Spark great conversations with these 40 conversation starters

9 minute
Conversation starters


Do you find yourself astonished at how some people can initiate a conversation so effortlessly and wish you had it as easy as they did? In a world where the art of networking is placed on a pedestal, being chatty is viewed as “being interesting”, engaging in conversation makes you seem smarter and more proactive and even jobs require you to possess excellent communication. 

Moreover, dinner parties and gatherings too, tend to be quite awkward, especially if you’re not well-acquainted with everyone in the room. Following is a list of fun conversation starters that are a fabulous way to break the ice! Besides, with all these holiday get-togethers coming up, they’re sure to come in handy at the next event you attend. 

Pro tip: If you wish to make sure that the conversation keeps flowing at a self-hosted get-together, you could also create a conversation jar!

40 conversation starters that instantly spark interesting conversations:

What did you do on your last vacation?

Asking this question opens the doors to plenty of those “and I don’t remember how I got there” vacation stories. Bad or good, everyone likes to talk about the places they’ve been to and the new experiences they encountered. 

What is the weirdest food combination you’ve ever tried?

Funny, but this one is likely to give you a peek into their personality. It also says a lot about how experimental they are. Food choices speak volumes about people. And some of the answers you get might really crack you up! 

If you could store one type of food in your pocket, what would it be?

What if you could pull french fries out of your pocket, anytime. Wouldn't that be great? This question is an interesting twist on asking someone what their favourite food is.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

A cliche conversation starter, but effective nonetheless. A bucket list is a fun way to recognise the things people prioritize. Moreover, who knows, you might just be inspired to add a few of those items to your own checklist.

What would your ideal life look like?

Want to dig deeper? This one is sure to take you to a place that unleashes the hidden aspirations of your acquaintance. 

What is your idea of the perfect day?

If you’ve been newly acquainted with this person, it’s nice to know what they like to do for fun. The idea of a perfect day could literally range from going into a 24-hour hibernation mode to going fishing to the lake for some people. It really helps you paint a picture of this person, doesn’t it?

Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person? How?

All spiritual people tend to get along really well. If you happen to be one yourself, buckle up because this conversation is either about to get really interesting or highly argumentative.

What is something you wish you could do every day?

Again, a sneak peek into someone’s list of priorities, the answer to this can sometimes intrigue you. For some, you can expect a simple “I wish I could get in a workout in my routine” while others may express depth with statements like “I wish I could spend more time with my child”. Question at your own risk.

If you were in charge of the playlist, what song would you play next?

If you’re at a party, and you’re trying to get acquainted with a so and so, learning about their music taste could be an interesting way to get to know someone and what better way but through a situational question.

What's the best gift you've ever gotten?

Who doesn’t remember the best gift they’ve received? This is a sure-fire way to get someone to go on for hours about the PS5 their girlfriend gifted them. On the contrary, you might find a soul that is appreciative of the little things - flowers, a letter or a well-planned picnic.

Are there any Netflix series you'd recommend?

Finding something to watch these days is a lot harder. Asking someone to recommend a series is the easiest way to get them excited about that one obscure show they know (Anime fans know what it’s like) and talk about it till they convince you to watch it.

What is the strangest dream you’ve had?

Remember that one dream when you were adopted by your pet dog and his family? Strange dreams break from the boring conversation you’re having about their healthcare plan.  

Who in your life brings you the most joy?

We all look at someone to bring us happiness. This person is our reminder that life is alright even on the worst day. As I think about this question, I’m reminded of how much I can go on to say about the person in my life. Self-evident much?

How much time do you spend on the internet? What do you usually do?

The internet is a haven for anybody and everybody. It’s created a place for people to express themselves and find others like them. The internet means different things to people, so this is a great way to get to know someone.

What sport do you wish you were really good at?

We have all enjoyed watching a sport or a player at some point in our lives. But due to time or aptitude, we’ve all given up one hobby or the other. With this question, you might just be playing squash together the next week.

What’s the best holiday? 

The reason this works as a great conversation starter is that everyone has an opinion about the “ideal holiday”. Be sure to expect a friendly feud between team beach and team mountains. 

How did you spend your last birthday?

We’re all self-centred to varying degrees. But once every year we celebrate it - our birthdays. We all like to talk about the one day dedicated to our existence, what went wrong and right, and our expectation of the next.

Do you believe men and women can ever just be friends?

This question will inspire the person to present their opinion. This is something everybody has an opinion about given how close to us it is as a predominantly monogamous society.

When was the last time you laughed so hard, you ended up crying?

The last time you were hysterically laughing with someone either has a very elaborate story or just a situation that doesn’t make any sense to the listener. Either way, it’s a great way to get to know each other and remind us of better times instead of dwelling over our skincare routine.

What’s the best prank you’ve ever played?

