Do you find yourself struggling to start a conversation? It can be challenging to know what to say when there is nothing in particular going on.
If this sounds like you, the following list of 10 easy ways to start conversations should help!
Ask a simple question.
This is an easy way for you to start a conversation. It helps the other person warm up, and it gives them something to talk about.
Once they have answered your question, ask another one! You should find that by doing this, your conversation starts to flow.
The next time you’re at a loss for words, try asking someone the following question: “What do you like to do in your spare time?”
This is an easy and open-ended question that gives them plenty of opportunities to talk about themselves!
Keep asking simple questions.
Once they have answered this, ask another one, such as: “Where’s the best place you’ve been on holiday recently?” or “Do you prefer dogs or cats?”. You will be surprised how quickly conversations can start just by starting with simple questions.
Another way of using questions to good effect is through their use during lulls in conversation – these are those awkward moments where people seem unsure of what to say next.
If you’re aware that a lull is coming up, then ask either: “What do you think?” or “Can I tell you something?”.
This will help prevent the lull and keep your conversation going!
Everyone loves to be complimented, and it’s a good way for you to start talking.
You could compliment them on their outfit or hairstyle; say something like “I love your dress” or “Your hairstyle is amazing.”
You could also compliment them on their personality: “I like your sense of humor” or “You’re hilarious.”
Keep your compliments sincere and specific.
If you give someone a generic compliment, they may not know what to say in response!
By doing this, you get an opportunity to get more into the conversation by asking them about themselves or their interests. For example: “What made you choose that hairstyle?”. This will encourage the other person to continue talking.
You could also try complimenting them on something they are holding or wearing. For example, if they wear a necklace, you could say: “Your necklace is stunning.”
It’s an easy way to start talking and can often lead to further conversation.
So the next time that awkward silence falls over your group of friends or colleagues at work, tries complimenting them! They will be grateful for the compliment, and it’ll help ease everyone back into conversation mode.
This works best when delivered with sincerity – so don’t go overboard on compliments; keep them casual but sincere instead! People tend to find insincere flattery very unsettling, so make sure that yours is genuine!
Keep in mind the different cultures.
Also, keep in mind that different cultures have differing views on how much one should complement others.
In some cultures, it’s normal to compliment people often. In others, though, it can be seen as rude to compliment people too much. So if you’re not sure how much flattery is expected, err on the side of caution and don’t go overboard!
Complimenting people is a straightforward and effective way to start a conversation because everyone loves receiving compliments. You could even try doing this with strangers, such as someone who has served you recently or maybe another customer at your local coffee shop (make sure they look like they would appreciate a compliment before going ahead!).
Even something simple, like commenting on their outfit choice, will do.
It’s an easy way for them to open up and get talking. If someone compliments you, try not to brush it off – say thank you! It’s always nice when people notice what we’re wearing or something about our appearance. If someone has made an effort to tell us that they think we look good, why shouldn’t we accept this compliment graciously? Or if they’ve said something complimentary about who we are as men, there’s no reason not to let them know how much it means to us!
You could also offer compliments based on their personality traits instead of physical appearance. For example: “I like your sense of humor” or “You seem to be a kind man.”
People love being complimented on their personality because it means they can continue talking about themselves without feeling too self-conscious.
Also, compliments are an excellent way for people who don’t know each other very well to break the ice and start talking.
Use open-ended questions.
An easy way to start talking with someone is by asking them an open-ended question.
These questions can’t be answered in one word or sentence and require more than a yes/no answer, so they encourage the other person to keep talking!
They’re great conversation starters because you get to learn something about the other person while also giving them plenty of opportunities to talk themselves if they’d like to (which most people do).
Open-ended questions typically begin with “how,” but there are many different types of these kinds of questions; for example: why, when, where, etc.!
Here are some examples:
How did you know this was my favorite place?
When did you decide on this career?
Where do you usually go for breakfast on Saturday mornings?
There are many other types of open-ended questions that can be used to start a conversation, but the main thing is that they’re open-ended – not closed questions.
If someone asks you a question that can be answered in one word or sentence, it’s likely to be a closed question.
For example: “Do you like this?” or “Is that your favorite place?”. Closed questions are not very helpful for starting up a conversation because they require only one-word answers and usually do not give the other person an opportunity to respond.
People love to talk about themselves.
Open-ended questions help people most of the time because they allow them to talk about themselves, which people love doing!
So if you want to learn more about someone or start a conversation with someone new, try using open-ended questions.
Although it might take some practice at first, once you get used to these kinds of questions and how helpful they are for starting conversations, you’ll find that they will become pretty easy to use!
Listen and ask follow-up questions.
Once you’ve started a conversation with someone, it’s essential to keep the momentum going by listening carefully while they’re talking and asking them follow-up questions!
These will encourage the other person to continue opening up about themselves and give you more opportunities to speak, too, if necessary.
It can be difficult at first when you’re trying not to interrupt but remember that there will be plenty of time for your turn later on in the conversation once people have gotten into their flow!
