It happens often: you meet someone new, exchange smiles, say, “hi” or “hello,” and that’s it. Even if you are willing to continue the conversation, you run out of topics and later regret it. If this has happened to you, don’t worry–it’s completely normal. In this post, I will share with you a couple of methods and a few topics that can make your conversations continue in a smooth manner.

Methods and Discussion Topics

  • You can start with a basic, regular, “Hi! How are you?” This can be followed by appreciation of some of their belongings or traits, like their hair color, the suit they are wearing, the name of the company(if they are wearing an ID Card), or their smile or eyes. Remember that appreciation always lifts the mood of the one being appreciated.
  • Then you can make a comment about anything that’s happening nearby. For example, if you meet at some party, you can start with appreciating the adornment or ambiance. Then you can continue this by asking, “What do you think about it?”
  • Another good, timeless topic is the person’s education, whether it be college, high school or graduation. Everyone likes discussing their days as a student. Ninety-nine times out of 100, it cheers up the person’s mood. Let them speak. Be a patient listener.
  • You can always discuss the profession with which the person is associated (Art, Medical, Sports, Automobile). It will help continue the conversation, as you might learn about a whole new field. You can begin like, “Whats your profession? By the way I am a software Engineer.”
  • Next, you can ask about their workplace, the environment, company HR policies, or a bond agreement, or if they own a business, you can talk about their vision, perspective, future plans. For instance, you can start like, “How is the work environment in your company?” or “How about the HR policies? Are they flexible or tough?”
  • You can now come to their work profile. If you belong to a similar field, you can discuss the pros and cons, or if you are from another field, you can learn about the kind of work they do and find out if they enjoy doing it.
  • After talking about work, you can ask about their hometown, whether they grew up in the same city or somewhere else. If he or she is from same city, you can discuss some common and well-known places.  You can ask questions like, “Do you know of a good restaurant known for its continental food?” If he or she is from another city, you can ask about their place, like what are some famous tourist attractions of their city, famous foods, temples, or outing spots.
  • Then, after all this, you can ask about their likes and hobbies: “How you prefer spending your free time?” or “How you usually like to spend your weekends?”

Points to Remember

1. Along with asking questions, you should also answer the questions for yourself on every topic. Otherwise, it sounds more like stalking than making a conversation. For example, “I am an Artist,” or “I am new to this city. My native place is San Diego,” or “I love my job, but the HR policies of my company are not flexible,” or “I graduated from Cambridge University in Arts.”

2. Humor is good, but do not overdo it in first meeting. It might not create a good impression.

3. During the exchange of information, if you find something which you both have in common, you can expand on that particular topic. That way, you can learn more about each other. Common topics always create a bond which drives the conversation towards an interesting direction where both the participants are equally into it.

What do all great conversationalists have in common? The 12 Golden Rules of Great Conversation: Part 2

Featured photo credit: Lightsurgeryvia Flickr

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