Sometimes, the best conversation starters are the ones that put the light on the other people in the meeting. When you are starting to swim in the chit chat pool, use these conversation starters to make a real splash!
1. Ask Ask Ask
There are few ways to help people feel more special than to ask them about themselves. This may be one of the most potent conversation starters of all! While you don’t want to interrogate them, listening to their answers and building your talking based on this is a compliment.
2. Stay Positive
Let’s be honest. When most people ask how you are, they don’t want to hear a laundry list of how tired you are, how you were late for work today which threw off the entire rest of your existence, and how your dog vomited on your bed. Stay riding that honesty train, but instead be honest with yourself. Isn’t it good to be meeting someone new? Isn’t it fun to be doing something outside of your home and work? So when they ask you how you are, remember this and say “Really good!” You’ve immediately captured their attention, and made them wonder about that smile in your voice.
3. Travel Anyone?
Almost everyone has taken a trip, near or far. If there’s a lull in the conversation, ask if anyone has taken a trip lately, and go from there. Chances are, those who overhear the conversation and have been to that location will chime in too, and you will have just started a trend! Put in your own two cents so that they get to know you and your interests too. Before you know it, you’re on a first name basis and exchanging phone numbers.
4. Vacation Stories
Going along with the travel questions, ask your fellow chatters about their vacations. While some of the travel stories may have been work-related, vacation stories, including family and friends especially, are a different animal. Some of these are unintentionally hilarious, and will certainly connect to those who have had similar experiences.
5. Pets Are King (and Queen)
What animal owner doesn’t adore talking about their furry or finned friends? Asking if someone has a pet will open the door to how they found their little roommate, their anecdotes, and what makes them so lovable. You can return this favor, just in increments. If they don’t have a pet, ask if they ever have. Chances are, this will open up a new conversation too.
6. Restaurant Talk
Even in difficult economic times, there is something about restaurants that bring us together. Ask if the others have been to the new restaurant that opened in town, or if they know of a good Thai/Indian/tapas/etc. restaurant that you’ve been hoping to find. This will certainly get the foodies chowing down on thoughts!
7. The Talk around Town
Has there been a new bill to ban smoking in your area? A referendum on whether to build a community pool? A decision about putting in more roundabouts? For those who are civically minded, this can lead to a cerebral tete-a-tete. Just a word of caution about talking political with people from opposite sides of the fence. Try to stay on subjects that are non-partisan.
Meeting new people and generating new connections can be one of the most rewarding parts of your social life. What are some of your most favorite ways to get the ball rolling?