“Where are you from?”
“Do you come here often?”
Never be afraid to ask great questions. When I’m out at an event and someone asks me a question that’s completely out of the ordinary, it feels like a breath of fresh air.
So the next time you find yourself chatting with a new person and you’d like to take the conversation to that next level of awesomeness, try one of these. I promise you, you’ll get a lot more out of the exchange than if you’d simply asked, “Do you come here often?”
What are you most excited about right now in your life?
I love this question for two reasons: it takes the conversation to a super positive place, and it also gets them to share something that they genuinely care about. Whether it’s a promotion, a new pet, a seasonal change, or anything else – everyone has something they’re excited about.
What’s the best thing that happened to you this week so far?
We humans have a tendency to remember the bad things that happen to us, and somehow forget about most of the good things. This is a great question because it will allow them to recount a joyous occasion that they might have otherwise forgotten about. You’ll get to see them smile as they share a happy anecdote from their week. What could be better?
How did you get to where you are today?
Everyone loves telling their story. One of my favorite things to learn about a person is how they ended up in their current field or industry. More often than not, their journey had many twists, turns, and surprises. Learning about a person’s journey gives you tremendous insight into their character.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Think about what this is for you. That would lead to an interesting conversation, would it not?
What’s something amazing about you that you rarely tell people because you don’t want to brag?
This is my personal favorite. I was recently at a women’s networking event seated at a table of eight, and the facilitator had each of us announce to our table our name, industry, and one amazing thing about us. I learned that one woman at that table was an expert builder – she built a playground for her kids in her backyard. I would never have guessed that about her. All too often, women in particular are uncomfortable talking about their accomplishments and talents. Get them to brag a little!
I hope these five questions will lead you to many energizing and enlightening exchanges with the people you meet in life. And remember, you can always share your own answer after your acquaintance finishes, even if they don’t remember to ask those three little words, “How about you?”
Have any favorite conversation starter questions of your own? I’d love to hear in the comments below.