You know how it is. After all, we’ve all been there. You walk into a room noisy with people conversing as if they’ve known one another forever. Gradually, you relax and sit at the banquet table. Or you head for the display that has been drawing your eye. You get settled, look around, and suddenly realize that there are only two or three other people near you.
And nobody’s talking.
Why Learn Conversation Topics
How do you start a conversation? More than that—how do you keep a conversation going? How do you come up with topics to talk about that will not only open a door on conversation, but on friendship?
It’s easy to meet people who seem really nice. They seem as nice as you are, as a matter of fact. But for some reason, the conversation doesn’t always take off like a rocket. Well, when you first meet, what can you expect? Isn’t discussion always going to feel a little like a derailed train at first?
The answer to that question is…NOPE. It doesn’t need to feel awkward when you first meet people.
Put a few handy conversation starters in your go-to bag, and never worry about how to walk up and comfortably talk to people again.
And the following list doesn’t have to be for one person to use when talking to one other person.
Life is meant to be fun (some of the time, anyway) so feel free to have several people download this list on their phones or i-pads at once. Then, as a group, pull it up, choose a question, ask it. and have the whole group answer. You might be amazed at how much laughter springs up, doing the Q & A as a group.
But don’t forget! This toolbox is mainly for use one-on-one, so you can relax and know how to break the ice when you meet someone new.
Most of the conversation starters have topic headings, but in the beginning, we have some random questions. We couldn’t decide what topic to list them under. But they’re still interesting!
- Keep your tone friendly.
- In case you find yourself talking one-on-one, Remember these helpful tips:
- Be open. Crossed arms can appear authoritative rather than relaxed.
Come to think of it, these tips will help you get along in many situations. Maybe even help with the grumpy neighbor next door!
Here are your great topics to talk about!
Conversation Topics List
- Someone comes back from the future and agrees to answer only one question about what will happen in your lifetime. What would you ask?
- What fads or trends do you think are silly? What trends have you caught yourself following, even though they are silly?
- What smell brings back great memories? (A certain food cooking? Baby lotion? A shampoo or perfume?)
- Name one thing you are especially good at?
- What is a strange or not very useful talent you have? (Whether it’s being able to sing in a high falsetto, wiggle your ears, do the Vulcan sign with both hands, or burp the alphabet, it seems pretty much everyone has some odd talent.)
- If you could make a call to any person in the world, and talk for one hour, what person would you call?
- There’s the information we use every day —where do you get the information you use the most?
- What is your definition of success in life?
- What do you consider a successful date?
- What are your three top rules for going on a successful date?
- What is there that you would give almost anything to be able to do, or to be able to do well?
- What one person or type of person do you make sure to be nice to every time you meet?
- Do you prefer to live where there are four distinct seasons, or in a place where it is the same all year long?
- If you were to create a holiday, what would it be? Would it have special traditions or foods? Would it have a name?
- Do you prefer to live in the city or in the country? Why?
- You live in a place where it is hot year-round. Would you rather have air conditioning or a quiet fan?
- Music is nice, but is there one inanimate object in this world that would annoy you if it played loud, cheerful music every time you used it?
- You live where it is cold most of the year. Would you rather have a furnace or a fireplace? Why?
- You are about to have surgery. They are going to put you to sleep. Just as you go under, you hear the doctors talking. What is one thing you would NOT want to hear them say as you fall asleep?
- With this definition in mind, who would you say is the most successful person of all time? Who would you say is the most successful person you have ever known?
- Do you like chocolate?
- If you were offered a cup of coffee and a cup of tea, which would you take?
- Do you like to eat out? Where is your favorite place?
- Have you ever tried eating vegan?
- Have you ever tried a diet like Keto or Atkins?
- What is your favorite meal of the day?
- If you wanted a snack and were offered either a bag of Fritos or a Pop-tart, which would you choose?
- Have you ever eaten Kimchi or pigs’ feet?
- What food is too good for words, but is really a bother trying to eat it?
- Do you like Cheesy crackers with cheese, or do you prefer plain crackers with cheese?
- When you cook, do you measure everything, or is it a pinch here, and a smidgeon there?
Learn more with useful expressions used at a restaurant.
- What is your favorite season?
- What was your favorite thing to do as a child when the weather was hot?
- Do you like the holidays? Why or why not?
- Is the climate change issue for real?
- What is causing climate change? Is it natural, or cow farts, or fossil fuels?
