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  1. Blog
  2. Culture & Professionalism
  3. May 22, 2024

100 Best Conversation Starters to Make Connecting Easy

Lead the conversation in team check-ins, at networking events, during ERG meetings, and more

women laughing at good conversation starters
Photo courtesy of Gary Barnes

We all know a good conversationalist. It might be that one coworker who always has the best icebreakers during team meetings, the manager who makes 1:1s fun because of their small talk skills, or the acquaintance who quickly became a friend because of their ability to ask deep, inquisitive questions right off the bat. 

Being able to lead a conversation demonstrates confidence, effective communication skills, empathy, active listening, and the ability to collaborate and inspire others—all of which are valuable soft skills in the workplace. Plus, research shows that having at least one quality conversation a day can positively impact your wellbeing. 

With the right conversation starters, you, too, can be just like that coworker, manager, or friend. Browse these 100 conversation starters so you’ll always have an opener in mind for a variety of different situations. We promise you’ll get more than a one-word response.

Read more: 8 Effective & Memorable Ways to Introduce Yourself Professionally (with Examples)

Best conversation starters for getting to know your colleagues better

Leading conversations allows you to connect with your team on a deeper level, building rapport and trust. Bonding over fun conversations can strengthen relationships and create a more positive, creative work environment, so try using one of these conversation starters to get your team talking on a dreary Monday morning or a slow Friday afternoon.

1. I'd love to hear about a recent win or success each of you has experienced, big or small.

2. What type of music do you like, and what’s the last concert you went to?

3. Let's kick off our meeting with a quick round of 'Rose, Bud, Thorn.' What's something positive (rose), something we're looking forward to (bud), and a challenge we're facing (thorn)?

4. What's a personal goal you're currently working toward?

5. Let's start today's meeting with a fun icebreaker: If you could switch jobs with anyone on the team for a day, who would it be and why?

6. What's one skill or talent you possess that you'd love to utilize more in our team projects?

7. What's the weirdest job you've ever had before joining this team?

8. What are your top three favorite TV shows of all time?

9. Since teamwork is essential to our success, let's kick off our meeting by sharing one thing we appreciate about each other's contributions.

10. What’s the silliest celebrity gossip you’ve heard recently?

11. Do you have a favorite app or website that you find useful or entertaining?

12. What’s your best story about an interesting coworker or boss you’ve had in the past?

13. As we gather today, let's each share one goal or intention we have for this week.

14. If you could attend any major sporting event this year, which one would it be?

15. What's your go-to comfort food?

16. What’s made you smile so far today?

17. Do you all have a favorite season?

18. What's a place you consider a hidden gem around here?

19. If you could start a business, what would it be, and why?

20. What's one thing you're proud of accomplishing since our last meeting?

Read more: 60 Memorable Ways to Say ‘Thank You for Your Hard Work’

Best conversation starters for meeting new people at networking events

Networking events can feel intimidating, especially if you consider yourself an introvert. With these foolproof conversation starters, you can master small talk with ease and reduce the initial awkwardness of meeting new people. You never know which conversation will uncover opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, partnerships, or career advancement. 

21. What brings you to this event? Are you looking to make new connections or learn something specific?

22. What’s one experience you believe everyone should have at least once?

23. What's the most interesting project you've been involved with recently?

24. Do you have any favorite apps or tools that you use to stay productive or organized?

25. Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

26. What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing this year?

27. Have you been to any other interesting events lately? Any recommendations?

28. If you could have any job in the world, regardless of qualifications or logistics, what would it be? 

29. What's one thing about your job or industry that you wish more people knew or understood?

30. What's the most interesting book you've read recently?

31. How do you recharge and find inspiration when you're feeling stuck?

32. What's a cause or issue you wish more people cared about?

33. What is the most rewarding part of your career?

Best conversation starters for making new friends

Having friends at work can make your job infinitely more enjoyable. Whether you want to befriend your coworker or someone you met outside of work, these are creative, fun conversation starters to help you get to know their interests and passions and drive a meaningful connection. 

34. Do you have any favorite local restaurants or cafes? I'm always on the lookout for new places to try.

35. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done recently?

36. What's something you could talk about for hours?

37. If you didn't have the job you have now, what would you be?

38. Where would you go on vacation if you had no budget?

39. What's the best thing you've bought off of Amazon recently?

40. What’s your favorite positive affirmation to use?

41. Are you into any sports or outdoor activities?

42. Are there any hobbies or skills you've been wanting to learn or develop?

43. What's your favorite thing about living in [city or town]?

44. Say you’ve had a rough day at work. What do you do to relax?

45. What did you think you would be doing at this age when you were a kid?

46. What do you think has been the best movie of the year so far?

47. What's the strangest dream you've had recently?

48. What inspires you at work each day?

49. If you could host a talk show, who would you have on first?

50. What are the top three things on your bucket list?

Best conversation starters for meetings with clients and customers

Small talk with clients and customers during meetings often feels like a large undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to open up the room to conversation without resorting to discussing the weather (although, it is still a safe and classic conversation starter, too).

