Great conversation starters are something you can learn. Maybe you’ve told yourself you’re bad at approaching people. Maybe you’re a bit shy. Or maybe you’re simply in a bustling room and need to find a way to break through the noise.
When it comes to in-person networking having some quick-draw conversation starters ready to go offers a big leg up. This is especially true if you’re conversation starters are timely pop references. Here are some engaging popular culture conversation starters that can help you seamlessly connect with others.
Ask A Question
Have you ever been curious about what someone does for a living? Maybe also their outfit and accent? People tend to light up with joy when you become curious about their story. Lets face it, we all enjoy feeling understood and seen by someone who actually cares. How about getting to know someone new for the sake of expanding your network by sharing a moment with them.
At your next in-person networking event, when you approach someone take genuine interest in who they are and what they do. If someone tells you they work for a DTC health brand, ask if they’ve always been interested in health. If they tell you they’re in digital marketing, ask about the latest exciting trend. This authentic approach to professional networking will set you apart from the crowd and bring you career to the next level.
The “icebreaker” is always the hardest part, so here are 5 engaging conversation-starters to kick things off:
- Have you done anything exciting lately?
- What song do you wish you could put on right now?
- What is the most rewarding part of your career?
- Are you having a good time?
Ask a question in a calm way while holding space to ensure your audience feels invited to fully express themselves. This is easier when you feel humble and curious enough to learn something new without always rushing to follow up with your thoughts on their matter.
Instead of thinking of things to say, give those you’re talking to your full attention and invite them to fully represent their truth on the subject matter. This is a powerful way to leave a heartfelt impression on someone in an environment where small talk is a commonality.
You can also use Popl digital business cards to help keep track of people you connected with. First impressions matter, but it's critical to keep in touch. Popl makes exchanging contact information, following up, and keeping your connections organized as easy as tap.
Make a (Light) Joke
Have you ever laughed at yourself? When you find humor in a step backwards, you end up leaping forward. This is the perfect mindset to have when making light of another challenge by using witty humor as your delivery method. Carry on, spark a chuckle.
How do you express your sense of humor in a professional setting? Simple: Be yourself, but don’t be outrageous. Playful but not offensive. Focus on light, inoffensive topics. Some might say that lifting other people's mood is the new cool, give it a try.
Conversation Starters: Give a Genuine Compliment
Do you remember the last time you received a sincere compliment? Did it enhance your mood? To feel seen may just be the best part of every persons day. This is easily accomplished through sincerely complimenting what you find attractive in someone. Whether it be their hair style, their energy, or their work - mean what you say.
Elevate yourself by Elevating others.
Use your awareness to scan what you find cool, attractive, and authentic in them and simply let your inspiration do the talking. Remain cheerful and confident in your delivery and invite your smile out to set the tone.
Here are some fun ways to give a compliment.
- That shirt looks great on you.
- You have a refreshing smile.
- There's something very unique about you.
What Do They Do For Fun?
No matter how old you are, and even if you're at a networking event the word fun tends to capture your attention once it is mentioned by another person; specifically when pursuing hobbies and interests. Be yourself through out your interaction which includes sharing what you like to do for fun. After all, doing fun things with fun people allows for a productive all-around experience.
Here are simple questions you can ask:
- Do you play any sports?
- How do you like to have fun?
- What's your favorite way to enjoy your time?
Share Something, Learn Something
Some of the most effective wisdom is simple termed and therefore easy to pass along when the opportunity arises. Never underestimate the power sharing interesting facts about your personal or business journey. What makes you different?
Remember, the goal here is to establish compatibility in working together as well as expanding your network. To do this remain relative to the events or circumstances that brought you two share in common.
Conversation Starters: Be Authentic
Practicing authenticity in a business setting can feel daunting, however it’s also immensely rewarding. By showing up as your authentic self, you invite others to also express their authenticity. Not to mention, your ability to remain calm while standing out inspires a great impression on your current and soon-to-be new friends.
Great interactions are generally based in good intentions, curiosity about the other, and healthy energy exchange. Finetune your conversational skills using these concepts and sharpen your ability to connect with anyone, anywhere.
Conclusion | Pop Conversation Starters
There you have it, the best ways to start a great conversation at your next networking event. Whether you’re in marketing, sales, or an independent consultant, it’s critical to know how start engaging conversations. Follow these tips to improve your conversation skills and grow your professional career and personal life journey simultaneously.