50 Ways to Start a Conversation
8 months ago

Like all lists that attempt to give you some conversation topic ideas, the following list is bound to include a few ideas that you find cheesy.    But hopefully there are a few more conversation topics that you would feel comfortable using. 

 General conversation starters.

1. Hi, I’m Dee.  It’s nice to meet you.
2. Hello, how are you?
3. Hi, what have you been up to since I last saw you?
4. Good to finally meet you, how have you been?
5. What line of work are you in?
6. Do you have kids? *
7. Where are you from?
8. Where did you grow up?
9. Hey, crazy weather we’ve been having.
10. Hi, good to see you again.  Hey I like your jacket/bag/shoes etc

Often the hardest part is just approaching the person and saying hi.  These conversation starts above are mostly obvious, but still they are all good ways to introduce yourself and break the ice.  

 * Asking personal questions always holds the risk that you hit a ‘nerve’.  Use clues around you to decide which personal questions to ask.

Conversation questions to get to know people.

11. What’s your favourite midnight snack?
12. What was the worst purchase you ever made?
13. What did you like best about high school?
14. What reality show would you go on and why?
15. What is the most embarrassing CD you have in your collection?
16. Have you travelled much?  Where? What was it like?
17. Which country would like to visit?
18. Do you have any brothers or sisters?  Younger or older?
19. Who is the most famous person you have met?
20. Do you ever have breakfast foods for snacks?
21. What do you think about ….?
22. What TV shows do you enjoy?
23. What’s the one movie you watch over and over?
24. What was your first job, and what was it like?

I have found these topics useful in those moments of silence.   But rather than blurting out the question, give your answer first then ask them.   If possible use common ground to start from. For example:   Sarah just got back from France, I would love to visit there one day, have you done much travelling?

Some of the more quirky questions are best left for when you see someone you have chatted with before, rather than on first meeting. 

Those “if you could only” conversation ideas.

25. You are stuck on a deserted Island, and you can only take 3 things.  What would they be?
26. You can only eat 5 different foods for the rest of your life, what are they?
27. You can only listen to 3 CD’s for the rest of your life, what are they?
28. You are stuck in a cabin for 2 years, what 5 movies would you take with you?
29. If you could pick anyone, which three people would you invite to your dinner party?
30. If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
31. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

I always liked these questions.  To number 25, my favourite answer ever was: A jar of sand, a bottle of sea water and a photo of a deserted island.  I would love to hear what your answers are to these, so please leave a comment or message me.

First date conversation breakers.

32. Do you have any pets?
33. Are you a cat or dog person?
34. What’s your favourite song of all time?
35. What was your first concert?
36. Where did you grow up?
37. What’s the one place you want to visit on vacation?
38. What do you do when you aren’t working?
39. What did you do last weekend?
40. What type of work are you in?  Why did you choose that career path?

Conversation starters for work functions.

41. Hi, have you been here before?
42. Did you have to travel far?
43. Where do you work?  How long have you worked there?
44. How was your day?
45. Do you know many people here?

Work functions are more formal that other gatherings, so I have found it good to ask general, less personal questions, especially when you are meeting people for the first time.

Finding common ground conversation starters.

46. What type of music do you like?
47. What TV shows/movies do watch?
48. How do you typically enjoy the weekends?
49. What sports do you play or follow?
50. What’s your favourite hobby?

And there you have it, some general questions to finish off.  These questions as the heading suggest aim to help you find common ground with the other person.  If they like the same music or sports as you, you can talk about the bands or sports teams.


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