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General tips for conversation

Before we look at the topics you can talk about, here are a few excellent tips for great conversations:

1. Ask follow-up questions

Asking follow-up questions is a great way to keep the conversation going. These questions will often lead to fascinating discussions. So never forget to ask a few follow-up questions.

2. Don’t talk about politics or religion

Because many people in these areas have strong opinions, the conversation could end in disaster. Especially if you don’t know the person well yet.

3. Do not force a conversation

Sometimes people just don’t feel like chatting. Often, if the person gives you a lot of one-word answers, doesn’t make eye contact, or doesn’t ask questions, it means they don’t want to have a conversation. Everyone has a bad day.

Each topic has a few sample questions to start the conversation. But don’t forget the most important tip: always ask a few follow-up questions.

Topics to start the conversation

Here are a few general topics to talk about. They are great for when you see someone for the first time. Most have at least something to say on most topics here.

As soon as you come across something interesting or something that the other person finds exciting, talk about this topic for a while. Most of the time, people like to talk about themselves, so it’s generally good to focus on it and be a good listener. Don’t just be interested, be it!

1. Current situation

The best way to start a conversation is to talk about the current life situation. The questions you ask may vary depending on where you are or what you are doing.

For example, if you are waiting for something, you could ask the person how long they have been waiting. Or if you are at an event or a show, you can ask whether she has already seen the artist or the person standing on the stage. If you’re traveling anywhere, you might ask where the person is going. If you are in a place where food is served, you can talk about your food. If music is played, you can chat about it.

2. Profession / work

  • What is your job?
  • How long have you been working there?
  • Do you like it there?
  • How are your colleagues?
  • What’s the best thing about your job?

3. Clothes

This topic works best when you talk about what the person is wearing. For example, try complimenting the outfit, maybe even a specific part, and ask where she got it from.

4. Messages

  • What do you think of (current news headline)?
  • Did you hear about (news headline)?
  • How much are you following the news?
  • What receives too little media attention?
  • What gets too much media attention?
  • Where do you get your messages from?

5. Sports

  • Do you like (a sport that you like)?
  • Which teams are you chasing?
  • What was the last game you went to?
  • What do you think of (popular player/team that is on the ascending branch)?
  • Do you do sports?
  • Who do you think will win (important sports event)?

6. Place of residence

I would refrain from asking too precise questions; you really don’t need to know the address. The vague environment is enough.

  • In what part (the city/town where you live) do you live?
  • How do you like your neighborhood?
  • When did you move there?
  • What’s the best thing about your area?

7. Near future

  • What are your weekend plans?
  • Where is your next vacation going?
  • Is there anything interesting this week?

Topics to get to know someone

The following topics are great for getting to know someone better. As soon as you have introduced each other, the small talk is drawing to a close, and you feel that you have established a certain connection, you can continue with these excellent questions.

8. Leisure time

  • What are you doing in your free time?
  • How much free time do you have?
  • What would you like more time for?

9. Music

  • Which kind of music do you like?
  • What music did you like when you were young?
  • What is your favorite band or musician?
  • Have you been to any concerts recently?
  • What is your favorite album?

10. Movies

  • What kind of films do you like?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • Who is your favorite actor or director?
  • What was the last movie you saw?

11. Food

  • What is your favorite food / ethnic food / restaurant / cooking dish / seasonal food?
  • Do you like to cook?
  • How do you usually find good restaurants?
  • What weird dishes have you tried?

12. Books

  • Do you enjoy reading?
  • What types of books do you like?
  • What was the last book you read?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • Which book is overrated?
  • Can you recommend any books with a pure heart to me?

13. TV

  • What programs are you watching?
  • What do you think about (popular show)?
  • Have you seen (show you like)?
  • Which series did you really enjoy?
  • Which series do I have to watch?

14. Travel

  • Where have you been on vacation?
  • What did you like/didn’t you like about (place where the trip went)?
  • Where would you like to go?
  • Which place do I have to see?
  • What’s your favorite place you’ve been?

15. Hobbies

  • Do you have hobbies?
  • How long have you been practicing it?
  • How did you start?
  • What common misunderstanding is there about your hobby?
  • What hobbies did you have when you were younger?

16. Children

This topic usually only works if you have two children. Then you have something in common that you can talk about. If none of you have one, you may want to skip this topic.

