Look, sometimes we just need a little extra push to come up with something to say...some extra conversation starters to help that awkward silence melt away.
I got you.
Here are 300+ conversation starters and topics for you use in several different social settings. Use them with friends, coworkers, on dates, or out at happy hour!
(Also: If you need help with how to start conversations, check out this article.)
Pro tip #1:
Find 5 of your favorites and write them down on the notes app on your phone. Use them in your conversations this week.
Pro tip #2:
Be sure to balance asking questions with telling stories, and making statements. (No one wants to feel interrogated!)
Let's swan dive in... (For fun, I've answered a few of these in bold parentheses)
Look, we’ve ALL been there…
You’re at a dinner party or on a Zoom call with a friend and your mind just goes...blank.
Maybe the vibe is just off, or the conversation seems to have run its course, running out of things to talk about on Facetime, Zoom, or IRL, can make you feel awkward, boring, and lame.
If you’ve ever felt the growing horror of dead air between you and your conversation partner, don’t worry - you’re in the right place.
We’re going to help you build up an arsenal of topics and questions that will help you defeat the conversation killing silence!
We can call them conversation starters, but you’ll notice that almost all of them are questions.
That’s because to keep a conversation going, you have to get people talking! And the fastest way to do that is to invite them to talk about themselves.
If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ve likely heard me say this before:
People love to talk about themselves.
So let them!
It may feel like you’re putting the work on them, but I promise they are just as eager to avoid the awkward silences as you are.
Learning and using the “things to talk about” below will help you keep the conversation flowing and put your conversation partners at ease.
Let’s dive in!
If you're reading this article, it's a pretty easy guess that at some point or another you've felt...well, boring.
Don't worry! It happens to the best of us!
You want to be more interesting and engaging, but you just don't know how to not be boring on the phone.
Pro Tip: Smile. People can literally hear the smile in your voice even if they can't see you.
You want to enthrall the office with stories about your weekend but you are still Googling "how to not be boring on facetime" instead of doing it.
The good news is, you are in the right place.
We are going to cover how to not be boring from top to bottom. These are not vague tips, but real steps you can take with action steps and homework.
As a social skills coach, I believe in a progressive step-by-step approach to self-improvement.
Start small, build confidence, repeat.
In this article you'll learn...
I believe that everyone has the ability to improve their social skills and become more outgoing - you just have to tap into that outgoing part of yourself.
But as any introvert who’s tried to teach themselves how to be more outgoing can tell you - it’s not as easy as it sounds.
“Know thyself.” -Socrates
Socrates wasn’t playing around when he dropped this philosophical morsel on us.
He believed that the answer to all happiness and philosophical unrest was to look within where all knowledge already lives, waiting to be remembered.
I love this idea because it’s an equalizer.
We might have different starting points, but we can ALL improve and grow.
If you want to learn how to be more outgoing--you just need the mindsets and tactics to get there!
So let’s talk about how to be more outgoing as an introvert, step-by-step.
In this article you’ll learn:
Ready? Let’s dive in!
Many of my readers ask me about how to make conversation.
A conversation that feels natural and smooth.
Good news: These are learnable skills.
Having great conversation skills that you can "turn on" at a moments notice matter when you're:
The better you are with these soft interactions, the better your career, business and social life's trajectory will be.
And the best part?
These skills compound over time.
Like investing in a 401K, the more connections you make, the easier it is to call up good friends, find jobs fast, and get introduced to more people who can change your life.
Here are 5 tips that you can use starting today to make better, more memorable conversations.
Every one of these skills are effective individually, but when you stack them together, they become extremely powerful.
When I became self-employed, it was a huge shift.
Gone were coworkers, office small talk, and happy hours.
Instead, it was just me.
And the cat.
At first, it was nice.
"Finally, I can just put my head down and do the work!" I thought.
But, after a couple of months, I realized "Holy crap! I might accidentally become a hermit if I'm not careful."
When you're trying to learn (or in my case re-learn) how to become more social, it's effective to have a few tips to help you get on the right track.
These tips will help whether you're
Here's a sample of crappy advice you WON'T find in this article:
Here are 8 ways to become more social starting TODAY.
You feel it...the death of your conversation.
"Some get the crash cart!!!"
You're standing there, it feels like hours since you've spoken. The ice in your drink slowly melts.
We've all been there, wondering how to keep a conversation going when:
When we can keep that conversation going, we can make new friends, better job opportunities, and become more successful.
So how do we do it?
In this article, you'll learn:
Let's dive in!
Here are 9 ways to keep a conversation going & destroy awkward pauses forever:
The importance of conversation skills: these skills can be the difference between having great friends, connections, and experiences and...not.
Today we're going to cover how to improve conversation skills. You can start using these 8 powerful tips today.
In This Article, You'll Learn...
Let's dive in: Watch the video below, or read on...your call!
(These first two tips will help your conversation skills before you even open your mouth!)
