You’re probably not as gifted as you think you are at starting conversations. And if after reading that remark, you’re thinking Nuh-uh! You’re not alone. There’s a good possibility you’ll need the tips in this article.
As a social construct, conversation acts as a foundation for forming and maintaining connections. It also functions as a portal that, if successfully navigated, can take you to the information or outcomes you seek. The conversation appears to be a simple exchange of thoughts and ideas on the surface. Still, it offers many opportunities to develop and reinforce friendships, learn new things, and share your knowledge.
Learning some conversation skills
It’s simple to have an intriguing discussion if you don’t strive to be fascinating. Instead, show an interest in the other person. Here are seven methods to start a conversation without putting the other person in the position of taking the lead or scrambling to find a way out.
You’re “in this together”
When things aren’t going well, mentioning a shared experience can help lessen the blow and start a conversation. You likely employ this strategy regularly without even noticing it. You mention to the individual in front of you at the grocery store that the lines always appear to be the longest while you’re on your lunch break. Following that, a brief conversation ensues.
The same method works when the stakes are higher, such as while networking at a party where everyone is worried about creating an excellent first impression.
“Aren’t these get-togethers always so awkward?” It’s expected of everyone to network—no pressure!”
Use this approach with caution. Make every effort to maintain your neutrality. A remark like “These networking gatherings are so boring!” could backfire if it turns out the person you’re talking to planned the event or is friends with the person who did.
Notice something nice
Observing something nice is the polar opposite of the “we’re all in this together” discussion opener. A pleasant attitude might help a conversation get off to a good start. We prefer folks who are optimistic and focus our attention on positive things.
“That was a productive meeting! I feel like we generated some solid ideas.”
“”Did you go to the social media workshop? It was great!”
Pay a compliment
This is a terrific way to break the ice. Who doesn’t appreciate a genuine compliment? You don’t have to fawn over the other person to make an impression—all it takes is to recognize and state something you like.
“That’s a nice shirt. The color looks good on you!”
“You did an awesome job with the presentation. I like how you laid everything out, so it was easy to understand.”
One caveat: don’t make physical comments, with the possible exception of haircuts. It’s one thing to compliment a fresh haircut, but remarking “You have such clear skin” is a dangerous foray into a creepy area.
Ask for an opinion
We all want to believe that our voices are heard. Asking for someone’s opinion demonstrates that you care about them and their ideas.
“How did the keynote presentation go for you?”
“I was considering attending the next workshop session.” “Would you suggest it?”
Keep your discussions to directly relevant topics. It’s a little strange to approach someone and ask, “So, what do you think of the present political situation in the United States?” Not to mention the fact that you might not want to travel down that rabbit hole with someone you don’t know.
Being helpful is the best method to demonstrate that you’re a kind, friendly person. If you find yourself in a circumstance where you can help, take advantage of the opportunity.
“You appear to be a little befuddled.” “Can I assist you in your search?”
“You appear to be carrying quite a load.” “Do you require assistance?”
Look for common ground
If you know, you’ll be at a function where everyone has a similar background. This is the easiest option. When you bring up something you have in common, you instantly build a connection that leads to more discussion topics.
“Did you go to this school when you were younger?”
“”Have you been in the marketing industry for a long time?””
Ask for help or information
Asking for a bit of aid or guidance, like requesting an opinion, maybe a terrific way to make someone feel helpful. Be sure that whatever you’re asking for is something that the other party can provide without putting themselves in jeopardy.
“May you tell me where I can get a workshop schedule?”
“Do you know if this hotel provides airport transportation?”
Excellent! Follow the guidelines of small talk 101 to keep the conversation running for a while now that you’ve begun it. Just remember to show an interest in the other person, look for common ground, and ask questions.
Here are several examples of good conversation starters for different social settings:
Party conversation starters
- How do you know people here?
- What brought you here?
- Do you know [the name of the host]?
- Where are you from?
- I like your [part of their outfit], where did you get it?
- I believe we met before at [place where you met before]?
- Hello, my name is [name]. What’s your name?
Dinner conversation starters
- Have you tried the [dish]?
- What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
- If you opened a restaurant, what kind of place would it be?
- What’s the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
- What’s your favorite comfort food?
- Are you a keen cook?
- What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
Work conversation starters
- What department do you work in?
- What projects have you been working on recently?
- Where did you work before you started this job?
- What do you like most about working here?
- Did you have to relocate for this job?
- How do you handle stress when work gets busy?
- I think the company’s new policy on [whatever the policy is about] is [give your opinion]. What do you think?
Group conversation starters
Avoid scripted conversation starters when joining a group chat. Instead, pay attention to what others are already talking about and add to the conversation. There are occasions when a topic becomes obsolete. Here are some suggestions for beginning a new and intriguing group discussion.
- Have you heard the news about [news story]?
- Have any of you seen [recent movie release]? What did you think of it?
- What does everyone think of [latest episode of popular TV show]?
