Have you ever found it difficult to find a topic to talk about when you meet someone new at a social gathering? Do you find it burdensome to keep the conversation going?
If your answer to these questions is a strong “yes”, then it’s probably high time you reconsider your communication skills. If you don’t know how to keep a conversation going, it can hurt your confidence and discourage you from initiating interaction with other people.
To get you on the right track, here are some of the things you can say to keep a conversation going.
1. Their Reason For Coming To The Venue
This is one of the easiest topics that can keep a conversation going. Almost everyone has a reason for going to the places that they do. It can be for entertainment, shopping or some other purpose that isn’t immediately apparent.
It’s also an open-ended question which means you’ll get more than the usual “Yes” or “No” answer. You can use the other person’s response to push your conversation further.
See Also: How to Keep a Conversation Going
2. Current Events/News
Don’t pick anything negative or controversial to start off with as it can either kill a conversation or create a wrong impression on your part. Start with something a lot of people can relate to, such as a local parade, a recent theater showing or a movie that just came out recently. You can easily tie some of these events to hobbies someone may be interested in.
3. Something You Notice At The Venue
Have you ever been to a venue where something about the place just stands out? It can be the actual place, ambiance or some of the venue’s decorations.
Using these things as topics can help you connect with people with the same interests and opinions. For example, if you point out how the decorations don’t match the atmosphere, you might hear people say that they noticed them too and how odd they are.
Once people are able to feel that you connect with them in terms of interests, they can be more confident and comfortable to share their thoughts and ideas.
4. Something That Just Happened
If you’re unsure about how to start a conversation, you can take advantage of the things that happen out of the blue. It can be about spilled drinks, broken glasses or anything that can catch another person’s interest.
One key thing to remember when it comes to using this topic as a conversation starter is to avoid dwelling on unfortunate events. Although it can help you connect with other people, talking about someone tripping in the hallway can leave you looking like the bad guy.
5. Food or Drink Recommendations
If it’s your first time to a place, it’s a good idea to ask people around about what food or drink they like ordering from the venue. Aside from giving you a good idea about the place, you can also take it as an opportunity to connect with new people.
You might even be surprised to hear lots of food and drink recommendations from these people.
6. Participating In An Activity
If the gathering you are at has some activities, you can try participating. Most activities in gatherings and events are usually held as an icebreaker for the guests.
They can be as simple as playing a short game, acting, or singing. The idea isn’t to push yourself to your physical or mental limits, but to get involved and get the atmosphere going. You can almost always talk about the activities with the people involved afterwards.
7. Showing Off Your Hobby
For some people, showing is better than telling. Talking about the activities you enjoy is nice, but if you can show people your hobby, you’ll be able to keep the conversation more alive.
It doesn’t have to be a flashy performance. It can be as simple as showing some of your artwork, manuscripts or pictures of dishes you’ve recently cooked.
People can easily get bored if you keep on narrating the things you’re good at. Although showing off is nice, you should still keep it to a minimum. You wouldn’t want to look like your bragging your skills.
8. Using Humor To Start A Conversation
Humor is a good way to engage people. When people laugh, it means that they are listening to you and they’re having a good time.
You don’t have to be too creative or a comedian to crack a little joke. In fact, you can simply start off by sharing a funny story or making a witty inquiry that’s relevant to the current topic. You don’t necessarily have to make people continuously laugh. However, once you’re able to start with a humorous tone, it’s relatively easy to switch topics.
Keeping a conversation going is as hard as starting one. No matter how much effort you put into it, it’s still inevitable for some people to lose interest in what you’re talking about.
Despite this, it’s important that you keep it real as possible. People can easily know if you’re faking interest or forcing yourself into the conversation. Instead of building a connection, you’d be pushing people away from you.
Don’t Say “You Don’t Know What To Talk About” anymore. The next time you’re talking to someone, try one of these topics. Aside from giving you more ideas to talk about, they can also help boost your confidence.
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Author: Victor Tan
Victor is a communications writer who loves to help people realize their potential through self-improvement and communication. You can find out more at Spirit On Stage, or Facebook and Twitter.