Knowing how to introduce people is a great skill to have.
Example: A friend's wedding.
At the reception, after grabbing a fresh drink, I saw my former co-worker, Michael.
He stood up and walked over, shook my hand, and we talked for a few minutes about the World Series.
As our conversation was wrapping up, he said "Hey! Let me introduce you to my wife."
What I was expecting: To walk over and be introduced with a simple "Hey, this is my buddy, Jeff."
Andre Agassi - eight-time Grand Slam Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and owner of possibly the best hair in the history of sports - knows a little something about hard work and success, and a lot about what makes a good coach.
My favorite quote from his autobiography “Open” is:
“A great coach can lead you to a place where you don't need him anymore.”
This is as true in life as it is in sports.
Whether you’re talking about a personal trainer, an executive coach, or a social coach, the ultimate goal is to train and up your skillset until you have a foundation to work from.
Having a solid foundation in the basics gives you the confidence you need to practice and build your social skills and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
You have to learn how to dribble before you’re doing trick shots!
So how can a social coach help you improve socially?
What does building a strong foundation in social skills look like?
It looks a lot like this...
Today, I'm turning 33! As my gift to you, here are 33 people skill tips that I've learned over the last 14 years.
1. Dialing up your energy a bit (+10%) when you’re being social makes it easier to have a good time.
2. Being curious will help you be interested in other people.
3. No one can mind-read. They have no clue what you’re thinking. You have no idea what they are thinking.
4. The spotlight effect is real. We all tend to overestimate the amount that other people notice and observe us.
5. It’s possible to view the same event 2 different ways. Ex: You say “Hi”. They brush past you instead of saying “Hi”. Negative view: “They must be mad at me.” Positive view: “They must be preoccupied, they probably didn’t hear me.”
What do LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Mike Trout all have in common?
They all make millions of dollars by tossing or hitting a ball?
They all have coaches.
Behind every top performer someone who can give that person perspective that they need.
Sure, pro athletes have coaches, but what if you're wanting to perform at a high level in your business, career, or social life?
Is there such a thing as a social confidence coach?
Cough...I am one...cough.
I want to walk you through 4 ways a social confidence coach can help you level up your social skills.
How can we craft a powerful message?
A message that says everything we need to say in a neat package?
A message that can inspire everyone from your small team at work, to tens of thousands when you're behind the camera or mic?
On this episode of Become More Compelling Radio, my friend Nicole Schwegman (@bffwiththechef on IG) is going to walk us through crafting a powerful, clear message.
Think of this episode as media training 101.
"But Jeff, I'm not media facing in my company, should I listen to this episode?"
Many of Nicole's tips will absolutely help if you're sitting down with media. (TV, Radio, Podcasts, etc.) But the lessons here are 100% applicable to you if you've ever:
More about Nicole:
Nicole Schwegman is a public affairs officer in the U.S. military. She’s served in the Navy for nearly 16 years where she’s had the opportunity to help media train some of American’s most senior military leaders.
She is also a home chef, food enthusiast and the host of BFF with the Chef, the podcast that aims to make home cooks better in the kitchen by sharing cheffy insights from each week's culinary guest.
Disclaimer for this show: Nicole's opinions expressed in this episode are her own, they do NOT reflect the views or opinions of the U.S. military.
Listen to Nicole's podcast BFF with the Chef here
If you've ever wondered how to make a great first impression you're not alone.
Here are a few messages from my readers who want to master first impressions.
It’s okay if you’ve made some cringe worthy first impressions.
Take this gem from my wife:
A few years ago she was at her boss' house for a party.
She was joking around with some of her coworkers, who were on the other side of the room.
She playfully extends her middle finger.
At that PRECISE MOMENT her boss' father turns around and intercepts the middle finger.
I imagine that space and time slowed down while my wife watched him go through different emotions. Confusion, disbelief, denial, shock, sadness, and finally disdain.
After the fabric of reality had stabilized, he looked away while saying "How RUDE."
This story makes me laugh every time.
First impressions are crucial:
Here’s the deal with first impressions: after people make up their mind about you, (Some studies say in as little as 1/10th of a second) they use confirmation bias to only look for evidence to back up their initial impression.
I’m not here to sugar coat things. I’m here to supercharge your people skills.
So what can you do to reliably create great first impressions with almost everyone you meet?
Here Are 8 Uncommon Tips To Make A Great First Impression
It all starts with your mindset because 80% of the work is done before you ever shake hands...
What top performers do:
1. Get barely enough information.
2. Don't overthink it.
3. Act rapidly.
When you're learning how to communicate with confidence, it's crucial to take action quickly. The great thing about people skills is that you get plenty of chances to practice.
Let's talk about a time where I wasn't a top performer...
I'll help you supercharge your people skills so that you can have a more fulfilling career,
business & social life.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve learned... (Read More)
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• How to Never Run Out of Things to Say