If you’re looking for ways to connect with someone, then look no further. There are many great conversation starters that really break the ice!
Have you ever noticed someone in the crowd that just grabbed your attention? Have you ever wished you could have an important discussion with your boss without feeling intimidating? Well, those are a few examples of cold hard barriers that need to be broken. Yes, I mean “breaking the ice”, a typical situation that has a need for great conversation starters.
People you don’t know
Most of us know that listening is the best form of having a conversation, but listening can only be done after a conversation is already started. With that being said, here are 8 great conversation starters to get you into the game and keep them engaged in the discussion. Follow me…
The first and most important conversation starter when you meet someone for the first time is the greeting. A greeting can be casual or formal depending on the environment or situation. For instance, when meeting a new employer, you will want to make sure you use a formal greeting.
With someone in a casual environment, you can use either form. Most of the time, sticking with formal greetings is best. Remember to smile and seem confident about the interaction. Simple enough, right? Let’s move on.
Ask a question
Again, depending on the environment, you will want to head in a certain direction. After all, you didn’t start a conversation with your name just to walk away, right? If you’ve just met the person, you can start with a question.
Those questions usually work and get some sort of reaction that furthers the conversation. Asking a question shows that you care about what they feel or think, and that’s always a good thing.
For example: “What do you think of this party?”, or “Having fun?”
After the initial conversation starter, you still have to start a real conversation. When you feel comfortable, ask a semi-personal question. Maybe you can inquire about where they are from or what they do for a living.
Those are usually pretty safe conversation starters which always lead to a huge array of topics. You can talk about yourself as well, but always try to put emphasis on the other person. This makes them feel important.
For example: “So, where are you from?” or “What do you like to do for fun?”
People you know
There are two basic categories with this one. There are people you know in passing and then there are people who you know well but haven’t seen in a long time. This will determine how you start a conversation with them.
People you know in passing are usually considered acquaintances, while people who have been away a while can be good friends. Here are a few ways to tackle these situations.
Saying something nice to an acquaintance is a good move. Compliments on clothes, shoes or accessories always work well with someone that you aren’t that close to but still consider a tolerable person.
Conversation starters with acquaintances will not go deep and this allows for easy exit strategies in case the conversation gets uncomfortable. On the other hand, compliments can keep the discussion alive as it can branch out into shopping, hobbies or other related topics.
For example: “Wow! That’s a pretty cool watch, where did you get it?”
Deep inquiries and news
For those people you haven’t seen in a while, you can get deeper with your inquiries because obviously, you’ve known them for quite some time. You can even loosen up and be silly with your conversation starters.
Considering you have a history with these people, they will understand you much better. Offer some interesting news about your life as well. This always seems to open up the floodgates.
For example: “What have you been doing with yourself lately?” or “Meet anyone cool while you are gone?” or even offer shocking news to get things started like…”You won’t believe what happened at my job!”
Well-known People and groups
For people you know well, conversation starters will be easy. The thing is, you’ve probably exhausted all your resources with them by now. So, all you need are a few new and interesting topics to get things rolling. As for groups, there are many fun suggestions and questions that can strike up a conversation. Here are a few ideas.
Who doesn’t love a little food talk? I know I do. There are many topics that expand on food and drinks. You can talk about favorites and least favorites. You can talk about the correct preparation of foods and exotic foods you wish to try. There are so many sub-topics in this area, so be creative. Look at these.
- “If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
- “What’s the worst restaurant you’ve been to, and why?”
- “What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you concerning food?”
Talking about vacations and holidays is always a good idea. Close friends and groups at dinner parties love to talk about their excursions to various places. You will find an almost endless variety of topics to choose from. Try these questions.
- “How far have you traveled?”
- “How many countries or states have you visited?”
- “Do you know any foreign languages and how many?”
- “What is your favorite holiday?”
Games and hypothetical
Since you are in good company already, why not make a game of starter conversations. Try a few hypothetical questions to really have an interesting discussion. These questions will not only make you feel more comfortable, but they will also expand your mind. There are so many angles to this idea, but here are a few examples.
- “Who is your favorite superhero?”
- “If you won the lottery, how would you spend it?”
- “If you were on an island, what 10 things would have with you?”
- “When was the best moment in your life?”
Building on conversation starters
These topics aren’t the only ways to start a conversation. They are just tiny examples of the numerous ways to get to know someone, reconnect or just nourish an already wonderful relationship. I hope you’ve found these ideas to be useful, and I welcome any other ideas as well! Have fun!
By Sherrie H.