17. Pets

  • Are you a cat or a dog person?
  • What do you think of (animal) as a pet?
  • What pets did you have?
  • Which pet would you like to have?

18. Restaurants

  • What good restaurants do you know in this area?
  • What is your standard restaurant if you want to eat something but can’t decide where to go?
  • What’s your favorite (Mexican / Thai / Vietnamese / etc.) Restaurant nearby?
  • What is your favorite pizzeria in the area?
  • Which current trends you simply cannot understand?
  • Which current trend will look the most ridiculous in ten years?
  • Do you usually follow trends, or do you do your own thing?

20. Humor

  • What kind of humor do you have?
  • Are there any comedians that you really like?
  • What are your favorite comedians?

21. Actors

  • Who are your favorite actors?
  • Which movie which actor would you always watch, no matter how bad the ratings are?
  • Which actor was once really popular, but is long gone?
  • Which actor always plays the same kind of role in whatever film?

22. Learn

  • What do you always understand pretty quickly?
  • Which subjects were particularly difficult for you at school?
  • What things would you like to know more about?

Technology topics

Our lives are full of technology. We are literally surrounded by it. These technology topics will appeal to just about everyone, even if the person doesn’t usually know what to do with them.

However, if the person you’re talking to is fairly unaware of this, you may want to choose a different topic.

23. Apps

  • What is your favorite app on your phone?
  • Which app do you use the most?
  • Which app would you recommend to everyone?
  • Which app would you prefer not to be dependent on?

24. Internet

  • In which direction do you think the internet will develop?
  • What was the longest you were offline?
  • What is there only on the internet that you could no longer live without?

25. Video games

  • What games on your phone or tablet are you most into at the moment?
  • What was the best mobile game you have ever played?
  • Do you also like board or card games?
  • Do you prefer console or PC games?

26. Virtual Reality

  • What would be the most useful thing you could do with VR?
  • What would be the most entertaining or exciting thing you could do with VR?
  • Do you think VR will soon become mainstream?

27. Cell Phones

  • Which cell phone do you have?
  • How do you like your cell phone?
  • How often do you get a new cell phone?
  • What do you pay attention to when buying a new cell phone?
  • How many cell phones have you lost or destroyed?

28. Data protection

  • How important is data protection to you?
  • Do you think that all the hassle about data protection is justified?

29. Self-driving cars

  • Would you buy a self-driving car if it were affordable?
  • Are you worried about the advent of self-driving cars?
  • What will be some advantages to self-driving cars?
  • Will there be disadvantages to self-driving cars?

30. Podcasts

This topic only works if the person you are talking to is on podcasts. If that’s not the case, maybe you can introduce them to some cool ones. If it’s on podcasts, you can compare a few, give each other some recommendations or just talk about the one you both hear. If you have little idea of podcasts, you should take a look around. Whatever you like, there is almost certainly a podcast on the subject.

  • Which podcast do you listen to as soon as it appears in your feed?
  • Which podcasts did you like once but don’t listen to anymore?
  • What kind of podcast would you launch if you had the opportunity?

31. Follow on social media

  • Which social media platform do you spend most of your time on?
  • Who is the most interesting person you follow?
  • What kind of people do you follow?
  • Who gets on your nerves sometimes, but who you follow nonetheless because something incredibly interesting is posted every now and then?

32. Websites

  • Which website do you spend the most time on?
  • What are some really bizarre websites you’ve visited?
  • What is the most useful page you have used?

Personal topics

Here are some topics that are great for getting to know someone more intimately. You should save it for a time when you already know the person a little better.

33. Where the person grew up

  • What is your home like?
  • Did you enjoy it where you grew up?
  • How much did the place you grew up shape you?
  • What were the best and worst things about where you grew up?

34. Things the person liked

  • What games did you play as a child?
  • What kind of hobbies did you have when you were little?
  • What cartoons or shows did you watch when you were a kid?
  • What were your interests when you were little?

35. School

  • How was your elementary school / secondary school / high school / etc.?
  • Did you go to university? Do you have a degree?
  • Where were you at university/school?
  • What kind of child were you in school?

36. Friends

  • Are you still in contact with childhood friends?
  • What do you usually do when you hang out with your friends?
  • Do you prefer a lot of friends or a few, but intimate?
  • How long have you known your best friend?
  • How did you and your best friend get to know each other?

