Unique convo starters

142 Funny Conversation Starters For Any Situation

The best first impressions happen when people are genuine, engaged, active listeners with good eye contact. And when they’re funny.

Seriously, funny conversation starters are a great tool to make yourself more memorable when meeting people for the first time, giving a presentation to a large group of people, or networking at an event. Most of us view the workplace as a serious, no-funny-business environment, but humor can be especially helpful in professional settings to bring levity to stressful situations and break the ice. 

Don’t believe me? I’ll let the research win you over. One study showed that leaders who use humor at work are more likely to reach their target goals and more likely to receive a higher performance rating from their direct supervisor. Plus, employees are more likely to feel like they belong at work and trust their manager if they use humor, and laughing at work can even boost our productivity.  

A few ideal situations for a little humor:

  • When meeting a nervous new coworker over Zoom

  • When introducing yourself at a networking event

  • When teeing up your long, boring presentation on finances

  • When a colleague needs cheering up after making a mistake

Here are 142 interesting ways to start a conversation with some humor - from fun facts about yourself to embarrassing stories to your favorite movies and memes. 

Funny conversation starters: facts about you

1. What was your childhood nickname?

2. Are you a night owl or an early bird?

3. What food describes your personality?

4. What’s your funniest family tradition?

5. Did you have any injuries on the playground as a kid?

6. Do you believe in aliens?

7. What about ghosts?

8. What was your high school yearbook superlative?

9. What was the first concert you ever attended?

10. What topic could you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?

11. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?

Read more: What Are the Best Jobs for Introverts?

12. Have you ever bumped into a celebrity?

13. What’s the most random job or side-hustle you’ve ever had?

14. Are you superstitious?

15. What trivia topic do you know the most about?

16. Did you play any sports as a kid?

17. What’s your earliest memory from childhood?

18. What was your best Halloween costume?

19. What’s your go-to dance move?

20. Do you have any language translation faux pas stories?

21. What’s your best story about an *interesting* coworker or boss?

22. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked in a job interview?

23. Do you collect anything?

24. Did you ever get detention in school? 

25. What’s the silliest celebrity gossip you’ve heard recently?

26. What song do you know every word to?

Read more: 50 Uplifting Songs to Keep You Happy & Motivated

27. What’s a movie that you know the script by heart?

28. Have you ever gotten into a food fight?

29. What are your biggest pet peeves?

30. What board game are you incredibly competitive at?

31. What’s your Myers-Briggs type?

32. Which celebrity would you want to be stuck in an elevator with?

33. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

34. What’s your biggest cooking disaster?

35. What’s been your worst fashion disaster?

36. Do you know of any wildly helpful life hacks?

37. Have you ever sent a text to your boss that was intended for someone else?

Read more: How to Shut Down a Passive Aggressive Coworker

Funny conversation starters: more personal info about you

38. What’s your most embarrassing story?

39. Do you have a secret guilty pleasure?

40. What would the book about your life be called?

41. What is the silliest fear you have?

42. What superpower would you want to have?

43. If you dare, what was your last Google search?

44. Do you have a secret talent?

Read more: Ask a Recruiter: How Do I Discover My Hidden Talents?

45. Which celebrity would you want to trade lives with?

46. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?