- Can we stop it?
- What do you plan to accomplish this year?
- When you are 95 years old and look back on your life, what are the main things you want to be able to say you did?
- What is the main goal of your life?
- How would you say your plans and goals have changed over the years?
- We each make a mark in the world unlike anyone else. What kind of mark do you want to make on your world?
- What have you already accomplished in your lifetime?
- Who has had the greatest effect on things you have done in your life?
- Do you usually finish what you begin?
- Is a 9-5 job necessary to survive?
- If you could be rich as Croesus working a job you hate, would you do it?
- If a job takes you away from family but pays well, is it worth it?
- If someone lies about you at work, will you let it slide, or will you fight it?
- Would you rather work for a well-known company, and get well known, even though you aren’t making much money? Or would you rather work for an unknown company that has no reputation, and make lots of money?
If You Could—
- Make your mind a place, what would it be like?
- Have a personal mascot, what would it be? Not necessarily an animal…
- Have everyone in the world suddenly stop moving—except for you. What would you do?
- Invent a flavor of ice cream, what would it be?
- Relive one particular day of your life whenever you wanted, what day would that be?
- Find a remote that controls time, how would you use it? It stops time, rewinds, fast forwards, everything.
- Have a world of one kind of clones, what person would you choose to be the donor for the clones?
How Much Does Society Affect Our Choices?
Often without realizing it, we do what the majority of people around us are doing. Like leaves being swept along in a river, we move with the current. What if we were to stop and question where the current was headed?
- What is the funniest hairstyle recently in fashion?
- What is one of the strangest ways to dress that has been in fashion in the past or is in style now? (Platform shoes, wearing t-shirts inside out and backward, sagging pants, etc.)
Fears and Likes
- What scares you no matter how much you try not to be scared?
- What are you happy about right now?
- What is a major concern to you?
Have You Ever—
- Been on a bowling league?
- Gotten a tattoo?
- Wished you were a superhero? If so, which one? Did you make your own up?
- Played or sung in a band?
- Written a book?
- Had a big problem to overcome, and you did it?
- Volunteered with an organization that helps others? What was it like?
- Seen a baby born?
- Traveled to an unusual place?
- Learned a foreign language or sign language? Why?
- Taught a class? If so, what was the class?
- Lived in a nudist colony?
- Thought about what people used to be buried with? Things they figured would be needed in the next life—If you were to be buried with things you would need in the next life, what would you have?
- Seen or heard something that, no matter how hard you tried to resist the urge, caused you to roll your eyes?
- Climbed a ladder up to a roof?
That Wasn’t So Bad…Maybe…
- Did you ever have something start out bad and end up great?
- If, in the country you live in, the voting age was reduced by 10 years, how do you think things would change? Would they change? Or would they stay the same?
- If you found that someone had provided for you to have a week off, not only free and clear but with extra pay, what would you do during that week?
What Will Always—
- Be in fashion, no matter how many eons go by?
- Sound all right and be totally wrong?
- Who was the teacher who seemed absolutely crazy?
- Who was the one teacher who helped you believe in yourself?
- What celebrity seems to be the most reasonable, like a “normal” person?
- What kind of actor/actress do you like? (Tall, short, intense, nice, etc)
- Who is the earliest adult you remember in your childhood besides family members?
A Stingy Genie
You found a bottle on the beach. It had a genie. But this genie had been in the bottle too long. He was feeling stingy. He wasn’t granting three wishes. Only one wish was to be granted today. What would you ask for?
Would you ask—
- To be a famous actor or a famous singer?
- To be a world-renowned genius, or incredibly good looking?
- To be rich and die at 50 or be poor and die at 500
- To be in a world-famous rock band for five years, or in a world-famous lullaby band for 20 years?
- To have a swimming pool or a hot tub? Why?
It is always a good idea to use current circumstances to help you choose what subject to talk about. That way, you can say things like: “That commercial reminds me of________(a place you’ve been). Then explain why the commercial reminds you of that place, and follow it up with questions about travel, such as:
- Do you like to travel?
- Do you do much traveling?
- How many places have you visited?
- Have you lived in very many places?
- Do you like to “rough” travel? (Camp in a tent, camp out in the open)
- Have you ever walked around naked at a nudist colony?
- Ever ridden a motorcycle?
- Ever driven a motorcycle?
- If you had to listen to one genre of music all day, what genre would you choose?