- Has anyone heard the new album by [artist]?
- Have any of you met before?
- What’s everyone’s dream vacation?
Conversation starters for dating/asking a guy/girl/crush
- What’s your favorite thing to do when you have a day off work?
- What’s your family like?
- Do you have any extraordinary hidden talents?
- When did you last go to the movies?
- Do you have a bucket list? What’s on it?
- When you and your best friend hang out, what do you like to do?
- When was the last time you felt proud of yourself?
Conversation starters for friends
- How’s it going with [something you’ve talked about before]?
- What’s your favorite memory?
- Would you ever like to be famous? If so, what would you like to be recognized for?
- Do you ever think about what you’ll do when you retire?
- Have you ever been so embarrassed that you wanted the ground to swallow you up?
- When do you think we’ll be able to take day trips into space?
- Have you ever wanted to keep a rare or exotic pet, like a tarantula?
For most situations, you’re better off starting a conversation with a friend based on the problem rather than using a memorized line.
How to start a conversation with a stranger
At first, striking up a meaningful discussion with a stranger might be difficult and nerve-wracking. Knowing how and where to start a conversation is crucial, whether you’re an expert at it or struggle with small talk. Review these steps for striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know:
- Maintain a positive attitude: Approach the discussion with a good mindset. Maintain proper body language, such as smiling and uncrossing your arms, to convey your joy.
- Take a deep breath: Before starting the chat, take a few deep breaths. This will help you relax by lowering your heart rate and calming your nerves.
- Keep an eye on the stranger’s time: If the stranger appears to be preoccupied or focused, keep your chat brief.
These conversation starters can help you feel more confident when approaching a stranger:
1 . Gather information
Asking a question or a series of questions to a stranger is an excellent way to start a discussion with them. Depending on the situation, you might inquire about the weather, what they’re having for lunch or a shared professional duty. Consider the following scenario:
“Do you know if the company president will speak to us during the opening session?” for example.
Consider what more questions or comments you could ask in response to their response to keep the conversation going.
2. Compliment the stranger
Complimenting someone new is another way to start a conversation with them. This approach generally results in a pleasant discussion on the item or feature you’ve approved.
Consider the following scenario: “I admire your briefcase.”
Use some follow-up questions to keep the conversation continuing, such as where they bought the briefcase and if it comes in different colors.
3. Bring up a shared topic
Make use of your surroundings to start a conversation with a stranger. For example, if you’re at an industry conference, inquire about the event from the individual sitting next to you in a session. Tell the individual in line next to you about your favorite food if you’re getting lunch.
Here’s another illustration: “Do you have a job in the structure? Yesterday, I observed your car parked next to mine.”
4. Introduce yourself
An introduction is a simple approach to start a discussion with someone you don’t know. It’s especially effective when there aren’t any other obvious discussion starters. Here’s an illustration:
“Hello, my name is Andrew. I’ve recently been transferred to this department and wanted to introduce myself to everyone.”
The person you’re meeting will most likely give you their name and some information about their position, which will lead to a casual conversation.
5. Ask open-ended questions
Asking open-ended inquiries is another excellent way to start a discussion with a stranger. This method works well when you’re at a shared event and can ask about the other person’s experience. Consider the following scenario:
“I’ve never attended such an enthralling workshop before. “How do you feel?”
Most of the time, the other participant will answer with their thoughts or anecdotes about previous conferences they’ve attended, providing you with more discussion fodder.
6. Stay up-to-date on current events
Current events are a great way to start a conversation. If you and the stranger have opposing viewpoints, it’s best to allude to non-political events. Consider asking about a local festival or a new book or film that has just been released. Here’s an illustration:
“Have you heard that the annual Holiday Festival will begin next week? Walking around and looking at the decorations is always a pleasure for me.”
7. Offer to help
Offering to assist a stranger struggling with a task is a terrific approach to strike up a discussion. You could use an example like this, depending on the location and context of the interaction:
Consider the following scenario: “Allow me to transport that box for you! Are you a newcomer to the structure?”
8. Share an interesting fact
This method works best when you’re in a place or setting where your exciting fact is relevant. This strategy can be a great way to start a discussion with someone new when utilized correctly. Here’s an illustration:
“Did you know that, statistically, elevators are the safest mode of transportation?”
9. Ask for their opinion
To start a discussion, ask a stranger for their viewpoint. If you’re out to lunch or looking for pens in your office supply cupboard, this is a fantastic tactic. An example of how to apply this method is as follows:
Consider the following scenario: “Which one of these highlighters is your favorite? These yellow ones are what I usually use, but the wax ones look cool!”
10. Ask for lunch advice
Inquiring about a stranger’s favorite lunch spot is an efficient way to start a discussion with them. Because it can be a fast talk, this is especially beneficial if you’re in an elevator or waiting for a cab or public transportation.
