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Easy Conversation Starters

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Sometimes the hardest part of reaching out is knowing what to say. That’s why we’ve put together a list of topics and questions you can pull from when you’re making an effort to connect with others.

Keep in mind that this list is designed to help get your creative juices flowing. You don’t have to ask these questions word for word — they’re merely suggestions.

After you ask a question, be sure to share something interesting or fun about yourself that’s related to the topic. And remember to use your active listening skills so the other person knows you’re interested in their response.

It’s all part of practicing the “art of conversation.” Take a look at our list below to get started.

likes and dislikes can be used as conversation starters

Likes and Dislikes

Have you read any good books lately?

What’s your favorite movie/TV show? I’d love to watch something new.

Do you have a favorite band or type of music?

food is a good topic to start a conversation

Food, Glorious Food

Tried any good recipes lately? I need some inspiration.

What do you make for dinner these days? I’m always looking for a new twist.

What’s your favorite meal of all time?

ask about hobbies

Hobbies and Interests

What do you like to do in your spare time?

What do you do to relax and blow off steam?

How did you get into [gardening/photography/other hobby]?

work can be used as a conversation starter


How’s work been treating you?

Anything interesting happen at work lately?

What do you like best about your job right now?

family can be used as a conversation starter

Family & Friends

How’s your family doing these days?

Have you tried video-chatting with anyone? How did it go?

What are your friends up to?

talking about opinions can be used as conversation starters

Asking for an Opinion

I’ve been trying to choose a new paint color and I’d love some advice. Got any tips?

What do you think of this weather we’ve been having?

Do you have a favorite park or walking trail in the neighborhood? I’m searching for new outdoor activity ideas.

compliments can be used as conversation starters

Honest Compliments

I love the jacket you’re wearing. Where did you get it?

Your yard looks lovely. Tell me your secret.

You’re always thinking of others. I admire that so much. How do you do it all so gracefully?

jokes can be used as conversation starters

Corny Jokes

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9.

Yesterday I saw a guy spill all his Scrabble letters on the road. I asked him, “What’s the word on the street?”

I heard the funniest joke last week but I’m no good at remembering punch lines. Do you know any jokes?

pets can be used as conversation starters


Are you a cat or dog person?

[On a walk.] Your dog is adorable. What kind of dog is it?

Did you see that cat video where [the cat rides the robot vacuum cleaner]? I couldn’t believe it — how about you?

How to Keep a Conversation from Falling Flat

If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem interested, try not to get discouraged. Remember, they may be shy or not used to talking to others themselves. The important thing is to practice being more outgoing so you have the confidence to turn reaching out into a habit.

woman using a conversation starters cheat sheet

Make a Conversation Starter Cheat Sheet

Ready to get out there and start some conversations? Write down your favorite conversation starters to help you remember them more easily.

Take a few moments to jot down your answers to the following on a piece of paper:

  • Which topics or questions from the list above are you comfortable trying? (Pick at least three.)
  • What kind of conversation starters would get you talking? (Put down as many as you can.)

Then post your list somewhere easy to spot, like your fridge, and use it the next time you’re chatting with someone you’d like to talk to more.

How Are Your Active Listening Skills?

Being a good active listener takes a bit of practice. But once you get the hang of it, it’s amazing how much more at ease you feel when talking with other people.

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