37. Family

  • How many siblings do you have?
  • Do you live near your family?
  • Are there still many family reunions?
  • What are the traditions in your family?

38. Previous jobs

  • What kind of jobs did you already have?
  • What was the best / worst / most interesting job you had?
  • What was the longest you were employed?

39. Where the person lived

  • What was the best / worst place you lived?
  • How was your university room?

40. Achievements

  • What accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
  • What prizes or trophies have you won?
  • What’s the next big thing you want to accomplish?

41. Clubs

  • Which clubs did you join?
  • Have you ever joined a club and immediately noticed that it was completely different than you expected?
  • If you were to found an association, what kind of association would it be?

Random topics

At first glance, these topics may seem a little weird if you ask someone you have just met. But they’re great for sharing with friends or others you know better. They also work well if you already know that someone is interested in a particular topic.

42. Cars

  • What was the first car you owned?
  • Which car would you like to have?
  • Do you like your current car?
  • How long have you got your current car?

43. Holidays

  • What were your favorite holidays as a child?
  • What are your favorite holidays now when you are older?
  • What holiday did you wish should exist?
  • What are your plans for (upcoming holiday)?

44. Coffee

  • Do you like coffee?
  • How many cups do you usually drink a day?
  • How do you drink your coffee?
  • Where do you get your coffee to go from?
  • What kind of coffee do you usually order in a café?
  • How often do you visit cafes?

45. Photography

  • Are you taking a lot of photos?
  • What are you mostly taking photos of?
  • Do you have a camera, or do you mostly use your cell phone?
  • Do you use a selfie stick?
  • What are some of your favorite photos you took?

46. Beach

  • Do you like going to the beach?
  • How often do you go to the beach?
  • What nice/bad memories do you have of the beach?
  • When was the last time you were on a beach?
  • What was the best / worst beach you visited?
  • What is your favorite activity on the beach?

47. Hiking

  • How often do you go hiking?
  • Do you like to go hiking?
  • What was the most beautiful hike you have ever been on?
  • What was the longest hike you have ever been on?
  • Where is the best place to hike in your area?

48. Aliens

  • Do you believe that there is extraterrestrial life?
  • Do you believe in intelligent alien life?
  • Do you think we’ll find microscopic alien life in our solar system?
  • Do you think intelligent aliens will ever visit Earth or may have already done so?
  • How will extraterrestrial life differ from that on Earth?

49. Change

  • How comfortable do you feel about changes?
  • Do you think big changes are healthy or unhealthy for one person?
  • What do you think of the speed at which the world is changing these days?
  • What do you think was the biggest change that has happened in the past fifty years?
  • What still needs to change?

50. Cooking

  • Are you good at cooking?
  • What is the best way to cook?
  • What is the least you can cook?
  • What was your biggest cooking failure?
  • Who is the best cook you know?

51. Talents and skills

  • Is there something you have always been good at?
  • What would you like to be better at?
  • What are the most useful skills you have?
  • What skills would you like to learn?
  • What skills do you think everyone should learn?
  • Do you have unusual skills or talents?

52. Shop

  • For which thing do you like/don’t like to shop?
  • Where do you usually go shopping for clothes / shoes / food?
  • How often do you go window shopping?
  • Do you prefer to shop online or in real?
  • If you go shopping for clothes or shoes, do you prefer to do it alone or in pairs?

53. Habits

  • What is your best / worst habit?
  • Have you ever gotten rid of a bad habit?
  • What would be a great habit you would like to start with?
  • What is a bad habit that you just can’t get rid of?

54. Goals

  • What do you want to achieve before you die?
  • What’s the stupidest goal you have?
  • What goals have you achieved so far?
  • How good are you at finishing things that you started?
  • Which goals will never be something?

55. Social media

  • Which social media platform do you use most frequently?
  • Which social media platform do you not understand?
  • Are there any platforms that you don’t like, but have to stay signed in because of friends and family?
  • How much time do you spend on social media?

56. Charity / volunteering

  • Have you ever volunteered?
  • Did you like it?
  • Have you ever donated anything to charity?
  • In your opinion, what charitable causes are the most important?
  • Are there any who you think are not worth supporting?
  • What kind of volunteering would you like to try?

