Meeting other people is a typical activity of each day of our daily life. Even if you can relate well to people, there are times when you don't know what to say or where to take the conversation. Having a ready-made mental list of talking points means that you will never be afraid of not knowing what to say next. All you have to do is pick up one of those topics and keep talking.
Part 1 of 3: Learn the Basic Ways to Start a Conversation
Step 1. Talk about the other person
The biggest secret to being a good conversationalist is simply allowing the other person to talk about themselves. Why? It's something she knows a lot about and is comfortable talking about. Try the following:
- Ask for his opinion. You can link it to what's happening where they are, current events, or whatever you want to discuss.
- Find out more about the "story of his life". For example, the place of origin of that person, his childhood, etc.
Step 2. Start the conversation in different ways with the people you know
These types of questions will depend on how well you know your interlocutor. Here are some conversation starters for two other types of people:
People you know well:
Ask them how they are doing, if anything interesting has happened to them in the last week, how their work or studies are going, how their children are doing, or if they have been to the movies or seen a good movie lately.
People you know but haven't seen for a long time:
Ask them what has happened in their life since the last time they saw each other, find out if they still work in the same place, if they live in the same house, how their children are and if they have had more and it may be interesting to ask them if they have seen any mutual friend lately.
Step 3. Know what topics to avoid
You know the old rule: never talk about religion, politics, money, relationships, family problems, health problems, or about sex with people you don't really know well. The risk of saying something offensive is very high, so it is best to stay safe. In general, these topics are often charged with emotions.
Step 4. Find out about their interests or hobbies
People are complex, they have different interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. There are many different types of questions you can ask about interests and hobbies, most of which will almost automatically lead to a larger conversation. The questions you can ask are the following:
- Do you play or follow any sports?
- Do you like to surf the Internet?
- What do you like to read?
- What do you do in your free time?
- What kind of music do you like?
- What kinds of movies do you enjoy?
- What are your favorite TV series?
- What is your favorite board game?
- You love animals? What is your favorite animal?
Step 5. Include the family
Your safest bet is to talk about your siblings and get some background information (such as where they grew up). Make sure to respond enthusiastically to encourage your interlocutor to share more information. Talking about parents can be difficult for people who had a difficult childhood, their parents are separated, or have recently passed away. The topic of children can be uncomfortable for couples who are having a difficult time getting pregnant or if they disagree about the idea of having children, or for someone who wants to have children but has not yet found the right person or time. indicated. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Do you have brothers? How many?
- (If you don't have siblings) What was it like growing up as an only child?
- (If you have siblings) What are their names?
- How old are you?
- What do your brothers do? (Modify the question according to how old they are. Do they go to school, college, or work?)
- Are they similar to you?
- Do they have similar personalities?
- Where did they grow up?
Step 6. Ask him about his travels in the past
Ask the person where they have traveled. Even if you've never been outside the city you were born in, you probably get excited talking about where you would like to go. Specifically, you can ask the following questions:
- If you had the possibility of going to live in another country, which one would you go to?
- Of all the cities you visited, which was your favorite?
- Where did you spend your last vacation? You had a great time?
- What was the worst (or best) vacation or trip you've ever had?
Step 7. Ask about what he likes to eat and drink
It is a little better to talk about food because there is always the chance that you will find someone who has had a problem with alcohol or who does not drink. Be careful that the conversation does not lead to questions about the diet the person is doing or how they are trying to lose weight. This can affect the conversation negatively. Instead, you might ask the following:
- If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- Where do you like to go out to eat?
- Do you like to cook?
- What is your favorite treat?
- What's been the worst restaurant experience you've ever had?
Step 8. Ask him about his job
This topic can be a bit misleading because the conversation could turn into a kind of job interview. However, if you can handle the situation and keep the conversation going, it can lead to interesting discussions. Do not forget that the person may be studying, retired or changing jobs. Some suggestions:
- What's your job? Where do you work (or study)?
- What was your first job?
- Who was your best boss?
- When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- What do you like most about your job?
- If it weren't for the money, what job would you choose?
Step 9. Find out why they are in the same place as you
If they have never been seen, there is a lot of ignored data to know, around the reason why they are in the same place. Ask questions like the following:
- Do you know the host?
- How did you get involved with this event?
- How do you find time to get involved in events like this?