We own pranks like an honour. It’s always a thrill to see people stumble sometimes, especially if they’re always put together, to remind us that life isn’t always serious.

What do you think is the funniest movie ever made?

Humour always has a place in everyone’s heart. Funny movies are mood uplifters and talking about them could bring back those feelings.

What is the one thing that always makes you laugh, even when you’re upset?

This question helps one remind themself of the bad times have often been easily overlooked because of the simplest thing that made them laugh.

Who is your current favourite comedian?

Comedy reminds us that even the worst thing that has happened to us has humour in it. We all like to laugh, and we like the people that make us laugh better.

What weird conspiracy theories do you believe?

This conversation starter will leave you wishing you had more time to talk. Conspiracy theories are endless with so many counterpoints, flaws, evidence that it’s just impossible for two people to agree. A great way to be introduced to one out of the many absurd interpretations of reality.

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

A hot dog is a burger. Or is it? This question calls for creative answers and is sure to make the person feel a lot more comfortable since they don’t have to talk about themselves or ask questions about you.

Which celebrity would play you in a movie about your life?

Who doesn’t think their life could be a movie? And if it were, you’d want someone who matches your ideal to play the part. This question could tell you a lot about their personality based on the celebrity they associate themselves with. 

What’s the weirdest thing you loved as a child?

We were all quirky as kids and we often look back at our past selves and wonder what was going on in our heads. Sharing these stories is a great way to get a few laughs

What is something that’s really popular right now that could be ridiculous in five years?

Remember when pop sockets were cool? Given how fast things are out of trend these days, there are a lot of potential answers to this question and interesting discussions that can be started.

What’s the worst trend you’ve ever taken part in?

The silliness of this question is sure to spring up some old, historical memories and kick start a chain of conversations.

What is your go-to joke?

It’s unlikely that someone is going to have one up their sleeves when you put them in a spot, but you’re sure to hear some great jokes when you raise this question. 

Do you have pet peeves?

Honesty hour! If their answer to this question is an affirmative no, they’ve got to be lying. Everyone has their quirks/annoying habits and talking about them might be a great way to break the ice! 

Given a chance, who would you swap lives with for a day?

Another cliche, this one always leads to a super fun conversation. Would they pick Rihanna, Obama or a farmer’s life in the suburbs? Find out!

How long can you go without checking your phone?

We live in a generation that’s able to type without looking at the screen but incapable of holding a conversation with someone face-to-face for more than a minute. It would be refreshing to find out if someone defies these norms. 

Have you ever truly kept a New Year’s resolution?

Are they committed to their goals? More than this, you’re in for some really fun conversations about the kind of New Year’s resolutions people take up. 

What bad habits do you wish to quit?

Although there’s a slight chance you might come across as being rude, you’re in the clear to pop this question if you’re pally with someone. So go ahead and rant about all the things you wish you were doing differently. It might just be therapeutic for both of you. 

Do you have any morning rituals?

As a sucker for morning rituals, this conversation starter has got to be my all-time favourite. I love knowing how people like to start their day, especially if they have any unusual rituals that help them get through each day gracefully. Try it, you might just find the inspiration you’ve been looking for. 

Are you a jealous person?

Again, not one for new acquaintances, you don’t want to scare them off. But if you’re with someone you’ve known for quite some time now, this is a nice question to kickstart a conversation on values and the like. 

Do you prefer polaroid or digital cameras?

If someone picks digital cameras over polaroids, that’s your cue to exit the conversation. Just kidding. Nonetheless, this is a nice question to put out there. Maybe you’ll even get to see a few (or a hundred) pictures of their pet cat in their gallery as a by-product of this conversation. CUTE.

Who is your biggest hero?

Although this one doesn’t sound as interesting, it’s nice to keep things simple sometimes and learn about the things that shape or support someone.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

We all indulge in things we shouldn’t. Although people aren’t going to tell you everything about themselves, guilty pleasures in today’s health-conscious world are as simple as eating ice cream. 


A list of books to read if you’re trying to get better at conversing or networking: 

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

2. The Social Skills Guidebook: Manage Shyness, Improve Your Conversations, and Make Friends, Without Giving Up Who You Are, by Chris MacLeod

3. The Fine Art of Small Talk, by Debra Fine

4. Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life, by Radha Agrawal

5. Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships, by Kira Asatryan

6. How To Start A Conversation And Make Friends: Revised And Updated, by Don Gabor

7. How To Connect With The People In Your Life: A guide for overcoming personal barriers, breaking misconceptions, and establishing better relationships, by Caleb J Kruse

8. How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network Into Profits, by Judy Robinett

9. Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins, by Jayson Gaignard

10. Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert's Guide to Making Connections That Count, by Karen Wickre


How are you going to start a conversation today? Let us know in the comments below! :)

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