- If you could play any musical instrument that you don’t know how to play now, which instrument would you choose?
- Are you able to play an instrument?
- Do you like to sing along with the music you listen to—whether you hit the right notes or not?
- Have you ever performed karaoke? What did you sing?
- What music is your guilty pleasure?
- Do you consider tattoo art?
- Have you ever gotten a tattoo?
- Do you think tattoos defile the body or beautify it?
- Have you ever known anyone to sneak and get a tattoo?
- Do you believe a person should be free to say what they want to say at any time about anything?
- What about the saying, “Just as a rock thrown from the hand cannot be pulled back, so a word spoken cannot be pulled back”. How does this affect each person’s freedom of speech?
- Is that material comfortable? (You can mention that one of the things you run into is material that holds the heat in and makes you feel hot)
- You can mention that you have been searching for that color EVERYWHERE. Then say, “May I ask where you got it?”
With clothing, you nearly always need to preface your question with a statement. One statement, to begin with, could be a compliment. If the person understands that the reason you are so interested in their apparel is that it looks so good on them, they will understand better why the question is being asked.
DON’T ask how much an article of clothing costs. DON’T ask what size it is. You CAN ask whether they think the store would have your size in a similar outfit.
- What kind of sports do you follow?
- Did you see the game between_________(team) and _________(team the other night?
- Did you see_____(name)___when he was injured? What do you think that will do for his career?
- Do you consider dancing a sport, or an art? Why?
- Are there any sports you enjoy doing?
- Have you bungee jumped?
- Have you zip lined?
- Do you enjoy swimming?
- Know how to play golf?
- How about miniature golf?
- Do you bowl? If you do, what is your average?
- Do you play pool?
- Did you see when Saturn and Neptune were so close?
- Do you ever see the space station in the night sky?
- What do you think—are UFOs real?
- Do you believe in aliens?
- Do you think aliens have already visited here?
- Do you think there will be rides to Mars within our lifetime?
- Do you think there is life on other planets?
- Do you think we could reach the edge of the universe if we flew far enough?
- Why do some places have Dr. Pepper but don’t have Root Beer?
- Why are beers on tap considered better than bottled beers?
- Are microbrews really any better?
- Why do you think drink mixes like Kool-Aid have been around so long?
- What do you wish you had more of?
- If you had more of what you wished for, what would you do with it?
- Have you ever wished you could change something major about yourself? If so, what?
- When you blew out the candles on your birthday cake as a child, what did you usually wish for?
- Have you ever had a wish come true?
- What do you wish you could do, but you just physically are unable to do it?
- How do you measure happiness?
- Do you believe unhappy people can do things to make themselves happy?
- If so, what things can be done to promote happiness?
- Do you believe that smiling—just smiling—-can help a person feel happier?
Up in the Sky
- Have you flown an airplane?
- Have you flown IN an airplane? Would you do it again?
- Have you been up in a helicopter?
- Ever been skydiving?
What is on your list of things to do before you die? Perhaps–
- Horseback riding
- Sky diving
- Bungee jumping
- Riding in a helicopter
- Going out of the country
- Doing something crazy, like serenading your lover from the street at midnight
- Selling art on the street
- Completely changing your look
- What is the best poetry book by a well-known poet?
- What is the best poetry book by an obscure poet? (Can name the name of the book rather than the author)
- What is the best book you have ever read?
- What book shocked you?
- What book have you read that made a difference in your life?
- What is the funniest show you have ever seen on tv?
- What were the three shows you watched as a child?
- Who were your favorite cartoon characters?
- What game show did you win every time?
- What game show did never or almost never win?
- What was the best series ever on tv, in your opinion?
- How would you change tv now?
- What’s the best tv show currently on?
- Comparing old movies and movies made today, which are better?
- Why did you answer the way you did to number one?
- Are plots better or worse than they were 50 years ago?
- Are leading actors/actresses sexier now, or were they sexier 50 years ago?
- What types of movies do you prefer?
- What movie was your very favorite, and why?
- What scene in a movie have you never forgotten and why?
Granted these aren’t all the questions in the universe, but use your imagination! And let things flow a bit. Before you know it, the conversation will be branching off, going “where no conversationalist has gone before”. And you will have a friend sitting where, only moments before, there sat a stranger.
Just don’t be stiff-rumped, trying to guide the conversation starters as if you were interviewing for a job. Have fun!
Conversation Topics | Image
Great Conversation Topics to Talk About