Top Ten Ways to Start a Great Conversation

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Couple chatting
Fun Questions to Get to Know Someone

The next time you want to get to know someone, consider using some of these top ten ways to start conversation. Not only will you feel much more comfortable approaching someone but you'll also feel confident because you know exactly what you want to ask or discuss right from the get go.

Conversation Starters for Different Settings

These top ten ways to start conversation are great to use in some of the most popular settings singles go to meet new people. While not all of these suggestions are appropriate for all environments, you are bound to find some that will fit the different places you go to meet other singles.

Top Ten Ways to Start Conversation

1. Compliment the Person

Find something that strikes you about the person and start conversation with that. If you like what the person is wearing, say, "I noticed how nice your sweater is and wanted to come over and say hello." You know you're safe with this statement because the person probably wouldn't have worn the sweater if he/she didn't think it was attractive. Be careful with physical attributes because the person may not feel the same thoughts as you about his/her appearance and may not feel comfortable knowing someone noticed them, even if you are trying to give a compliment.

2. Comment on Your Surroundings

Since you are both in the same setting, you know he or she has the same interest in what you are doing. For example, if you are in a museum, you may want to start conversation by saying, "I love how this painting reflects the artist's anguish over a loss. What do you think of it?" Even if the person doesn't agree with what you think of it, it's a great way to start learning about how the person thinks and feels about art. From here, you can move on and discuss other exhibits. For other settings, simply pick out something to share your thoughts on and then follow it up with what he or she thinks.

3. Find a Way to Help

If you see someone struggling or needing something, step in to try to help. For example, if you see someone you want to meet needing help with grocery bags, offer to carry them or open a door. If you are at a bar and see that the person is finishing a drink, offer to buy another one. These gestures show the person that you are observant and sensitive to the person's needs and wants, which will intrigue him or her. Once you help, you can proceed by using another one of the top ten ways to start conversation or simply extend the invitation to help again to see if the other person brings up a topic of conversation.

4. Ask for Help

Many people love to help others in need - it makes them feel special and worthy. If you're working on a project, ask the person to hand you something or add something to it. You can then start talking about what you are doing and complement the person on how big of a help he or she is.

5. Engage in Activity

If you're at a club or banquet where there is dancing, approach someone with a smile and ask him or her to dance. This is a classic way to meet someone new because having fun with someone makes both of you comfortable, which makes conversation easier. You can talk about how much you like the song, dance or anything else that you are enjoying about the place.

6. Have a Friend Start Conversation for You

Let a friend start conversation for you so you don't have to. If you want to meet someone that knows one of your friends, ask him or her to introduce you. In addition, ask your friend to think of one thing that you and the person have in common and bring that up during the introduction. Your friend will spark interest by mentioning a common interest and then it's your turn to take off with it.

7. Make a Plan

If you are part of a sports team and want to get to know someone better on your team or the opposing one, ask the person if he or she would like to get together to practice. Since you know the person shares the passion for the same activity, you'll know that he or she will probably be up for it. You can also use this tip if you are in school by asking if the person wants to study. If it's someone at work, you can ask the person to work on a special project after work at a restaurant or café.

8. Ask What Interests the Person

Ask a co-worker or friend what the person you want to get to know better likes and then start conversation about that topic. You can even take it a step further by finding a book on the topic, reading it and then asking if the person has read it. If he or she already read it, you can discuss the book, if not, it will be a nice recommendation and you can tell him or her about it.

9. Bring Up Something Important To You

If you have children or pets, bring up a topic about them to the person. People who have children or pets are usually passionate about them and enjoy talking about them. This will not only start a lot of great discussion, it will help you learn about the person.

10. Take Interest in the Person

Most people enjoy talking about themselves, one of the simplest ways to start conversation is to ask the person how he or she is and what interests him or her.

It's Time to Meet Someone New

Now that you know how to start conversation with someone new, the next time you see someone you would like to get to know better and possibly ask out on a first date, just go up to the person and start talking. Before you know it, you'll be able to approach just about anyone and meet the person you're looking for!

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Top Ten Ways to Start a Great Conversation