Monthly Archives: June 2007

20 Excellent Conversation Questions

Once you’ve practised asking questions for a while, you’ll Realize just how great questions are for starting conversations, Helping them flow – and for getting to know someone better. Now it’s time to have some fun with it!

What makes for excellent conversation questions?
1. It’s easy to answer
2. It doesn’t cause offence
3. It includes everyone
4. People won’t be judged too harshly on their responses!
This last point is particularly important, as people will be
reluctant to talk if they feel they will be judged. So you can see
a good conversation question is also about tone and
circumstances.

Below is a list of great conversation questions to delve deeper into the personalities of people you feel comfortable with and find out a few more things about them. These are great for social gatherings and parties – anywhere where you want to have fun and get to know someone in the process.

It’s a great spin on the old party game – ‘Twenty Questions’ – but see where each question leads you when you get the answers.
Don’t turn your questioning into an interrogation and listen to the answers you get. Pick up on these answers and as subsidiary
questions, add your own answers – whatever seems appropriate and whatever the other person seems to want you to do. Just go with the flow and enjoy it!

1. If you were God for a day, what would you do?
2. If you could be the parent of one famous person, who would you want it to be and why?
3. What was the last thing you regret buying?
4. If you had a chance to bring one person back from the dead, who would it be and why?
5. What three things you regret not learning to do?
6. If you had a crystal ball that could tell you the truth about any one thing you wished to know about yourself, life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
7. What’s worse… having expectations that are too high, or having no expectations at all?
8. How do you know when you’re in love?
9. What is the most important invention or innovation that has happened during your life-time?
10. How would you spend your ideal day?
11. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
12. What three adjectives might other people use to describe your personality?
13. Who would you choose to be shipwrecked on a desert island with?
14. What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
15. If you were to be remembered for one thing, what would you like it to be?
16. If you were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, whom would you question, and what would you ask them?
17. If you saw someone shoplifting, what would you do?
18. Is there anything you’d willingly give your life for?
19. If you could re-live a day of your life again, which would it be and why?
20. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

These are all light-hearted questions that should cause no-one offence, but they also touch on philosophical issues and allow you to really get to know a person – if they’re honest with their answers. You make it a lot more likely that they’ll tell the truth is you set the scene and provide a relaxed atmosphere and if you’re prepared to chip in with your own answers.  Under those circumstances, these  provide excellent conversation questions to enable you to know more about your friends than you might ever have found out in any other way.

free conversation skills report

10 Funny Conversation Starters Anyone Can Use

Funny conversation starters can be a risky business, but they can also add interest and sparkle to your conversations. People like, listen to and trust people who make them laugh. Get your conversation off to a great start by making people laugh straight away.

Humor is personal, though, so if you can, get an idea of the sense of humor of the person you’re talking to first. Does he or she tell jokes? Do they add a funny angle to their stories?

Adding humor to your conversations is easier if you understand what makes something funny. The two main aspects to this are:

1. Surprise
2. Relationships

Basically, that means keeping a punchline hidden until the very end of the joke, or bringing some unexpected element into your story, and building a relationship with your listener. To make other people laugh, you need to be relaxed or else your audience will not feel relaxed enough to laugh.  They’ll feel uptight. So stay true to your own sense of
humor. Plenty of people will like it.

1. “Excuse me, but I do think it’s time we met” will put a smile on most people’s faces without sounding too much like a come-on.

2. Share something funny that happened to you, especially if it was the same day. You will sound modest and that’s quite an attractive quality.

3. “What kind of old person do you want to be?” intrigues people. Everyone hopes to get old and so they’ll have an opinion. Also, though, it will make people smile because you’re taking old age as something positive – an unusual twist on any everyday topic will make people interested.

4. You could share a fun story about your children. They’re a rich harvest for fun stories – and cute too! You could then ask something like ‘what’s the weirdest thing you brought home when you were a child?” Take a little trip down memory lane with the person you’re talking to.

5. How about asking – ‘what’s the best question in the world?’ You’re going for the element of surprise and this one has the added benefit that it sounds like you’re interested in getting to know the other person.