57. Fishing

  • When was the last time you went fishing?
  • Do you like fishing?
  • What was the biggest fish you ever caught?
  • Who do you go fishing with, or do you go alone?
  • Where’s your favorite place to go fishing?

58. Languages

  • Do you speak other languages?
  • What words do you know in other languages?
  • Which language would you like to learn?
  • What is the most useful language?
  • What would you do if English became the standard language?
  • Which language do you think is the most difficult to learn?

59. Online dating

  • Have you ever used an online dating website or dating app? How did it go?
  • Which way to get to know someone is better: online / via app or in a traditional way?
  • What could be done to improve online dating or dating apps?

60. Superheroes

  • What do you think of the flood of superhero films and shows?
  • Which superhero film or show is your favorite?
  • Did you read comics as a child?
  • Which superhero do you like the most, which one least?
  • What superpower would you like to have?

61. Stress

  • What stresses you the most?
  • How stressed are you every day?
  • What is the best way to get rid of stress?
  • What is stressing you the most these days?
  • What stresses you, but shouldn’t it?

62. Creativity

  • How creative are you?
  • What job do you do that forces you to get creative?
  • Can you learn creativity?
  • Who is the most creative person you know?
  • How important is creativity in your job?
  • Which professions need the most creativity?

63. Heroes

  • Who did you look up to as a child?
  • Who are you looking up to now?
  • Did any of your role models disappoint you?
  • What is the most heroic profession?
  • What makes a person a good role model?

64. Happiness

  • When are you happiest?
  • What do you think leads to continued bliss?
  • What can a person learn to be happier?
  • What do you do that makes you happy for a short time, but unhappy in the long run?
  • Do you think people are happier today than in the past?

65. Advertising

  • Which ads annoy you the most?
  • Do you think that advertising influences your buying decisions?
  • Which ads are the most effective?
  • Which advertisements did you find clever or funny?
  • Do you think the internet could survive without ads?

66. Celebrities

  • Which celebrities do you like, which don’t you like?
  • How much are you following news about celebrities?
  • Would you ever want to be famous?
  • Which celebrity has had the most positive impact on society?
  • Which celebrity has had the most negative impact on society?
  • What makes you like or dislike a celebrity?

67. Retirement

  • At what age would you like to retire?
  • What would you like to do as soon as you are a pensioner?
  • How do you think you will get used to retirement?
  • Where would you like to settle in retirement?
  • How has retirement changed over the years?

68. Stereotypes

  • How accurate do you think stereotypes are?
  • What prejudices do people have about you? Do you think they apply?
  • What are the positive stereotypes?
  • Why do you think stereotypes and prejudices are so common?
  • Which stereotypes and prejudices are the worst?

69. Corruption

  • How common is corruption in your country / state / job / city?
  • What do you think is the most common form of corruption?
  • What is the most dangerous type of corruption?
  • What are the worst examples of corruption you’ve heard of?

70. Weather

Yes, this topic is a bit clichéd, but it works great!

  • What’s your favorite weather?
  • What do you like to do on rainy days?
  • What is the best thing to do on a hot / cold / sunny / windy day?
  • What was the most terrible storm you have experienced?
  • Where would be the best place to live for the weather you like the most?

71. Far future

  • What do you think, what will life be like in 10/25/50/100 years?
  • Do you think that humanity is developing in a good direction?
  • What discovery could be made that would turn humanity’s course upside down?
  • How long would you like to live?

72. Driving

  • Where do you like / least like to go?
  • How is your way to work?
  • Do you usually listen to music, radio, podcasts, or do you prefer to be quiet while driving?
  • What was the best road trip you have ever been on?

73. Parks & National-Parks

This question applies to parks in the neighborhood or to national parks. Just choose what suits your situation better.

  • How often do you visit parks?
  • Are there a lot of parks in your area?
  • Where was the best park you’ve ever been to?
  • What do you usually do in parks?

74. Space

  • If you could, would you participate in Mars colonization if that meant you could never go back to Earth?
  • Do you think there are intelligent life forms in our galaxy?
  • If you could have a spaceship that could fly faster than the speed of light and you could fly anywhere, where would your trip go?

75. Animals

  • What is your protective animal?
  • What are your favorite animals apart from dogs and cats?
  • What was the coolest thing you’ve ever seen an animal do?

76. Getting older

  • How old do you want to be?
  • Who do you think is happier: old or young people? Why?
  • What is the perfect age?

