The 7 Best Conversation Starters

In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with messages and opportunities to talk to people, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to meet someone new and ensure conversation flows naturally. When we were kids, we were often given “icebreaker questions” or conversation starters to help us get to know our peers and introduce ourselves and the things we were interested in.

While some of us may experience those opportunities as adults (like it or not), it’s not exactly common to come into a new conversation armed with a mental list of things to talk about. And let’s be frank – making the same old small talk is rarely exciting or enjoyable for any party. 

For some reason, starting a conversation with someone over video calls can feel even more awkward than conversing with them face-to-face. If you find yourself running out of things to talk about on FaceTime, Zoom or Skype, you’re not alone! 

A quick tip is to take some of the pressure off and ask about simple things that will not only help you understand a person’s tastes, interests and hobbies, but open the door to deeper conversation about those topics and their thoughts on them. For instance, asking about entertainment (such as music or movies) or travel are easy ways to break the ice in a fun way that doesn’t feel forced. 

Here are a few ideas to help you out the next time you’re on a FaceTime date, breaking the ice during a work meeting or otherwise asked to converse with someone you don’t know very well via video call. 

What’s the first concert you ever saw?

Who doesn’t love music and talking about their favorite bands and artists? Asking a person who their first concert was is one of the best things to talk about on FaceTime. It allows you to learn more about their interests and what kind of music makes them feel best – better yet, it gives you a great jumping off point for further conversation if their answer is an artist you have a strong opinion on as well. 

Plus, if you’re around the same age as the person you’re chatting with, you’re also opening up the door to nostalgia and can have a fun time reminiscing on old music, fashion trends or activities. 

If you were a singer and could collaborate with an artist of your choice, who would it be?

Once again, music can serve as an excellent, natural conversation starter no matter who you’re talking to. If you prefer, you can also adjust this question and ask them who they would want to star in a show or movie with instead. 

Be ready to share your opinion as well! And who knows – perhaps your answers will be so compatible that you can spend some time imagining an entire dream cast (co-starring you and your new friend, of course). 

If you didn’t have the job you have now, and could have any job you wanted, what would that job be?

Tread cautiously if using this icebreaker in the workplace – you don’t want to accidentally open the door to your co-workers complaining about their current position. Otherwise, this is a fun question that pushes people to think outside the box of their day-to-day routine and imagine how they’d be spending their time if they could magically do any job in the world without having to go back to school, save a certain amount of money or go through an interview process. Would they be a special effects makeup artist for horror movies? A baker in France? A fashion designer in Milan? 

Generally speaking, any question that allows people to daydream a bit is always an exciting and refreshing way to start a conversation. 

What’s a strange or funny dream you had recently?

Not everybody has dreams regularly, and those who do may not remember them every night. But it’s a pretty safe bet that anyone you ask is going to remember at least one crazy dream in their life that comes to mind. Asking about dreams is a great way to bring a bit of comic relief to the mix. If the situation feels right, maybe you can even take turns trying to decipher each other’s dreams and what they could mean. 

If you could host a talk show, who would you want to be your first guest?

Again, talking about something related to movies, TV or music is a surefire way to set the stage for a fun conversation. If you want to go further after they answer this question, ask them what kind of talk show they would host and what other segments would be. Would there be live music? Who would be their musical guest? Would it be funny, heartfelt, or dramatic? 

What’s something that always makes you smile, even when you’re super stressed or upset?

This last one opens the door for heartwarming conversation about the simple things in life that make us all breathe a little easier. Maybe your new friend will share a little about their pet, their best friend, or their happy place – then, it’s your turn.