6. If you’re at a party, try bringing a funny card for the host and get everyone to sign it. What to write and what others have written will give you a wealth of funny conversation openers.

7.Ask someone about their worst holiday to introduce talking about one of your recent vacation mishaps. These can be really funny conversation starters, get people laughing and will not cause tension. In addition to this, everyone will start providing their worst holiday stories and everyone will be laughing over the other’s unfortunate holiday.

8. This one might work best for the younger generation – to whom all things gross seem hilarious – but try asking about the worst conversation the person has ever eaten or seen
someone eat. It always seems to get people talking and makes them laugh. You’ll also bring in most women who are pregnant or who have ever been pregnant and had cravings.  Perhaps don’t do this one over dinner, though!

9. Ask people about their pet peeves. People are always happy to talk about these. Done in the right way with a touch of humor, you won’t come across as a moaner, but as someone with a keen sense of humor.

10. The tenth? …The tenth is up to you! I told you the element of surprise was important in humor. Seriously, you’ve learned a few things here about how to use humor in your
conversations.

You don’t have to be the funniest person on the planet to open a conversation with humor. Just keep in mind your aim, which it to make people relax and get them talking. Funny
conversation starters
are really about giving the other person a relaxed way in to the conversation.

free conversation skills report

10 Very Good Conversation Starters

Good conversation starters put people at ease immediately. That’s how all good conversations start – when people feel comfortable and relaxed.To start a conversation like that is a skill – and you can learn it.

Starting a conversation is often the most difficult part of all.Once you’re over the first few sentences, the talk usually flows. But how can you get the conversation started?

Ideally, find a subject that interests the person you’re talking to.That means they’ll want to reply to you and it’ll get the conversation flowing. Questions are good for that, so long as you don’t sound like you’re an interrogator.

Open questions are good conversation starters as they can’t be answered just with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Or you can make a comment. Ifd you get the comment right, it will get you a good response.

Instead of your starter for ten, here are ten conversation starters:

1. Compliment them on their clothing or appearance. Everyone likes to be admired. Also, when they tell you where they got an item of clothing or that they just had their hair cut,
that gives you something else you can talk about and away you go! Ask then why they like the store they got the lothing you admired, and where else they like to shop. It might even get you a futher meeting to go shopping with them.

2. Ask their opinion on something light like what they think to the wine the two of you are drinking, etc. It will feel like you’re interested in them, but won’t feel like you’re judging them. For that reason, steer clear of loaded topics like religion and politics.

If you find they have a favourite topic – ask them lots of questions about it. People love to talk – preferably about themselves! If you give them a chance to do that, you’ll have quite an easy time of it – and still be seen as a great conversationalist.

3. Find out the person’s name – and use it. Use it early on and use it often. You’ll be viewed as caring and thoughtful.

4. Start with the obvious. What strikes you as most obvious at this minute? Questions like ‘so how do you know [host]?’ are always easy and good starters.

You could also ask ‘have you taken these classes before?’Yes – I know that’s a closed question, but it may well encourage more conversation from the other person, since they’re
probably interested in the classes and have an opinion on them.

If you’re in a home, comment on a picture or an ornament – all you’re trying to do is break the ice and make sure the silence ends. After that, it gets easier.

5. If you’ve met the person before, but you aren’t quite sure what to say to them now, you could always ask what they did at the weekend. Even if they say they didn’t do much, that
can lead you into sympathizing about the horrible weather that kept you in, or small talk about the TV.

6. If there’s a big news story around at the moment, ask if they caught the news. If they say no, you can say something like ‘Oh, I was just wondering what happened about…”

7. Have you met the person before? Perhaos you recall them saying that they were having a holiday or birthday. Ask how it went.

8. Latch on to the time of year. If it’s near to Christmas, for instance, ask how it went or how their preparations are going.

9. Have you been to [a local restaurant]? That’s a good one as most people are interested in eating.
10. What kind of music to listen to? That one’s particularly easy to slip in if there is music playing where you are.

Those are ten ideas to get you started, but the key is just to get on and say something. Make it small and make it light.

Good conversation starters are only as good as the response they get, so make sure whatever you say it’s easy to reply to.

free conversation skills report