this to be done to change a child's gender or appearance?
  • Some people think that keeping animals in zoos is cruel. Even if they have spacious enclosures and plenty of food, this will not replace life in freedom. Do you agree with this or not? Why?
  • Can Internet piracy (movie and music downloads) be equated with shoplifting?
  • Iceland recently passed a law according to which all residents of the country from the age of 18 become organ donors by default (but you can write a refusal). Would you like to have such a law in our country?
  • Do you think artificial intelligence can destroy humanity in the future?
  • What common idea could unite people on the planet?

What questions seemed to you the most difficult and interesting, made you think?


Bright Side/Psychology/80 questions that will turn a dull conversation into an exciting conversation

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48 questions that will help you make an awkward conversation easier / Sudo Null IT News

on topics that are not interesting for you or discuss questions that you have already discussed a thousand times because you just need to say something? This usually happens when you are forced to wait for something, for example, while waiting for a very slow moving elevator in the company of your own colleagues or casual acquaintances during various events. To make boring conversations like this more interesting, it is worth asking people unexpected questions that make them think, and which cannot be simply answered with “yes” or “no”.

The result is likely to be amazing: you will learn a lot of interesting facts about other people that you would never get out of the usual boring conversation. And, as an added bonus, you will become closer to each other. Sometimes it can be really important!

If you are ready for unconventional actions, look at the list of the most successful questions, which is divided into topics for convenience.

Of course, not every one of these questions is appropriate to talk to every person in every situation, but, nevertheless, this list provides a fairly wide selection to avoid awkward silence.


1. If you weren't working here, what would you most likely be doing now?
2. How did you become ... (job title)?
3. What surprised you the most about this job?
4. What is the most ridiculous task your boss has ever given you?
5. Which would be more preferable for you - to work four days a week for 10 hours or five days for 8?
6. If you had guaranteed success in any position, what would you prefer to do?
7. What was your first job? Did you like her?
8. What is the most valuable professional development advice you have ever received? And which was the worst?


9. Are you reading any interesting book now? I'd like to get some advice. And what about the show?
10. Are there any apps on your phone that you can't live without?
11. If you could only watch one genre of cinema for the rest of your life, which would it be? What about musical preferences?
12. What book that everyone admired did you hate? And vice versa?
13. Do you have any podcast recommendations?
14. What movie have you watched lately that made you cry? How about laughing out loud?
15. Who would you like to be your partner on the reality show Amazing Race? In our realities, you can ask a similar question about programs like Fort Boyard or The Last Hero.
16. Who is your favorite on Instagram? And vice versa? Oh, you don't have Instagram? Why?


17. If you were told that you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
18. What is the strangest dish you have ever tried in your life?
19. What habitual food is the most comfortable for you?
20. Is there any food that you will never eat?
21. Advise what you can easily and without problems take with you to work / study as lunch, but it should not be sandwiches.
22. Where can I eat cheaply here?
23. Does your family have any culinary secrets or traditional recipes?
24. What is your favorite restaurant / cafe that is not very well known to a wide range of people?


25. Is there a “paradise” place for recreation somewhere nearby?
26. If you could fly anywhere for free, where would you go?
27. What is the coolest road trip you have ever taken?
28. What trip did you take during your last vacation? What were you doing there? What do you remember?
29. What type of vacation do you prefer - active or relaxing somewhere on a cozy beach?
30. What next trip have you already planned?
31. If you could take a day off or have the opportunity to work remotely, where would you go and what would you do?
32. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?


33. Where did you live before? How is that city different from where you live now?
34. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
35. Do you have any hidden talents or unexpected hobbies?
36. What did you like to do in elementary school (outside the school curriculum)?

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