I hate fake conversations and small talk. To the point where I would rather stay silent… and often do. David is the one in our house with the gift of conversation, not me.
It’s really tough sometimes and I just don’t know how some folks do it. Maybe practice makes perfect. Maybe it’s pushing beyond the stage of awkwardness to get to the other side. Who knows. But whatever it is, I ain’t good at it!
I have read the odd article here and there about how to start and grow a conversation. Some tips sound good, others you couldn’t pay me to do. I guess it depends on what situation you are in. Speaking to a high level bod at your work certainly differs from speaking to your Auntie at Christmas.
I do however, have a few that work. Conversation starters or changers that I am more than willing to bring up and chat about. These are tried and tested and have always resulted in a conversation I enjoyed and folks were engaged in. Score!
Before I go on to my 5 top tips for conversation starters (ideal over the holiday period in particular) I just wanted to say to my fellow conversation strugglers out there that it’s ok, you are not alone. Just remember, everyone loves a listener and being asked questions!
What’s your next adventure?
For some it may be an adventure within their career. Others it may be travel or venturing into a new hobby or resolution. But wording the question this way allows people to be free to talk about all kinds of interests they may have. People actually light up when I ask this question!
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
Talk about a conversation starter! Especially at a table with a several people. Everyone has an opinion on this and it is always different. Keeping the conversation light hearted, away from politics or work, and only getting as heated as ‘is Die Hard actually a Christmas movie’?
Anything you would recommend binging on Netflix over the holidays?
We all have a series we love or are loving watching right now. This question has lead to me bonding with many people, especially when someone has found the same hidden gem that you have! Get to know people on a person level. We all watch TV, it’s the way we chill out at the end of the day.
What was your most memorable Christmas gift?
Ah the question that allows us to bring up memories of times gone by. Was it the doll house they got as a child? Was it the PlayStation they literally spend all of their teenage years playing? This question almost always leads on to a conversation about childhood toys… and what could be more fun? Were you a Lego person? Playmobile? Sylvanian Families? Or how about Team Barbie or Team Cindy?
And for getting out of the conversation…
Be polite. Don’t say you will be right back or sneak off to the toilet! Simply move on by saying ‘it has been lovely having a chat with you and I hope to catch you again later on tonight/today. But I must go and do the rounds!’. Works a charm.
Do you find the art of conversation easy?
What is your most memorable Christmas gift?
How do you get out of a conversation?