Talking to strangers is different than talking to someone you know. It is always easier to have a conversation with someone you know because you already share that comfort level with them. However, when talking to someone new, it can be nerve-wracking. Many people often don’t have a clue about how to initiate a conversation.
Having a proper conversation not only includes the initiation of the conversation but also carrying it out well. Having meaningful conversations is a skill that can be learned skill by maintaining a few practices. With proper focus and practice, we can all become better at it.
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How can you have a great conversation?
Here are practices that will help in having a fruitful conversation:
1. Make it about the other person.
At times, people make endless conversations without knowing whether the other person is interested in it. If the person is not interested in it, they might feel like they were not even a part of the conversation. These people need to keep in mind that not everyone shares the same interests as them.
When starting a conversation, the best thing to do is to make sure that the person you are talking to has an interest in the conversation topic. The best conversations begin by showing interest in the other person. Ask them questions about themselves. Giving them a sincere compliment and positive feedback will make them feel appreciated. Notice things about them and use these things to start up conversations.
2. Keep asking good questions.
One of the best ways to make a person feel that you are interested in what they are talking about is by asking questions on the topic. In this manner, we can get others to share more about the topic of conversation by asking open-ended questions. This will help in getting deeper into the conversation.
Asking someone how they think or feel about something that they are talking about are good questions. If something brings up something in a conversation on their own, it is likely of importance or interest. Ask yourself what the other areas related to their interests that they would be interested in talking about are.
3. Keep an open-minded approach.
When making a conversation, you must have an open-minded approach to the topic. This will make the other person comfortable in opening up about their interests to you. You need to understand why the other person is interested in the topic they are talking about, and in order to do so, you must have an open-minded approach. Keep in mind that everyone has a different outlook on life, and everyone is entitled to have an opinion.
You can try and make them feel comfortable about their interests by approaching them positively. When you show them that you are open to a discussion, they will feel comfortable having a fruitful conversation with you. Give people space, time, and opportunity to open up to you without having the feeling of being judged.
4. Be a good listener.
In order to have a great conversation, being a good listener is one of the most important things. The person you are talking to should feel that you are interested in learning about their areas of interest. Most people often are thinking about what they want to say when someone is talking. This keeps you unaware of what the other person is talking about.
If you don’t understand what someone is saying, it is always better to stop them and ask questions. This will make them feel that you are interested in learning about them. You can give an excellent response to the person by taking cues from what they are saying.
5. Pick a side and support it with evidence.
Often many topics have two sides to argue on. When you start the conversation, you need to be clear about your opinions and which side you want to support or talk against off. You can always present pieces of evidence supporting your side. This will help you make your argument stronger, and the other person will have more interest in your argument.
6. Take the conversation to a deeper level.
The conversation can be moved to a deeper level when the person you are talking to is comfortable and willing to share things with you. It also is the same for you; it also depends on whether you are willing to open up to the other person.
Body language and facial expression go a long way in helping someone feel comfortable. If someone notices a change in your facial expression according to the news when they share the bad or good news, they will feel more comfortable opening up. This will make them feel they aren’t bothering or boring you with all the information.
Here we have listed down a few conversation starters for you to initiate meaningful conversations now.
Conversation Topics – Beginners Level
- Do you like to read books?
- Do you like to listen to music?
- Do you like to watch movies?
- What kind of books do you read?
- Which is your favourite movie, and why?
- Do you like to travel?
- Which is the colour that makes you happy?
- Which is your favourite cartoon character?
- Which is your favourite place that you have visited?
- Which are your top three travel destinations?
- What is your favourite memory of your childhood?
- What is your dream travel destination?
- Did you read comics?
- Which is your favourite comic character?
- Do you enjoy any kind of art form?
- Which are the top ten places you would want to visit before you die?
- Which was the most memorable moment of your life?
- Who are your top three favourite actors?
- Which are your top three favourite songs?
- Who is there in your family?
- Do you prefer movies or books?
- Which is your favourite movie that has been adapted from a book?
- Which is the movie you wish you could have been a part of?
- What are you the most afraid of?
- What are your hobbies?
- How much free time do you have?
- What do you like to do during your free time?
- What kind of music do you like?
- Who is the top favourite music artist?
- Do you get time to practice your hobbies?
- Do you enjoy watching sports?
- Which is your favourite sport? Why?
- Who is your favourite player? Why?
- Have you ever played any sport?
- When you were young, what did you wish to become?
- Do you like adventure sports?
- Have you ever tried any adventure sports?
- What foods do you dislike?
- How do you plan on reaching the goals that you have set for yourself?
- How important are your goals to you?
- Are you allergic to any specific kind of food?
- Do you like to eat out?
- Would you refer to yourself as an optimistic person?
- In your school or college days, which subject did you like the most? Why?
- Which subject did you dislike the most during your school or college days?
- Who is the one person in your life you look up to?
- Are you close to your family?
- Who is the one person you are closest to?
- Should uniform be mandatory in schools?
- What motivates you to do things?
- What are the goals in your life?
- Have you accomplished any of your goals in life so far?
- What kinds of dreams do you have?
- Which is the movie that inspired you the most?
- Which is the movie that made you cry?
- What is your favourite childhood memory?
- If you were given a million dollars today, what would you do with the money?
Conversation Topics – Intermediate Level
- What do you consider as beauty?
- Who would you call a beautiful person?
- What does ‘inner beauty’ mean to you?