47. What three items would you bring to a deserted island?

48. What’s been the proudest moment of your life?

49. Do you remember the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?

50. What song would you choose as your life’s theme song?

51. Besides your phone, what one item can you not live without? 

52. What’s the wildest thing on your bucket list?

53. What do you normally give your pet a pep talk about?

54. What’s your most controversial opinion?

55. If you could call anyone in the world for advice right now, who would it be?

56. Is there a movie that scarred you when you were younger?

57. Which one of the Seven Dwarves are you most like?

58. Which Disney character are you most like?

59. Did you go through any embarrassing teenage phases?

60. What’s your strangest habit when you’re home alone?

61. What’s the best fortune you’ve ever gotten?

62. What movie should be made into a musical?

63. How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?

64. What do you want to do after you retire?

Read more: 40 Things to Do Before You Retire

Funny conversation starters: your favorites and forevers

65. What was your favorite school lunch as a kid?

66. Which movie would you watch for the rest of your life?

67. What genre of music would you choose to listen to for the rest of your life?

68. What was the children’s book you read over and over again?

69. What’s your favorite reality TV show?

70. Do you have a favorite room in your home?

71. What’s your favorite smell?

72. What’s your favorite Snapchat filter?

73. What’s your favorite Olympic sport to watch?

74. What’s your favorite music video?

75. What do you think is the best invention since sliced bread?

76. What fashion trend do you wish would come back?

77. What’s the best WiFi network name you’ve ever seen?

78. What’s your favorite YouTube video?

79. What’s your favorite app to social media stalk on?

80. Which app game are you addicted to?

81. What would be your dream job now?

82. What was your dream job when you were a kid?

Read more: The Dream Job Isn’t a Myth, but It’s Not as Dreamy as It Appears

Funny conversation starters: your worst and weirdest

83. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?

84. Which chore did you despise as a kid?

85. Which fashion trend should go away?

86. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?

87. What’s the weirdest, most random fact you know?

88. What’s the weirdest thing you do to destress?

89. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happen on public transportation?

90. What’s the weirdest food combo you’ve ever eaten?

91. What’s your weirdest playlist name?

Funny conversation starters: what you find funny or interesting

92. Show us the best meme you’ve seen recently.

93. What’s your best knock knock joke?

94. Can you recommend any hilarious podcast episodes?

95. What’s the funniest prank you’ve pulled for April Fool’s Day?

96. What’s the funniest BuzzFeed quiz you’ve ever taken?

97. What’s the funniest mishap you’ve had while working from home?

98. What's the funniest conversation starter you’ve ever heard?

99. What’s the funniest award you’ve won?

100. Tell us your funniest travel story.

101. What’s the funniest name you’ve ever called your pet?

102. What’s the most mind-bending documentary you’ve ever seen?

Funny conversation starters: what-ifs and would-you-rathers

103. If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?

104. If you could teleport anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

105. If you had to open a restaurant, what type of food would you serve?

106. If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would you choose?

107. If you could relive one day in your life, what would it be?

108. If you were a pasta shape, which would you be?

109. If you had to give advice to your 12-year-old self, what would you say?

110. If you could be an animal, what would you be?

111. If you were a condiment, which would you be?

112. If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?

113. If you could, would you rather explore the depths of the ocean or outer space?

114. If you had to change your name, what new name would you choose?

115. If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach in school?

116. If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?...

117. ...And which would be the nicest?

118. If you could stay one age forever, what age would you choose?

119. What historical event do you wish you could be a fly on the wall for?

120. What would you do if you won the lottery today?

121. What business pitch would you make if you were on Shark Tank today?

122. What object would you want to be reincarnated as?

123. Would you rather someone read your diary or search history?

124. Would you rather be able to fly or breathe underwater?

125. If you could break any world record, what would it be?

126. Would you rather live in the 1800s or the 4000s?

127. Which famous person would you want to play you in a movie?

128. Would you rather never get stuck in traffic ever again or never wait in a line ever again?

129. If it was possible to live on Mars, would you live there for a year?

130. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?

131. What would you be famous for?

132. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?

133. Would you rather have a unicorn horn or a cat tail?

134. Who would you rather be able to read your thoughts, your boss or your parents?

135. What inanimate object would you want to be?

136. What ice cream flavor would you invent?

137. How long would you last during a zombie apocalypse?

138. If you had to rename cheese, what would you name it?

139. If life were a video game, what would the cheat codes be?

140. If the state you live in was represented by a food, what would it be?

141. If the state you live in was represented by a movie, what would it be?

And finally...

142. Settle this. Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Read more: Tell Us Without Telling Us: What’s It Like to Be a Working Mom During the Pandemic?

About the author

Cara Hutto

Assistant Editor

Cara Hutto is the assistant editor at InHerSight. Her writing primarily focuses on workplace rights, job searching, diversity, and allyship, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in media and journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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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Ricardo and TARDEC are working on a fuel-efficient military vehicle program Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator - FED).