Follow-up questions are great because they help people feel heard, which encourages them to talk even more.
This is especially helpful if they seem hesitant or nervous about speaking because being listened to so intently might make them feel more comfortable.
For example, when someone is telling you about something they like to do or a recent experience they had (that’s important to them), ask them “why” questions:
Why did it make you happy? Why was that day special for you? Why did doing this mean so much to you? This will encourage the other person to keep going until all their thoughts have been shared!
Listen for common interests.
Another great way to keep a conversation going is by listening for common interests!
This can be anything from hobbies and favorite activities to places they’ve been or would like to go. These are the things that people often really enjoy talking about because it’s easy for them to speak in detail about what they’re interested in without feeling too nervous or self-conscious.
For example: if you ask someone where their favorite place on earth is, the chances are that they’ll have no problem telling you all about it! And even if not, finding out this information will help you find more ways to continue the conversation since there may be other things of interest that both of you share, which might spark up another discussion topic later on down the road.
On the same page.
The more common interests you can find with someone, the easier it will be for them to open up and talk about themselves because they’ll feel like you’re on the same page as them!
This makes conversation topics easy to come by, which is always helpful when you want to keep talking but aren’t sure what else is left to say without repeating yourself or asking closed questions that don’t encourage much of a response beyond “yes” or “no.”
So be aware of whatever interests people seem interested in sharing – whether it’s big things like places they’ve traveled or favorite foods…or smaller things like their daily routines, where they spend most of their time outside of work etc. put attention throughout your conversations so that you can keep talking and get to know each other better!
Even if they don’t seem like your “type” of person, there’s always going to be something that you have in common (for example, sports teams or TV shows), so try looking around carefully and seeing what might attract their interest too.
Avoid coming across as judgmental.
You could also ask open-ended questions about movies, music, books…etc., but make sure not to come across as judgmental; even though everyone has different tastes in these kinds of things, it’s still important to be respectful of whatever the other person likes.
For example, if someone says they like a particular movie or band you don’t know anything about, avoid saying, “I’ve never heard of them,” because this might make them feel bad! Instead, ask follow-up questions such as: what do you like most about it? Or why did you decide on seeing/listening to this one instead of another? This will help keep the conversation going and encourage people to talk even more so there are no awkward silences.
Practice makes perfect.
The more you practice starting conversations, the easier it will become and the less nervous/self-conscious you’ll feel about talking to others.
The more you do it, the better you’ll get at understanding what kinds of things are best to talk about with other people and what kinds of questions will encourage them to open up about themselves… etc.
So practice! Anytime an opportunity presents itself, start a conversation – whether it’s someone walking into your class late who sits next to you, someone standing in line behind you while waiting for coffee… etc.; try introducing yourself because this might lead to starting another conversation somewhere down the road, and you never know what will come of it…
Don’t ask too many questions.
It’s natural to want to know more about someone, but asking too many questions in a row might make people feel uncomfortable or pressured.
When you meet new people, it can be tempting to ask all kinds of things that come into your head, such as: where are they from? What do their parents do for work?… etc., and, most of the time, these kinds of questions flow easily when talking with others because we’re often interested in learning more about them.
However, avoid bombarding the other person with one question after another without giving them enough space between each response so they have time to think before answering – this will lead to short answers being offered, which won’t encourage many conversations at all! Instead, try alternating between asking a question and then waiting for them to answer before moving on.
For example: “What do you like most about your hometown?”…pause…and wait until they’ve answered this question fully before going on with another one, such as: “Do you have any siblings?”
It may seem like a good idea to ask tons of questions to keep the conversation going, but this is not always the case since it can make you come across as nosy.
People appreciate it when you’re interested in them and what they have to say, but keep in mind that you don’t want to be a bother either, so ask questions sparingly.
One thing at a time.
Try asking about one thing at a time since this will make the other person feel more comfortable answering your inquiries instead of feeling bombarded by dozens of “what’s” and “how come’s.”
Plus, it’s always good to save the more personal questions for later on in your conversation because it will be easier to answer these kinds of things when you feel like you already have a rapport with each other.
It’s also important not to forget about asking follow-up questions – this is how you’ll get people talking and sharing their opinions, experiences…etc. Since it allows them to expand upon what they said before (or even correct themselves if they were misinformed).
So remember: focus on keeping any conversations going rather than cutting them short with endless questioning.
Avoid talking about controversial topics.
Don’t get caught up in a conversation about politics, religion, or anything you know will cause disagreements. This can lead to people feeling uncomfortable and unwilling to talk further with each other.
And of course, it’s always best not to go into any specific details if you’re talking with someone who doesn’t share the same views as yourself…etc., so try sticking more towards safe topics such as favorite books/movies, what they like doing for fun, etc.
You might even want to avoid bringing up personal anecdotes unless you already feel confident that this person won’t judge your experiences (and instead be supportive).
This is especially important before first getting acquainted because there’s no telling how long some new friendships may last once-controversial conversations start coming up.
