Do you want to talkto a girl or guy,but youre afraid of the conversation drying up?
Maybe right now youre thinking of speaking to someone youre attracted to. Maybe you even have a date planned. But you just want to make sure you dont run out of good things to talk about.
That would be embarrassingly awkward, wouldnt it?
Imagine both of you sitting near each other. There is a sudden pause in the conversation, and you know that you should say something now, but your brain seems to have stopped working.All you can think of is some boring question or stupid comment, but nothing interesting or good enough to actually say out loud.
You feel an awkward silence slowly descending like a dark cloud, andyou start to panic inside. You feel like youve become a total idiot because your mind has become totally blank. Its like youve lost your whole personality. You can barely even remember your own name at this point, let alone an appropriate thing to talk about.
Youre not aloneif youve been in this situation before. I certainly have, many times. And I can understand that youwant toprevent this from happening to you again, especially if youre talking to a person who you like.
Well, good news! Iveput together this cheat sheet of50 interesting conversation topics you can use at any time to rekindle the conversation, even if you feel itstart to go downhill.You can go over this listbeforea first date or a party, whenever you need to have a few good things to talk about in mind (just in case).
And dont worry, almostall of the topics I suggest are normal. This means you wont hear me tell you to say lines which a normal person would never talk about in real life.
Table of Contents
- Past Experiences
- Present Observations
- Human Relationships
For example, many of the conversation tips articles youll find on the internet are embarrassingly cringe-worthy. They often give yousilly suggestions like: If you madea TV showabout your life, what would you name it?Who really says something like that? I know I wouldnt.
So without further introduction, here is the list of topicsthat you can refer back toanytime. Youll notice most of them are fairly straightforward and ordinary. Thats because you dont need to be talking about aliens and obscure philosophy in most conversations. (Unless you want to!) Often simple and obvious topics are enough to kick-start your brain again.
Ive also put them into groups to make it easier for you:
If you find out whata persons hobbies are, you instantly know a lot more about them. Hobbies are things people do without being paid to, just because they enjoy them.Some examples are: yoga, photography, working out, meditation, shopping, etc.
The best question Ive found for finding out someones hobbies is:
- What do you do in your free time?Simple and effective. This also has the benefit of being an open ended question. If this doesnt get you a great reply you can ask more specific questions like
- Do you play any musical instruments?
- Do you draw, paint or do art?
- Do you like dancing?
- Talk about technology, gadgets, cars. (Best if youre a guy talking to another guy. Yes this is ashameless stereotype, butIve yet to meet a girl who enjoys talking about computer specs with methough Im sure they exist!)
Some people say you shouldnt talk about work. I think thats ridiculous.When you stop and listen to what people usually talk about, work and school are at the top of the list.
After all, people do spend several hours a day at these places. And their work or school are often related to an area theyre very passionate about.Their coworkers are also some of the people theyspend the mosttime interacting with.
However, be warned: for some people these topics can be boring.Older people may be sick of talking about their work, andother people may only be doing a boring job for the money, like a student cashier or construction worker.
- What do you do/study? (Yes, the simplest and most common way to start a conversation.)
- What isyour most (or least) favorite subject in school?
- How do you get along with the people you work with? (People love talking about their relationshipandfrustrations with other people. Yes, its gossip, but you also learn a lot about how the person works this way.)
- Do you love working there or are you doingitfor the money? (This can be a playfulquestion on a date, not a good idea at a networking event.)
- What is your dream job?Another way to ask this: If money didnt matter, what would you do with your time?
Many of the most memorable experiencesin peoples lives came from traveling. When youre in an unfamiliar place, in the middle of a new and strange culture thats gonna make a big impact on you.
And even if someone hasnt traveled a lot yet, they usually have dreams of traveling in the future. Either on vacations or later in retirement.
- What countries have you traveledto? (If you two have visitedthe same country, you may be able to talk about those shared experiences for hours.)
- What was your biggest experience of culture shock in another country?
- Where in the world would you love to livemost? Why?
- How does your home country compare to here? (If they were born/raised in a different country.)
- Whats the worst thing thats happened to you while traveling? (Be careful with this one, although you will get some interesting responses. Ive heard people getting robbed by taxi drivers, getting scammed for a few bucks, etc.)
- Have you ever traveled by yourself? (Or you can ask would they?)
- Do you speak any other languages?
Quick Tip: Less Questions, More Statements About Yourself
Ive worded most of these conversation topics as questions, but heres a quick warning: Asking too many questions in a row can sometimes make the other person feel like theyre being interrogated!
I recommend youuse these topics Im giving you to think of statements to share about yourself.
For example, instead of asking them directlyWhat countries have you traveled to? insteadanswer the question yourself first.So you mightsay something like:I went to India and Belgium last year.I love visiting countries with great food.
By making a statement like this, youve introduced the conversation topic of travel without asking a question directly.Best of all,you shared something about yourself first, which makes the other person want to open up more.Because of the law of reciprocity, the other person will usuallysharewhat countries theyve been to automatically,or they may ask you a question about your travels.
The lesson here is that conversations usually flow smoother when you make more statements instead of always asking questions. Other people do love talking about themselves, but you have to contribute to the conversation, too. Asking too many questions can even annoy some people and make you seem needy.
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Walk around in public, and you will always hear people talking aboutmovies, TVshows and books. For some reason, people love talking about stories and the characters inside themtheyfeel like theyknow.Theres always new ones coming out, so the topic never really gets stale.