Ricardo has now moved into a sample test contract.

"We are thrilled to be able to continue to support TARDEC in its efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of the US Army fleet," said Robert Ellis, director of military programs at Ricardo Inc. Ricardo USA: "The FED program is an ideal way to leverage Ricardo's expertise in armored vehicles and improve their fuel efficiency."

The goal of the FED program, launched in late 2008, is to improve military vehicles to reduce fuel consumption on the battlefield and reduce the country's dependence on oil. Ricardo has applied its experience in the design, development and production of special vehicles and advanced automotive technology to create a vehicle demonstrator that maximizes fuel economy while maintaining the performance and performance of light tactical wheeled vehicles.

The FED ALPHA incorporates numerous fuel saving features, including:

    Cummins I4 engine tuned by Ricardo specifically for fuel economy in tactical vehicles, performed at Ricardo's Detroit lab

    Use of Goodyear Fuel Max low rolling resistance tires specifically designed for FED ALPHA

    Kollmorgen's highly efficient 28V integrated DC starter/generator that supplies up to 20kW of electrical power to accessories and on-board equipment

    The use of Alcoa Defense's lightweight aluminum structure as bulletproof armor and underbody blast protection not only protects the vehicle, but also reduces its weight

    Improved transmission utilizing unique components from Ricardo and AxleTech International, including gearless transfer cases and reduced friction REM Chemicals Isotropic Superfinished gearboxes for improved fuel efficiency

    Feedback pedal and fuel economy display on the control panel to inform drivers on how to properly operate the machine for the best fuel economy

    6-speed automatic transmission from Aisin

In early July 2011, FED ALPHA was on display for two days in the center of the Pentagon courtyard. Since then, FED ALPHA has been successfully tested at the US Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. One of the key test sites for fuel economy testing at the Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) will be a road rig. This facility is the world's largest automotive test rig, designed to test vehicle dynamics, transmission loading, shock and vibration testing under laboratory conditions. This center will allow FED ALPHA to be tested in conditions where all parameters can be accurately measured and even the smallest changes in fuel economy can be recorded.

ATC will test ALPHA, developed by TARDEC and Ricardo during the first phase of the program, through the full cycle. This unique cycle consists of various types of tests, corresponding to the types of activities of the vehicle in the real world (escort, urban combat, cross-country and long standby), which a typical military vehicle may encounter during various tasks. Real-world testing will help ALPHA demonstrate and present various technologies that can be used to improve fuel efficiency.

TARDEC, together with Army Power and Energy, showed the ALPHA machine at the AUSA 2011 exhibition in the USA. This event took place October 10-12 in Washington DC.

Sergei Wei

1986 Archives - History Paris Dakar

After a long preparation and emotions, heck time stolen at work, but it was not enough, especially in having to work out the details on the bike. Departure for the arrival in Paris in Rouen and processing in the same city of red tape of the race, the transfer of momentum in Versailles (which is cold) a small episode when we left we forgot the fact that it was cold and we had to make these gloves with a cross of 60 kilometers to frost.

Three kilometers of ice, Unable to bear it. Prologue, won by the Poles, who installed studded tires.

In Paris a few days allows rolls, By the way rolls are a travel book, which is given in the form of a book to put them inside the notebook box, you will have to cut one sheet after another to do so they can be rolled and unfolded. You try to relax despite the great excitement and tension that also continues to grow. Prologue to 60 kilometers (under snow) One thing is bestial, the bike is very high, without giving the slightest hand proves undriveable. Prologue takes (3 km) It shows an amazing thing was a sheet of ice with mud rails under harsh, there are countless flights that did not grind, the new bike already looks like the old ruined flights.

Aldo Winkler on the left, and beat Grassotti protagonists of this adventure

After the new year is not great, because it is a little’ stress a little’ Company, the departure alarm hung. On the first of January I have a cold at the exit, I am very happy, almost scared, when the birth I did not even dare to turn to greet Paoletta, I have fear of not being able to start anymore. With the first kilometers made with a beat (Grassotti by his teammates Ed), under a bitter cold that explains how anyone can go on the move. Departure from Paris is a very exciting thing seems to follow the longing of a cordon man from Paris, all to say hello and celebrate, Unfortunately rush to get hurt this chance to contact this enthusiasm. The first problems were cold and rain preventing the engine from working well. Turns off constantly, crunches and is not in order. This fact gives me incredible anxiety and I hope to stop at any time. At some point the engine stops and beat, not aware of my stop. I try to get there, traveling alone until thirsty (He also had problems and never saw him in the dark). It takes me nostalgia as ever I was taken, wants Paoletta and the emotions I cry under the helmet. I'm looking for something to write to her and tell her that I love her, but I don't feel it. Meanwhile, the Japanese on the number of bikes 2 (Ndr Yasuo Kaneko) was hit by a car and instantly dies, Watch this incident and think that it can happen to me that I have carried out further, but now you have to erase this idea otherwise we leave more.

Arrive at 2 in the morning (We started at 8 the day before) Set off by bike after many difficulties. We couldn't find Grisoglio (our ndr help) with our stuff and finally at 3 we go to bed. Of course in Algiers after endless bureaucratic queues we start at 6 in the evening and it is almost dark, We expect 700 kilometers of transfer. It's raining and cold, We're soaked, on a road made entirely of mountain curves with black asphalt with no lanes where you can't see anything. The beat was better than me and I'm a stepping stone to them even if I don't care nothing. Luckily, the road improves with mileage and it doesn't rain anymore, We arrive at 2 am and we sleep on the ground. The alarm of a bike that is not working properly continues.

First stop of the clock 6.00 Departure. We start in reverse order and it goes through Algiers. Who is in the middle of the Snatcher table, Why must pass the first one, which is slow and overtaking the last one, quickly, The result of the journey is constantly in the dust. All is well until I break the master journey. Of course, I get lost in the plain of small sand dunes, filled with thousands of tracks in all directions. I reach Gilles Picard, I follow him, Then I see the peak, but I keep getting lost more and more. I am consoled by the fact that after a while we form groups of thirty including the strongest in search of the right path. The first contact with the road book is nasty too many notes with text and pictures and a few kilometers in French. The first contact with Africa tour is not bad, the food is good and she makes too much tail, but don't give water!

Second stage: Fire damper and many change weaken the frame. Catch up with you anyway lnsah and here I am washing in a hotel room, Boano. A track full of potholes and rocks with fast sections, lnsalah two special fast, I reach the cars, I don't see anything. It's really dangerous, because in the dust when you have passed those 200 meters that run into thin air, Tosca. To see huge boulders pass next to you, abysses and think “one Metro is enough in there, and now I wonder where I was”? The second special with a beat, Wait, because it breaks the joint we end special with rattano engines and almost like.

Established a relationship with their bike becomes almost mystical, Talk to him, Please frankly fai. Become a partner with whom you share nature and all its expressions.

In transfer Tam splittin' mousse, We stop at the bar, Let's get down to melting next mousse. The asphalt is poor, punctuated with a runway full of ugly fesh fesh (imperceptible sand) from large trucks under the rails caused by the passage. At a certain point, I no longer see the Beat and although the mousse is in pieces, I'm going back about ten kilometers of her study, thinking that it has been dropped. I don't see him. I'm going back towards Tam. Always regretting that beat, knowing I've been drilled, I'd like to give up. Looking back at those ten kilometers turned down looking for her, the fact that I did not find. Change the rubber and even the inflated air bubble, Fortunately help arrives and the wheel to change the release of the manetta, still missing 150 km. She gets dark and breaks the headlights, and goes into the dark with the light of the stars, and arrives late in the evening at the time not to take the case to Tamarasset.

I find Batty in the hotel and there is no time to wash. Stage, I feel good in the stones on Assecrèm Tam Tam. Fear of getting incredible to go in the dust of the rival, I leave the racetrack and step in between with large stones in handcuffs and I make the flight. In the air from a bicycle and a helmet while standing. Divine Grace! I broke the shock nut on the frame, the brake rod broke through the muffler. I finish the stage slowly continues not to operate the engine, I suffer a lot of dangers in overtaking after this fright.

