20 Best Conversation Starters
Depending on your personality, the prospect of introducing a conversation starter can fill you with overwhelming social anxiety or it can fill you with excitement for the opportunity to get to know people better! Whether you are outgoing or shy, it is always a smart idea to have topics of conversations prepared that extend beyond small talk about the weather! If you want to know what to say on a date, what to discuss with a group of people at a party, what to talk about when you run into an old acquaintance, or how to start a conversation at a professional networking event, keep reading to see our suggestions for the best conversation starters!
1Conversation Starters For a Date: Where did you grow up?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: This is a super easy conversation starter to get things going and it opens the door for a plethora of follow-up questions. For example, if your date grew up in a city that you don’t know much about, you can ask them what it was like and what prompted them to move to the city you both live in now. On the other hand, if they grew up in the same place as you, you can ask them about where they went to school, see if you share any mutual friends, or just generally chat about your thoughts on the area.
2What do you do for work?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Work tends to take up a lot of time and energy for people, so it is always interesting to hear about people’s jobs. If your date is currently on the job market or still in school, you can adjust this conversation starter and ask them about where they see themselves working in the future or what type of job they would like to have. This is also a great conversation starter because it can help you begin to gauge how compatible you and your date are. For example, if you can’t stand lawyers, and your date is a lawyer, you can engage in conversation about your date’s job, but also make a mental note that they may not be a great fit for you.
3Do you have any siblings?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: This is a great conversation starter because it demonstrates your interest in your date’s life and also opens the door for a ton of follow-up questions. If they have siblings, you can ask questions about them and share your own stories about your siblings (if you have any). On the other hand, if your date is an only-child, you can ask if they ever wished they had siblings and why or why not!
4What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Even though a person’s job can tell you a lot about them, hearing how they like to spend their free time is a great way to get to know each other better and see what you have in common. If your date enjoys a hobby you don’t know much about, you can ask them about it and learn something new! This can also be a nice icebreaker question since your date will be able to talk about something they enjoy which will relax them.
5What is your schedule like?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: This conversation starter is a great way to demonstrate your interest in hearing what their day-to-day life is like. It’s also a smart way for you to figure out if your date’s schedule seems like it would be conducive to what you need in a relationship if you two were to continue seeing each other.
6What was your worst first date ever like?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: This is a great conversation starter because it’s humorous and breaks the ice right away. On a first date, you may want to avoid asking prying questions about their previous relationships, but this question is not too intrusive and opens the door for a funny exchange of stories between the two of you!
7What are you looking for right now?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: This topic of conversation is probably best saved for later in the date because you don’t want to scare them off right away by seeming too serious or intrusive. However, after you have been chatting for a while, this is a perfectly appropriate and smart conversation starter so that you can see if you two are looking for similar things. Remember: no matter how well a first date goes, if you are looking for a serious and exclusive relationship and your date wants to continue to play the field and date multiple people at once, it’s best to end it before it gets too complicated.
8Conversation Starters For A Group of People at a Party: What is the last movie you saw?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Most people have passionate opinions about movies so this is a great topic to stir some light-hearted debate. And who knows, maybe you’ll walk away with some ideas about what movie to see next!
9What are your thoughts about *insert current event in the news*?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: A great conversation starter for parties is one that requires the input of a variety of opinions. Even if a debate becomes somewhat heated, this conversation starter will definitely keep people engaged which is a good thing!
10Do you have any plans for later?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Especially if you are in the mood to do something else after the party, this is a great conversation starter to get some ideas for your next moves!
11What do you think is the best restaurant or bar in town?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Everyone has a favorite restaurant or bar, so this is a great topic to start a lively conversation. Your fellow party attendees can compare good and bad experiences at certain establishments and learn about new cool places to try!
12Conversation Starters For An Old Acquaintance: Wow, how long has it been since we’ve seen each other?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Sometimes running into an old acquaintance can be anxiety-inducing and awkward! This is a great conversation starter because it acknowledges up front that you guys haven’t seen each other in a long time and minimizes the expectation that you two should immediately remember everything about each other right away.
13What are you up to now?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Obviously, it would be hard to summarize the years that have gone by quickly, so focusing on what they are up to right now is a great way to bridge the time gap and still come across as friendly and polite.
14How is *insert mutual friend* doing?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Talking about a mutual friend is a great conversation starter with an old acquaintance because focusing on a mutual contact takes off some of the pressure of trying to seem interesting to one another.
15Do you remember the time when we *insert fun memory*
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Even though it can be hard to connect with someone who you haven’t seen in a long time, talking about a shared memory is a great way to break the ice and make the conversation seem more casual.
16Conversation Starters For A Professional Networking Event: What does your job entail?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Even if you already know their job title, expressing interest in what they actually do on a day-to-day basis is polite and a great way to have an interesting conversation
17How did you get into your line of work?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Everyone has a story and most people like to tell their story. Starting a conversation by asking what inspired them to pursue their career is not only polite, but it also helps you to get to know them on a more personal level which can make the conversation flow more comfortably.
18What suggestions would you have for someone interested in working in your industry?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Even if the person you’re speaking too is not a high-up employee, everyone likes to feel like they are recognized for their expertise. This conversation starter is a great way to make them feel respected and you can also learn a lot from their insight!
19What are the upsides and downsides of your job?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Sometimes networking events can feel kind of stiff, so this conversation starter is a great way to get more “real” with someone you’re speaking to.
20What brought you to this event today?
Why this is an awesome conversation starter: Whether or not you two share career interests, you both are at the same event for a reason. This conversation starter is good because it allows you to bond over your respective networking goals and you can chat about things like the venue, the catering, the scheduled speakers, or any other aspect of the event.