Step 10. Give a sincere compliment
Try to make it a compliment for something they did rather than something that is. This will help you advance the conversation by asking her more about that talent. If you tell someone that they have beautiful eyes, they will appreciate it but the conversation will surely end there. Make sure to keep up your enthusiasm when you pay the compliment so that you sound sincere. Here are some good phrases to use:
- I loved how you played the piano. How long have you been playing?
- You seemed very confident while talking. How did you learn to handle times and words so well?
- You ran in an impressive way. How often do you train?
Part 2 of 3: prolong the conversation
Step 1. Keep the conversation light
Don't expect miracles to happen in the first few interactions with a person. All you can hope for is to feel like a good connection exists. Your best bet is to keep talking about interesting and entertaining topics. You can also include a bit of light humor in the conversation.
- Avoid talking about problems in your life or other negative situations. If you have noticed that people look away when these topics appear, it is simply because few people expect to have to handle such a situation in a context of casual conversation.
- Most people look for interesting, fun, and enjoyable discussion topics. Turning the conversation into something negative can bog down a talk that was going well until then.
Step 2. Let there be silence
Silence should not feel uncomfortable, as it allows you to form an opinion about the other person and think of appropriate conversation topics. The silence gives both of them a breath and a delicate pause.
However, silence can become uncomfortable if you become nervous or try to cover it up because it worries you
Step 3. Share common interests
If you both like to run, for example, spend more time doing that activity that you both enjoy. However, keep in mind that in the long run you will have to change the topic of conversation. A 45 minute talk about running will sound strange to most people.
- Argue about someone who shares your interests and accomplishments. For example, both of you can know the marathoner who won the last race and one of you can comment on what that person has been up to since then.
- Talk about new equipment, new perspectives, new strategies, etc. that have to do with that shared interest.
- Suggest new experiences that you could share, perhaps meet again to do something you've been talking about together.
Part 3 of 3: Go Beyond Boundaries
Step 1. Set a new course with assumptions
You might feel a little weird at first, but give it a try and you will see what a good effect it has on the conversation. Here are some questions to make your interlocutor think:
- Taking into account all that you have achieved, what do you think has been the most important for you or the most beneficial for the community?
- If you could be rich, famous, or influential, what would you choose to be and why?
- Are you in the best moment of your life?
- If you could have 10 things, what would they be?
- If you had to choose only five foods and two drinks for the rest of your life, what would they be?
- Do you think people build their happiness or do they find it?
- What would you do if you had an invisibility cloak?
- Do you believe in free will?
- What animal would you be if someone turned you into one?
- Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
- What five characters from the story would you choose to share an intimate dinner at your home?
- If you won a few million in the lottery tomorrow, how would you spend it?
- If you could be famous for a week, why would you want to be?
- What famous would you like to be?
- Could you live without the Internet?
- What is your dream vacation?
Step 2. Take note of what generates good responses in the conversation
Come back to these "winning" conversations whenever you need to as long as they continue to work well for you.
Similarly, remember the topics that make people uncomfortable or boring to avoid in the future
Step 3. Find out about current events
Research what is happening in the world and try to ask your interlocutor what he thinks about the most recent incident in the news (remember that, in most cases, it is better not to talk about politics).
Have in your mind new and funny stories that can make you laugh as well as remind your interlocutor of others that he has read recently
Step 4. Be concise
Having good talking points is a part of what makes for an entertaining talk, but how you convey those topics is also important. Make sure you get to the central point of the topic without digressing.
Avoid going off on a tangent while bringing up a topic of conversation or you run the risk of losing your interlocutor's attention
- If you are in a group, make sure everyone feels included. If you start talking to just one person and expect the rest to watch the conversation silently, the situation can become incoherent.
- Think outside the box.
- Hearing the responses of others can lead to new topics.
- Think before you talk. You can't back down the things you talk about. Also, people remember the conversations they have had with you, so don't act like a bad person unless you want to be remembered that way.
- A great way to keep the conversation balanced is to take turns asking the questions. It shouldn't be a competition to see who asks the best questions, but it's a nice way to have a good conversation without one person dominating it.
- If this is your first time talking to the person, try to avoid sarcasm, but if the other person is sarcastic, you can joke around a bit and show your witty side. Anyway, don't overdo it, no one likes over the top sarcasm.
- Don't just mechanically advance through the questions we suggest in this article. The other person will feel questioned.
- If this is the first time you are talking to this person, try to link the topics of conversation rather than hopping around.
- Be friendly and don't insult anyone.
- Listen carefully and try to connect. After someone has responded, relate your own experience to something that person said or answered that question yourself, without being asked by anyone.