Consider the following scenario: “In this neighborhood, where do you like to eat? I’m used to working out of the 5th Street office, so I’m not familiar with this area.”
The stranger will most likely tell you about their favorite restaurants and may even invite you to join them for lunch.
11. Comment on a viral video
Viral videos are a great way to start a conversation. Many people watch videos or hear about them from friends or coworkers in their spare time. Be sure the video you’re mentioning is appropriate for the workplace if you employ this method. Here’s an illustration:
“Have you seen the video of the infant sleeping in the ice cream bowl?” for example.
Hopefully, this can spark a discussion about other cool videos or pop culture subjects.
12. Be straightforward
Being clear about what you’re seeking or needing is sometimes the unique approach to start a conversation. If you’re lost, for example, ask for directions. Make it apparent that you wish to eat lunch with someone new. Here’s another illustration:
Consider the following scenario: “Today is my first day, and I have no idea where I’ll eat lunch. Would it be all right if I joined you?”
13. Ask for help
Asking for assistance is an excellent way to start a discussion. Depending on the situation, you may need to seek aid from a particular person rather than anyone nearby. Consider the following scenario:
Consider the following scenario: “I’ve never worked out of this office before, so I’m not sure how to use the copier. Would you be willing to assist me?”
14. Discuss common interests
It may be evident that you have something in common with a stranger in some cases. As a beginning point for the conversation, use the signal you see:
Consider the following scenario: “I see you’re a fan of our local basketball team as well. Last week, I went to a game! Have you attended any sporting events this year?””
15. Make an insightful comment
Another way to strike up a conversation with a stranger is to comment on your current position. This strategy works best when you have a precise point to make, such as:
“I see you also prefer to use the handset instead of a headset,”
This remark allows the stranger to express their thoughts on the matter.
16. Mention a shared trait
When you’re confident you and the stranger share a shared quality, use this method. Making a connection through a shared quality is a terrific approach to start a conversation. Consider the following scenario:
“I noticed you signed in with your left hand – I’m also a lefty!” for example.
When unusual characteristics are present, most individuals are eager to discuss the relationship.
17. Ask a question about their background
Inquiring about their past is a polished and friendly way to start a conversation. Consider the following scenario:
Consider the following scenario: “Thank you for joining the team! What were you doing before you came here?”
18. Ask for advice
As a way to start a discussion, seek advice from a stranger. Ideally, the advice you seek should be professional in character and relevant to your situation. Consider the following scenario:
Consider the following scenario: “I’m not sure which presentation format I should use. Would you mind taking a look at it and advising me?”
19. Comment on a shared activity
Another option is to comment on a shared hobby or interest if it’s evident. For example, in the lobby of your building, you might notice a stranger sporting a pin from your favorite music location or someone reading a book you enjoy. Consider the following scenario:
Consider the following scenario: “When we got off the metro, I observed you reading. Last week, I finished that book! Are you having fun with it?”
20. Tell a joke
Telling a joke to a stranger is another way to strike up a conversation with a stranger. If the joke applies to the situation where you find yourself with the stranger, this is the best way to go. Consider the following scenario:
Consider the following scenario: “Do you want to know what might ruin your Friday? It’s worth noting that it’s only Thursday.”
It’s the simplest thing in the world to text your friends. When you’re texting your friends, you’re witty and clever, and you never hesitate to send a message. On the other hand, texting your crush is an entirely different story.
There are so many demands that you start questioning yourself at every move. Even coming up with a great conversation starter, a text to get things started, seems impossible.
The conversation openers that we have shared with you will ensure you never have to worry about conversing with your crush again. The conversation will flow effortlessly.
How to start a conversation with a guy
You’ve had your eye on a cute guy for a while, and now it’s time to move forward. You think, “How can I start a conversation with a guy?” We’re here to tell you that all it takes is a little gut, a lot of curiosity, and your most authentic self. When you’re attempting to talk to a guy, you’re undoubtedly anxious about saying the right things, asking fascinating questions, and trying to come across as charming.
It’s not that difficult, believe us. In a word, starting a conversation with a guy is the same as starting a conversation with anyone else. Though it may appear to be the most challenging task in the world, once you receive a response to the first message you send, you’ll realize it’s not as difficult as you thought.
There are a variety of topics you can discuss, questions you can ask, and characteristics you both have. We’ve put together a list of ways to initiate a conversation with a guy via messages, calls, or any other method you prefer.
The bottom line
It takes practice to learn how to converse. Each conversation provides an opportunity to discover what works and what doesn’t. Of course, each person is different, but you should get a sense of the questions they might ask.
Whether you’re studying how to strike up a conversation, woo a boy or girlfriend, or simply strike up a discussion with a buddy or even a stranger, the reality is that all you have to do is be honest, friendly, and most importantly, yourself. These questions should not be used as a questionnaire but rather as a starting point. Your goal is to establish a genuine and lasting relationship!
The hardest thing is taking the initial step. It’s all easy sailing after that first encounter.