“I was so terrible that the adventure was over, I prayed that help would come. Armando replaced the engine, and I left for the rest of 600 km, waiting for me at night…”

Tam Agadez, Departure to a large river dried up full of Sand Springs, engine bays and hardens, continuous until a piece of hard track where mollo moment. Switching off the ignition. I'm stuck and I started dismantling to replace it to start, sudo all the water in the body, I can only remove the motor, hoping she gets help. She arrives at 5.30 after waiting for six hours in a mixture of desperation, resignation and a drunken off. Fire clock. engine and gearbox diversion scary to find myself in the desert at night, not knowing where to go, step on the border with Niger, I can fill out the truck in the desert. Continuous and I get lost. I no longer see footprints and off trails between rocks rocks and sand springs. I'm using a monocle and I see some lights I'm heading in that direction and I find the car swept under the carpet. Gathering confidence and since it's also a track, I'm restarting, but I'm still missing 600 km on arrival. I don't care to stay on the trail no miss. The track was a mixture of fech fech, soft sand and hard rails due to the fact that all stock has already been in the past including the truck. Of course, I slow down, lack of visibility in the height of the bike, the track is an impressive set of difficulty. Falls countless more, every fall, you always enjoy the effort to raise, Then restart Falla, That effort!

“I'm so tired, but still enjoy the legendary Tenere…”

Fatigue attacks me and I stop the Belgarda repair truck and I sleep to restore energy. The arrival of back support, We share, and I am also encouraged stands, make me light, and when I fell, he helps me to stand up. I can’t stand any more for a while’ km driving Ciaudano (medical Ed) but I take the bike in time for the last 150 kilometers of tarmac to handcuff come time eight and take no punishment. At 8.30 am for the Special, I'm only a minute away, I'm in shock and I don't take anything. Unfortunately, this will be the last time I see her. On stage Tenere is going to be impressive but beautiful, you are in awe of the Great Desert but the stage I find it easy. But the engine will harden again. I stop and let it cool down, shooting aerial and retracting is easy pain that splitting and let me walk. At the slightest noise I'm afraid, I say on the bike, Please continue, click the last 150 kilometers in the dark until luckily I see the light of some cars that I show the way.

At the same time I broke the chain joint, but I can get everything right surprisingly well with the maximum

“YAVAP responsible for Sonauto, great rider and great Lord. I once helped him disinsabbiare his bike, Since then though it was a special stop to ask if everything was ok”

calm. I sleep on the ground, but the cold still remains persistent. I know that I have bad teeth and hands with deep cuts for cold weather. Dirku-Agadem is an infamous stage, the Transverse Dunes, reported some of the fallen bookends. The wind clears the tracks, This is a very dangerous stage, undulating the dunes at the summit gap sharply with sometimes perpendicular runs. Not knowing the first dunes I jump, making impressive jumps. In fact, this stage causes many accidents, Mercandelli injury to the shoulder, Anquetil falls propyl injuries to the shoulder, jaw, teeth and cheekbones. And a dramatic look at the bloodshed. Beppe Gauri falls and ligament ruptures in the knee joint. Tatra trucks you hood forward and one of the drivers will remain paralyzed. Arriving in Agadem, It only proves a strong military man in ruins in the middle of the desert. Didn't get anything to eat Talking sleeping bag due to mingling. With a beat, I go to the well at 5 km and I crave desperation, I drink without caring about anything.

Agadem – Zinder, This infamous stage, very long in the zig zag sliding bar Sand Springs, the desert landscape slowly turns into the Sahel 400 km facts in a matter of hours. Through Special we expect the other 600 km, the transfer. Here we see that the Baron just fell off a nasty stretch of asphalt. Unfortunately, there remains an irreversible coma for years due to this accident. With a bit to stop eating in the shithole, although we eat well in spite of the place and we arrived late at night. My bike is starting to consume oil.