51. I noticed [mention something related to their business or industry]. How has that been going for you?

52. Before we dive into business, is there anything new or exciting happening on your end?

53. What do you value most in a business relationship, and how can we ensure we're meeting those expectations?

54. Is there a particular aspect of our product/service that you find most valuable?

55. How do you typically measure success in a partnership, and how can we ensure we're meeting those expectations?

56. Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives on your radar where we might be able to offer support or assistance?

57. I'm always interested in learning from our clients. What's one piece of feedback you have for us to improve our partnership?

58. Since effective communication is key to our success, let's start by sharing one professional goal we each have for this meeting.

59. Let's break the ice with a quick round of 'Two Truths and a Lie.' Who's up for sharing?

60. We’d love to treat everyone. What’s everyone’s favorite way to take their coffee? 

Best conversation starters for icebreakers during team-bonding activities

The purpose of team-building and bonding activities is to encourage open communication and collaboration among team members, making them the perfect opportunity to exercise your conversation skills. Lean in to the vulnerability of these activities and invite your colleagues to open up with these fun and unique conversation openers. 

61. If you could have a conversation with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you ask them?

62. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability or quality, what would it be?

63. Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?

64. If you could magically learn a new language overnight, which one would you choose and why?

65. What's the most interesting place you've traveled to?

66. What's a movie or TV show you could watch over and over again?

67. If you could have any animal as a pet, which one would you choose?

68. If you could visit any fictional world, which one would you choose?

69. What board game are you incredibly competitive at?

70. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

71. What's the most delicious meal you've ever had, and where was it?

72. What three items would you bring to a deserted island?

73. What’s your favorite Olympic sport to watch?

74. What’s the weirdest, most random fact you know?

75. Show us the best meme you’ve seen recently.

76. Share a quirky or unusual hobby or interest you have.

Best conversation starters after relocating to a new city

When relocating to a new city, good conversation starters can help you feel more comfortable and confident in social situations, making it easier to connect with new coworkers, neighbors, and locals. By initiating conversations and showing genuine interest in others, you signal your willingness to connect and engage with your new community.

77. I'm new to the area and still exploring. Do you have any favorite local spots you'd recommend?

78. Are there any community events or gatherings happening soon that I should know about?

79. I just moved here recently and am still getting my bearings. What's one thing you think I shouldn't miss out on experiencing in this area?

80. Do you have any suggestions for social or recreational activities where I can get involved?

81. What's your favorite thing about living here?

82. I recently moved here and am curious about the local culture. Can you recommend any museums, galleries, or cultural sites to check out?

83. I'm new to the area and trying to find my way around. Any tips for navigating public transportation or getting around town?

84. Do you have any recommendations for places where locals like to hang out or grab a bite to eat?

85. Is there any good folklore about this town/city?

86. Do you have any favorite weekend getaway spots or day trip destinations nearby?

87. As a newcomer to the area, I'm curious to know: What's one thing you wish you knew when you first moved here?

88. What's your go-to spot for unwinding after work?

Read more: How to Get a Job in Another State: 5 Steps from Someone Who’s Done It Twice

Best conversation starters for employee resource group (ERG) meetings

ERGs are built around community and connection. Regardless of whether you’re an ERG leader or participant, you can use these conversation starters to solicit valuable feedback, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that ERG meetings are meaningful and productive for all members.

89. What works really well about this ERG in your opinion?

90. If you could change anything about your experience, or the way this ERG operates, what would it be?

91. What are the lessons that you’ve learned about yourself during your time in this ERG?

92. How does your involvement in this ERG make you feel?

93. Let’s all share one resource, article, or book that has inspired us recently that might benefit others in our group.

94. What's one positive change or initiative you'd like to see us focus on in the coming months?

95. Are there any specific guest speakers or experts you'd like to invite to future meetings?

96. What feedback do you have regarding the format or structure of our meetings? 

97. What resources or support would you find helpful in preparing for and contributing to our meetings?

98. How can we incorporate more opportunities for networking and relationship-building among ERG members during our meetings?

99. Are there any bonding activities you would like to lead or participate in?

100. Are there any challenges or barriers you've encountered in attending our meetings? 

Read more: Is an Employee Resource Group Right for You? 4 Times to Check In with Yourself & Your Company

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