Weddings, networking events, company socials or just going to a friend’s barbecue. We have all been to some sort of social function where we have bumped into a stranger or met someone new and started the usual formalities required upon first encounters; ‘What’s your name?’, ‘What do you do?’, ‘How do you know the host?’ etc.
Then inevitably you get to the point where you cover all the cliched topics and actually have to dig a bit deeper to start some decent small talk. You feel that familiar frog crawl up into your throat as you suddenly forget all the knowledge and interesting stories you’ve accumulated over your lifetime, and that awkward moment rears its snarling face once again…. silence….
The good news is that you’re not alone, it happens to the best of us. No matter how much you’ve fluttered those social butterfly wings, sometimes you just need to have a great go-to topic on hand for when your mind hits that inevitable blank.
Below are some of the best tried and tested conversation starters to use.
- If you could choose to have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be? And why?
- I’ve recently seen this great movie… Have you watched any good movies recently? or What are your 3 favorite movies of all time?
- If you had all the money in the world, what would you do?
- There’s a really good restaurant in the area or I recently went to this restaurant, have you tried it or any good restaurants lately?
- If you had to pick a day, what would have been the happiest day of your life and why?
Bonus Topic – The best conversationalists speak the least and ask the most questions. So when in doubt just take an interest in the other person and their life. People love to talk about themselves, just ask the right questions to get them chatting freely about themselves.
Being able to spark up a conversation with anyone is one of the most important skills that you need to possess. Small talk can lead to huge opportunities and in fact all relationships, social or business begin with your conversations. So the question I leave you with, ‘Why wouldn’t you invest a small amount of energy in something that could benefit you for your whole life?’