- Whats your favorite movie (or TV show) ever?
- Which movie/book/show are you ashamed to admit you love? (Lots of people read books like Twilight or watch reality TV asa guilty pleasure.)
- Which movieare youmost looking forward to being released?
- What kind of books do you usually read? What was the last one you read? (This question is great if youre on a date and trying to find an intelligent person!)
- What kind of music are you into right now? (A studyfound talking about music preferences leads to a quickerconnection because music reveals your values to others!)
- What concerts have you been to? (If someone spends the money and time to go see an artist live, it means they like them a lot.)
- What movies have you watched more than once?Or what books have you read multiple times? (Ive watched the Breaking Bad TV show 3 times already because its my favorite.)
- Do you play video games? (When someone is REALLY into video games, its a large part of their daily life.)
This is a light and fun topic. Everybody eats, and most people enjoy talking about their personal taste in food. If this is your first conversation with someone, then dont try to figure out the meaning of life. Find out what type of food you should try!
- Talk about a recent restaurant youorthey went to. How was it different than others, why was it good, why was it bad?
- What type of cooking do they do at home? Do they dislike it or find it relaxing?
- Do they usuallycook food from a specific culture?(For example, maybe their parents are from Vietnam and thats 90% of the food they eat.)
- Do they follow any specific diet? Likevegan or paleo for example. This can tell you A LOTabout their personal values. (Dont ask this to a fat person, they will probably get offended if they are sensitive about their weight.)
The challenge with talking about past experiences, is that you usually dont want to get too personal too quickly. If you do,the conversation may start to sound like a therapy session.
On a romantic date some of these questions may be appropriate.In other situations youll want paststories to come up more spontaneously, as they relate to whatever topic is being talked about. For example, if the topic ofsome new music trend comes up, you can mention what type of music you were into as a kid.
- Where did you grow up?
- What were you like as a kid? (Behaved, rebellious, quiet, attention-seeking, etc.)
- What did you want to be when you grew up? (You can also turn this into a funny question by asking them What do you want to be when you grow up? even if theyre an adult.)
- What were your past jobs like?
- Do you have any siblings?
- Find out if you two shared any common interests as kids.(Maybe you were both interested inPokemon, Harry Potter, etc. This can be an amazing way to build a lot of rapport quickly.)
This one is something most people missBack when I had a hard time carrying conversations, Id often desperately try to think of new random topics to talk about out out of thin air.I would search my brain for something cool to saylike a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat. As you can guess, this didnt work that well.
What Ive now realized is that making small observations about your environment is a great way to restart any conversation. Instead of racking the inside of your brain searching for something to say instead try looking around you and pointing something out in the environment. This will often naturally lead toother things you two candiscuss.
- If this is your first time meeting Why are you both here now? If its an art gallery or a business networking event that is the best topicto start the conversation with.
- Make a comment about something theyre wearing. Maybe its an interesting piece of jewellery or a compliment about their shirt.
- Whatother people are nearby? (Talk about what theyredoing, guess what their personality is like, maybe even make up a funny conspiracystory.)
- Is there anything new, unusual or different about your environment?
- Put more attentioninto your physical sensesIs there music playing?Some smell that you didnt notice before?Are you eating something?What can you feel touching your skin?
People love talking about what they are looking forward to. The challenge here is not to sound like a job interviewer with something like Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What are you doing this weekend? (Very common conversation topic. This is a great way to start a conversation with someone you already know.)
- What local events are you looking forward to? (This could be a festival, holiday, concert, protest, or anything.)
- Would you prefer to live in the city or on a farm?
- Whats your main goal right now? What are you trying to accomplish?
Almost nothing is more fascinating to most people than talking about how people work. Why? Because much of the meaning in our lives come from our connections. And to get what you want in life, you have to know how to handle people.
- Talk about men or women. Ive seen guys connect very quickly talking about women, what they do, and how they operate. And Ive heard this is even more true when women talk to each other about men.
- Ask them what their friends are like? Are they very similar to each other, or opposites?
- Have they hadwith the same friends most of their life, or made a lot of new ones?
- Ask about their family. Who did they live with? Were they strict, or easy going?
- Talk about some interesting idea you know from psychology.If you read a lot of psychology books like I do, this is easy. You can tie it into a story they just said.
- What do you believe is true that most people would disagree with you on? (This is a bit of an unusual deeper question, but Ill put it in here since its really powerful. In fact, one of the most influential investors in the world says this his top interview question.)
Whew! Thats a lot of topic suggestions!
I hope youve picked up at least a few that can help you in your next conversation. One last point in conclusion
What Makes A Conversation Interesting?
Often people assume that the topic of your conversation has to be super-interesting. Not really true. Ive heard comedians describe themselves making a sandwich and hundreds of people sat listening with riveted attention.
So the lesson here is:
WHAT you talk about doesnt always have to be incredibly interesting. You can make almost any conversation interesting if you are not afraid to openly share your unique perspective, personality and opinion.
And if you find that your conversations feel boring the problem here could be that you are simply exchanging facts with the other person. You are making the mistake of not going deeper, and finding out how you or they operate as a person.
Heres an example: Talking to someone about baseball statistics is boring. Talking to them about their favorite baseball team, baseball player, how you played baseball as a kid and how it shaped you suddenly the boring conversation topic has become VERY interesting because it has become emotionally relevant to the two of you.
Take these conversation topics and tips with you and best of luck!
Like this article?
Then you may also enjoy my complete course on
improving your conversation and social skills.
You can check it out here: