How to Start a Conversation (With Example Conversation Starters)

how to start a conversation


Whether at work or in your personal life, starting a conversation and interacting with others is a part of life. However, while some people are more outgoing and find speaking with people easy, others may feel awkward and insecure when trying to small talk. You’ll be happy to know that you’re probably not as terrible at starting conversations as you may think you are. And luckily, there are methods of how to start a conversation that can help you improve on this interpersonal skill. Therefore, keep reading if you want to learn how to start a conversation the right way. We’ll also be adding some examples throughout the post to see first-hand how your conversation may go. On that note, let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Having meaningful conversations with others can help build healthy relationships.
  • Use body language to show interest in what other people are saying.
  • Always introduce yourself if you have never met someone before.
  • Giving someone a compliment and asking if they need help is a great way to gain their trust.
  • Always be genuine when speaking with other people.

How to Start a Conversation with Confidence

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, speaking with colleagues, friends, family, or other professionals is a great way to build healthy relationships. However, one thing to keep in mind is to always ensure your conversation starters are appropriate for your scenario. For example, the conversations you start with a colleague or other professional may look slightly different from those you start with your friends or family. Nonetheless, here are some of the best ways how to start a conversation:

1. Introduce Yourself 

I know, it sounds easier than it actually is. But it really is this easy. While you won’t be introducing yourself to people you’ve met previously, with someone new, always give them your name. Not only does this show that you are interested in meeting this person, but it also helps invite others to get to know who you are.

Example: “Hi, my name is _____. It’s my first day on the job, and I just wanted to introduce myself.”

Afterwards, the person you speak to may provide you with their name and ask what position you are starting in. This will then prompt you to naturally give them more information about yourself, not that the conversation has begun.

2. Give Someone a Compliment

Moreover, the following method of how to start a conversation is to give someone a compliment. This brightens their day, but it may also provide them with a boost in confidence. Choose something you like about someone and let them know why.

Example: “Hey, _____, I really like what you’re wearing today. The colour really compliments you.” Or, you could say, “Hi ______, you did a really great job on ______. It really shows that you put a lot of thought and effort into it.”

Once you have said something along these lines, you can then speak about what you’ve complimented. The individual may also return the favour and provide you with a compliment.

3. Offer Help to Someone

Furthermore, another great way of starting a conversation is to offer someone help. This works in all settings you may see someone struggling with something. Why? Because aiding others is a pleasant method of earning their trust and respect. The fact of the matter is that people enjoy it when others offer help when they are in need. Accordingly, it shows them that you genuinely care about them, which is always a positive.

Example: “Hey, I have some extra time on my hands right now, is there anything I can help you with?”

Once you have offered help, you can then speak about what you are helping them with to get the conversation flowing.

4. Ask For Help from Someone

On the other hand, another good way how to start a conversation is to ask for help yourself. Being able to communicate when you are struggling is important. It will save you the trouble of dealing with challenges alone, but it also helps others feel helpful. As a result, it may also lead to others feeling like they can reach out to you when they need assistance.

Example: “Are you able to help me with ______?” or “Am I able to borrow _____ from you?

5. Ask for an Opinion

Furthermore, asking someone for their opinion indicates to them that you care about what they think. This can be a great conversation starter in both employment and other settings outside of work. Most of the time, if the person has a valuable, helpful response, they will respond. As a result, you can then begin speaking more about the topic you have asked for an opinion on

Example: “Do you know if _____ is any good?

6. Speak About a Shared Experience

Moreover, the following way how to start a conversation is by mentioning a shared experience you have with someone. This could be a place you’ve both visited, a conference you both attended, or even a movie you watched. You can begin the conversation by asking a question. As a result, the discussion will start to flow more naturally.

Example: “That conference was super interesting. What did you think about it?” OR “I heard you went to ____. I also visited ____. What did you think?

7. Ask About Them

Last on our list of methods of how to start a conversation with someone is to simply ask about them. Believe it or not, most of us enjoy talking about ourselves. Therefore, a great way to begin a conversation is to ask about their interests and experiences or their family.

Example: “I heard you just got married. How was your wedding?” OR “I see that you went to ____ in your photo. How was your vacation?”

As you can see, there are several ways to start conversations with others. An important thing to remember is to use body language to show you are interested. Do this by keeping eye contact to show you are actively listening, respecting their space, and using body language cues such as nodding to indicate interest in what the other person is saying.

Are you a social person? Take our free DISC personality test!

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