- How do you feel about artificial forms of beauty like cosmetic surgery?
- Would you consider artificial beauty as a form of beauty? Why or why not?
- How do you deal with negativity?
- Are you scared of failure?
- How do you deal with failure?
- Should school in India have proper sex education?
- Why is sex education important?
- What is your opinion on schools giving more priority to the mental health of students?
- Do you suffer from any mental health issues?
- What are the things that trigger your mental health?
- Do you believe in life after death?
- Would you consider yourself to be a religious person?
- Do you believe in God?
- Can money buy you happiness?
- Is money important to you?
- Have you ever been in a crime?
- Do you believe in marriages?
- Do you wish one day to get married in your life?
- Do you believe in love? Why?
- Can one be too young to fall in love? Why?
- Are you proud of the person that you are becoming?
- If you could start a business today, what would it be?
- How well you manage your money?
- Are you a spender or a saver?
- If you had to retire today, do you have the proper funds for it?
- How much of your income do you save?
- Do you plan on investing your savings in the future?
- In co-ed schools, girls and boys are often asked to sit separately; what is your opinion on that?
- Which is the book that you read that complete made you think differently?
- In your opinion, which quality do you think the world needs more today? Why?\
- What motivates you to wake up every day and keep working hard?
- What inspires you to become a better person?
- Are you interested in politics? Why?
- Should youngsters under the age of 13 be allowed access to the internet?
- What is your opinion on beauty contests?
- Do you think beauty consents should be banned? Why?
- If you were given an option to choose a career for a day, what career would you choose?
- Have you ever knowingly hurt someone?
- Do you ever regret causing someone pain?
- Have you been subjected to any trauma?
- How do you manage to overcome and face your fears?
- Should gambling be banned?
- Should the age of drinking be lowered below 21 years?
- How would you explain what life is?
- If today is your last day on this planet, what would be the few things you would want to experience before you die?
- How do you deal with problems?
- Do you see problems as opportunities?
- Do you enjoy doing the work that you do?
- What is your opinion on police brutality?
- Do you ever wish you could go back in time to change anything?
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
- Are social media platforms bad for mental health?
- Are we all too dependent and engrossed in our phones?
- Should children be given phones before the age of 12? Why?
- If you could bring a person who is dead back to life, who would it be? Why?
- If you were a country leader, what would have the first thing you would have done for your country?
- Are violent video games responsible for aggressive behaviour among kids?
- How do you measure success – by money or wisdom?
- Do you think anyone can achieve success with hard work?
- Can anyone be successful without hard work just by doing smart work?
- How does bullying affect a child?
- Have you ever been subjected to bullying?
- What steps should educational institutions undertake to stop bullying?
- Do grades matter? Why?
- Students should be given more time to explore their hobbies and interests.
- Is the grading system efficient? Why?
- What are the things you maintain to lead a happy life?
- Should sanitary products be given for free? Why?
- Are reality shows fixed?
- Is it okay to lie in a few situations?
- Should one be judged on how they dress?
- Are boarding schools better than day-time schools?
Conversation Topics – Advanced Level
- Does the media exaggerate every news?
- Do you trust in the political leaders of your country? Why?
- What is your opinion on capital punishment? Why?
- Is lifetime imprisonment better than capital punishment? Why?
- Should rapists be given life imprisonment?
- How can governments of wealthy countries help governments of developing countries?
- Have you ever been subjected to domestic violence?
- Is the world more violent today?
- Should every adult have easy access to guns for self-defence?
- Should marijuana be legalized?
- If you had the finance, would you help a family in need?
- Should movies be censored?
- Does the censoring of movies ruin the movie?
- Men and women should be entitled to get equal pay for the same job.
- Students should be allowed to change their major if they want to.
- There should be higher job security in private jobs.
- How to address the concept of death to children?
- Communication is always the key to all healthy relationships.
- Having boundaries is okay.
- Should children be punished when they misbehave in order to teach them a lesson?
- Should children be given an allowance for doing chores?
- What is your opinion on feminism?
- Would you consider yourself a feminist?
- People should be allowed to take a day off when they have a bad mental health day.
- Women should be given leaves when they suffer from menstrual pain.
- Respect does not come with age but by the behaviour of the person.
- Is democracy the best political system?
- Why is failure necessary?
- Is bribery okay? Why?
- Should all schools replace books with e-books? Why?
- Society’s beauty standards have harmed the self-esteem of young adults.
- What would you have done if your closest friend betrayed you?
- Artists are getting lost in trying to keep up with the fast pacing world.
- Should juveniles be subjected and tried as adults?
- Should circuses and zoos hold innocent animals under captivity?
- Is global warming a real issue?
- Will robots take over the world in the next 100 years?
- Can social networking sites be dangerous? How?
- What things should people keep in mind on social networking sites?
- What are the most severe environmental problems the world is facing today?
- Is online banking safe?
- Social media has had a negative effect on the mental health of young adults.
- Does social media harm the self-esteem of young adults?
- Should prisoners be allowed to vote? Why?
- What are the dangers of online shopping?
- Which is the most significant issue in your country that should be addressed immediately?
- What are your country leaders doing to solve the problems of the country?
- Do politicians keep the promises that they make?
- Are beauty pageants objectifying?
- Are the minorities in your country being exploited?
- Which is a better teacher in life – failure or success?
- It is okay to change opinions when introduced to more information.
- Wisdom does not always depend on age.