77. Crafts

  • What kind of craft have you tried?
  • Are you good at handcrafting?
  • Which house improvement projects would you like to undertake?
  • What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done yourself?

78. Exercise and fitness

This topic will fit better if you speak to a sporty or at least fit looking person.

  • What are you doing to stay fit?
  • Do you like to exercise or like to lift weights?
  • What is your favorite outdoor activity?

79. Drink

These questions relate to alcoholic beverages. If the person you are talking to is not drinking, you can always talk about anti-alcoholic drinks.

  • What do you like to drink most?
  • Would you rather go out or invite friends if you want to have a drink?
  • Do you prefer beer or cocktails, and what types exactly?

80. Google

  • What do you find when you google your name?
  • What was the weirdest thing you’ve ever googled?
  • How bad would it be if your Google search queries were published?

81. Tents

  • How often do you go camping?
  • Where have you already camped?
  • What was your best / worst camping trip?
  • What do you usually take with you when you go camping?

82. Ice cream

  • What is your favorite taste?
  • What is your favorite ice cream brand or your favorite ice cream shop?
  • Where did you have your best ice cream experience?

83. Fashion

  • Are you trying to go with fashion?
  • Where do you usually buy your clothes? Why there?
  • How would you describe your look?

84. Happiness

  • Who is the most lucky / unlucky person you know?
  • Do you think that some people are born with luck, or do you think that you are a smith of your own luck?
  • What was the greatest happiness that happened to you?
  • Do you have any good luck charms or happiness rituals?

85. Sleep

  • How much do you have to sleep to work? Do you usually sleep more or less than that?
  • What is your secret to sleeping really well?
  • What was the longest that you haven’t slept?

86. Dancing

  • How well can you dance?
  • Where do you usually dance?
  • If you could master any kind of dance, which would you choose?

87. Sing

  • Have you ever sung karaoke? If so, what’s your standard song?
  • Do you sing while driving?
  • Are you good at singing?
  • Do you think people are born good singers or that you can learn them?

88. Fix things

  • What was the last thing you repaired?
  • How good are you at fixing things?
  • What did you try to repair, but did it make everything worse?

89. Culture / Sub-Culture

  • Which culture can you identify most with?
  • What is the best, and what is the worst of popular culture?
  • What kind of culture did you grow up in?

90. Art

  • What kind of art do you like?
  • Do you go to art museums every now and then?
  • What do you think of modern art?
  • What is the coolest piece of art you have ever seen?

91. Card games

  • Do you like to play card games? What games do you master?
  • Have you ever won money playing cards?
  • How often do you play card games?

92. Brands

  • Do you have any brands that you are very loyal to?
  • Which brands are not worth the money they ask for? Which ones are they?
  • Which brand has seriously gone down the drain?

93. Nature

  • What is your favorite natural environment?
  • How often do you go out into nature?
  • What was the farthest thing that you removed from civilization?

94. Fruits

  • What is your favorite fruit, and which one do you like least?
  • What fruity taste do you love, but don’t like the actual fruit so much?
  • What fruit is terrible to eat?

95. Plants and gardeners

  • How well can you take care of plants?
  • Have you ever had a garden? Would you like one?
  • What was the optically coolest plant you’ve ever seen?
  • How often do you visit botanical gardens?

96. Swimming

  • Can you swim? How did you learn
  • Do you go swimming a lot? Where do you usually go swimming?
  • Where was the most beautiful/dirty place where you swam?

97. Facts

  • What is the most interesting fact that you can tell me?
  • Were there any facts that changed your life forever when you found out about them?
  • What misinformation spreads as facts, but is definitely not?

98. Annoyances

  • Which things get on your nerves, but should hardly scratch you?
  • What little things do you find rude?
  • What do people around you who annoy you to an immense extent?

99. Musical instruments

  • Do you have any instruments?
  • Which instruments have you already tried?
  • If you could master any instrument like a master without effort, which one would you choose?

100. Fame

  • Would you like to be famous?
  • What level of popularity do people have to have to be known as famous?
  • What are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of being famous?

101. History

  • How long would you have survived in prehistoric times?
  • What is the most interesting period in history?
  • What is the most important lesson that people can learn from history?
  • Which historical figure was not as great as people think?

✍️  August 1, 2020

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