The last thing you want is to cause someone’s opinions to change once they find out your stance on specific topics, so keep any political debate or other controversial subjects for later conversations when there might be less risk involved.
You don’t always have to stay entirely away from talking about something that may lead to an argument since it can sometimes provide some pretty interesting conversation pieces. But remember, not everyone shares the same views as you, so watch what kind of information comes out while engaging in dialogue with others!
This might seem like a strange piece of advice, but it’s better to avoid talking too much about things that others might disagree with or get offended by.
Don’t get too wrapped up in finding the perfect topics or questions because sometimes it’s helpful to know what not to say or ask.
For example, asking people personal questions about their job/income, religion, politics (especially if you’re not on the best of terms), or any other potentially offensive topic can sometimes come across as judgmental and put them on the defensive, so try to avoid that kind of thing when you’re still getting used to how conversation works and what types of things typically work in your favor since everyone is different!
Don’t cut the flow of conversation.
Avoid giving one-word answers.
If someone asks you a question, make sure to give them more than just a one-word answer. This is when follow-up questions come in handy since this will help keep the conversation going and prevent people from feeling like they’re being interrogated or that there’s no point in asking anything because it won’t even be adequately answered!
Don’t worry about forgetting what was asked either – try not to let yourself get too distracted thinking of your response, but instead focus on giving them an adequate explanation. Hence, they know where you stand without getting caught up in how perfectly worded everything sounds.
It’s okay if your answer is a little bit cluttered or you forget to include some details since there isn’t any harm in going back and clarifying once the topic has been brought up again.
The trick here is remembering that most people tend not to respond very well when they don’t feel like their questions are being adequately addressed, so try to avoid cutting conversations short with too many one-word responses!
Remember: conversations are supposed to flow naturally, so don’t feel pressured into answering every single thing perfectly and clearly. Otherwise, it might come off as a little bit too scripted, and others might even start to feel like they’re being interrogated or tested!
At the same time, don’t go overboard and start rambling on forever about something that wasn’t even asked to fill the space since it can become a little bit overwhelming or irritating to deal with.
Another way you might cut the flow of conversation is by not asking any questions of your own, which will make it seem like you’re only interested in talking about yourself.
This might be okay to do when you’re feeling a little bit shy or don’t know what else to say, but it’s better to make an effort and try not to come across as someone who’s not very interested in getting to know anyone else.
Don’t interrupt the flow of conversation.
When talking to someone, make sure that they feel like their voice is being heard, and never try filling in all the gaps with your own words.
Instead of showing off what you know or trying to impress them by finishing up sentences for them (or even worse – interrupting), let people finish what they have to say before jumping into a new topic.
This also means not monopolizing conversations either since it can be frustrating when other people don’t give you enough time to reply without inserting their thoughts.
So remember: stay patient when listening and wait until there’s an appropriate pause before moving on!
How to end the conversation?
End the conversation positively. You can say, ‘well, I better get going,’ or politely excuse yourself to go back to your group or use the bathroom.
You can also refer back to an earlier point in your discussion and offer some advice or encouragement as a closing remark.
Ending on a positive note will leave them with a good impression of you and will help to ensure that the conversation doesn’t end on an awkward note.
Make sure that this last impression leaves something good behind so that both parties can benefit from knowing each other better without having negative thoughts about one another afterward.
Avoid ending the conversation abruptly.
One of the worst ways to end a conversation is by saying something like “nice talking to you” since it doesn’t say very much at all and can make the other person feel like their time was wasted on someone who didn’t actually care about getting to know them.
It’s also not a good idea to end with an abrupt goodbye or tell someone that you have to go since it can come across as pretty cold and distant if you don’t offer any real reason behind the decision.
Ending on a positive note.
Instead, try using a phrase like “I’ve really enjoyed talking to you” or “it was great meeting you,” since it’ll leave the other person with a better impression of yourself.
Remember: what you say at the end of a conversation can often leave an impression that lasts much longer than what was said right in the middle!
So, ensure that you end in a way that leaves people wanting to learn more about you and eager to continue getting to know you better.
All these things are great ways to start a conversation! Not only will this help your confidence in talking with others, but it’ll also give you an idea as to who that person is at their core since people often reveal themselves quite quickly when asked thought-provoking questions about themselves based on shared interests, etc., rather than closed or simple questions such as “Where do you live?” or “What do you study?”
You don’t have to be a social butterfly or know-it-all to start conversations with people. There are many easy ways to spark up a conversation and get the ball rolling, even if you’re shy or not talking much in general.
We hope you’ve found this article on the 10 easiest ways for men to start a conversation helpful. If there are any that stood out for you, be sure to let us know in the comments section below!
Lenny Terra is the founder & editor-in-chief. He’s a life coach, software engineer, freelance writer, and has a diploma in Modern Applied Psychology. Lenny has a passion for great living & beautiful design. He is married and is the father of two beautiful girls. His life’s mission is to help people improve their lives, become happier and more productive. This blog is his contribution to that goal and to the empowerment of his readers. Lenny and his family live in Texas with their two dogs.