“A day of rest in Naimei, at the hotel with all private Italian bikes to fix”.

Zinder – Niamei: long passes all cross 600 km, eating the dust of machines that are superior to us. I leave for special, but at the beginning I breaks the changes. The bike stays in third on a very sandy track. The beat continues and I don't like him, I would follow him to help him. Delivery is very agitated and naturally fall continuously. Pit tank and I'm losing gas like a faucet. I get as fast as possible in an attempt to repair the tank, kicking better. I finish the special and transfer Niamei from 200 km Arrival late at night. Closed Niamei, I believe to be welded on the frame and I lose my last hope to get through, because we hoped that help would come. One would expect a night of fire, I couldn't sleep all night because of the mosquitoes that we were eaten alive. In the morning we had a face and hands were swollen from mosquito bites. Dakar has no mercy: Departure at 4 in the morning.

Some moments immortalized in the Dakar 1986. Pictured above is the Great Veronique Anquetil.

From the previous night we received a special 450 km. I lose myself almost immediately and am completely just clueless in the terrible landscape of bushes, mounds and fords, with huge cracks. Luckily I find a car with a Japanese motorcycle racer and in their company don't be discouraged taking over. After Zaniroli we find the track, but the orientation is very difficult. Find cars in the opposite direction to yours, feeding your doubts. The bush has to follow the tracks, but sometimes you can't even leave the tracks, bend the bushes and they spread like nothing ever. I no longer have a road book from Agadez because there were truck assists that never came. Arriving at a late stage, it is night and the last kilometers are full load due to fear of the dark, but I have several times. I ask for all the water.

See that the special beat him too destroyed to the point that I have to start the bike. We are still waiting for 120 km, transfer and 160 Special, which we parallel, almost afraid. We walk almost a kilometer at a time and fall in turn we all do 120 kilometers. We arrived in Gourmararus at 2 in the morning, everything is upset here. Sabin's helicopter crashed and died with four others. We are all overwhelmed. We start in the morning at 10 to do 1100 km in Bamako 160 track is mentioned. Here I see a shredder that has been reduced to a cubic meter of metal! We arrive in Bamako at 3 at night, stray around and rush to get us picked up on the pavement.

Infinity pool cow on the road, I hit to lubricate the shoulder. I saw horns in my throat. After this fright I slow down and delay Beat, My headlights are not enough, because the second lamp I gave him.

Hoping to get beaten by riaccellero. No sooner had the cow got to scare itself shooting without the lights and the reflectors stopped in the middle of the road. Big spaventoma now I'm used to it. As usual Arrival late at night. After a few hours of sleep and wakefulness go again. 60 km, transmission and 700 km, Special and new 300 Transfer tracking. Now we are disappointed. The beat no longer wants to leave, The organization is in a balloon, There is little medical care and two helicopters in less. Childbirth and special starts at 10. Track slowly 40 KMH media, curves, rails, holes, sand, in the bushes. The location is good, but I don't know whether to continue! Stop, I eat and share, The cotton arrives, but there was a full ball, there was a loud crash. Simply, Decides to retire.

Boano with his mechanic “Gabriel”.

From Boano and we only left the Italian Germanetti, There we console and move on. We pick ourselves up again when we fall, Now you can't stop. We are in the middle of nowhere. The track is awful, slow and full of rocks in the middle of the forest. Almost like a dark rear wheel hole, I'm trying to repair it, but I can't. Repair and looking for help in a small village. Hundreds of people surround me. It seems incredible that so many people can live in four wood and hay huts. Help me and I can share. After a short time the mousse in front gives way and the bike becomes undriveable. Besides the fact that in the meantime the darkness has fallen. Meeting a pilot with a broken leg, I console the arrivals of the withdrawal assistance.

I'm in a forest with dense vegetation, and the track is really ugly, rocks, very deep water runs down climbing with fine powder, which won't let you see the rocks underneath. Characterized by bridges with four aces, or if you prefer that there is a deviation and you go into the water with large stones. Darkness and tension does not allow me to enjoy so much wonder. in Ford I stay hostage because they mistakenly climb. When I see him I can't take that road, well, because there were deep furrows caused by the truck. With dirt on your knees and the bike planted up the wheel almost soaring power stroke and finish the last energy. I put it in an upright position and after the endless kick starts and zoom in I take off the vise of the dirt. In the meantime the chain had stretched out to such an extent that it ran on what the poor gears were now wearing.

Beat Grassotti immortalized in Bamako, After the transfer of Zanni.

Continued, but cross your eyes for fatigue, I fall and remain under the bike without the strength to pull me out, with his legs under the bike. Look at this post a lot’ from time to time until luckily Cagiva’s help passes and I created. Put on but shortly after I stop, being exhausted and I say goodbye to the race and I will jump on the floor to sleep. After a while’ cold time wakes me up and off, always with the mousse front way. Arrival in Labe at 13.00., and I can hear the happy news, was closed and the race was stopped, The next day, what can I share, still in the race. Departure at 8 awaits me 250 Mule huge km, worse than Assecrem, rocks, water runoff rails and climb steep slopes. If I were in Italy with a test bike I would have that piece.

Grand Hotel Dakar :D

I do almost 600 meters on the edge of a precipice, on a wide strip of 20 cm. Fortunately they end even those special kilometers and further is about to start. In fact after the border I expect another 400 km. I was surprised to notice that after 200 km they were left without oil! Now the engine comes out oil and a little’ Petrol, Cannot go over even at high speeds. I leave for the second special, but there is no head, I don't do much and do a lot right the wrong way. After a while I lose my perception of my speed, I seem to go slow, instead going strong. I take advantage of the hole and then another, flashing forward, I make a flight of six meters and stay in the air for infinity of time. I'm in a swoon. I just rebuilt a blasted vent that ripped through the bike. Lie on the opposite side so you don't lose other gasoline and try to fix the leak. I'm shocked, Haggard, sick and scared. No light, with many more kilometers to do in the dark.

“There are times when we start to coast, isitnto survival is the feeling that gives birth…”

I get back on my feet and I share in an attempt to get through the stage with backlight. Another 20 km other hole, another meeting with the bike, but this time I nose Ben 12 meters out of the hole. This time I also hurt, Fortunately, nothing broken, but there is pain you. In retrospect, I shudder. Currently wrecked bike, Crooked, I've lost my senses twice and I'm getting yarrow. I enjoy your feelings after a long time. Restore and first wish to get to the end. I do what I can now the problem is with myself and with my will. Balance at a snail's pace in the village, I wonder where the gasoline to complete the stage, Pago Pago 10 liters 40 dollars, less and less of the 500 francs who wanted. I am still 150 km but without lighting it is almost impossible to operate. I put myself in the middle of the road and stopped asking you to follow me to enlighten the road. After getting rejected by almost a dozen cars, I find the Peruvian participants who take so long to go fast because they are special and they don't want to lose ground.

“The desert gives you many kinds of difficulty: from sand dunes, from rocks to fech fech…”

I do what I can, imperceptibly from the significant risks involved with a virtually undriveable motorcycle. Arriving at 22 and surprisingly, I didn't even get a deal, but as soon as I stop the collapse and suddenly feel pain. I ask George to take the bike in and I go to bed, logically always for the ground. The next morning, George tells me not being able to repair the bike and also dropped it makes no sense to continue. I insist, but there is nothing to do, to give up the race, but it still does not make me need a reason. I take three Africa tour rations and go to the station. Elargisco is the tip of the guy who tells me what to do. The bureaucracy for transporting a bike is Babel endless, Finally everything seems to be resolved, I just have to wait for the train. Fortunately, I see two Italians working for FAO, reassure me and I guarantee you will be taken home. They feed me and take me back to the station. Strong, we'll load the bike onto freight trains, smelly and full of rocks. Finally I sleep and even the stones seem to be a comfortable bed.

There I download a bike, helped some fellow travelers, Find a taxi and unbelievably load the roof. The taxi was smelly, but at least I was put back in motion. Night falls and the taxi stops at the crossroads of the Dakar city entrance.

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