How to Make Conversation
The art of conversation starters and keeping it going.
One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.
Whether it is conversation starters with your crush, romantic conversation starters or conversation starters for texting, we talk a lot.
It might seem a little overwhelming for someone who prefers to stay silent, but with these conversation tips, conversation styles, and a list of 20 conversation starters that will help you feel more confident.
One major tip to take away from this post is to make a conversation with your genuine voice.
Not to be taken literally, because obviously you have to use your real voice, but I mean don’t be fake. Over time, you will find what works for you and your confidence will grow.
The stress of having a conversation will be a thing of the past.
An elegant woman may not always be perfect at the art of conversation, however, she tries to make it about the other person. She never tries to steal a spotlight or bore the other person to death about details of her own life.
In this post, I am specifically referring to just conversation starters. I have written a post about 7 Tips for Mastering the Art of Small Talk which I would appreciate if you read it after this one!
This post contains affiliate links and if you purchase anything on these links I may receive a small compensation.
Why Practice Conversation Starters
You might be thinking nothing of starting a conversation, and I would assume that you have no issues talking to people.
If you’re not one of those people, don’t worry, you can become a fluent and confident as any woman.
Charming others with the words, it simply takes practice.
Like every skill in life, practice makes perfect.
Take every moment you can to practice with a person – but if this is something that truly terrifies you, then I suggest trying it in front of a mirror.
Practice until you can say them without hesitation and with genuine interest. This kind of weird practice will build your confidence!
You don’t need to schedule in practice time if you feel that it is unnecessary, but every time you have a conversation with someone, use it and consider it as practice.
To get the most of each experience, try to analyze afterwards everything about the conversation.
- How did I begin?
- Did I initiate?
- Were they engaged? Or was it all about me?
- How did I get their attention?
- How did I feel?
Take these answers and see where you need to improve.
Don’t be too hard because even now I still make horrifying mistakes that make me want to hide my face and never walk out in public again.
But hey, we all do it!
After you have figured out where your shortcomings are, then you are in great shape.
Seeing where you can improve is the best way to start.
It might be a little difficult at first – mainly because nobody wants to be bad at something, however, within a short time you’ll be mastering the conversation starter like it was no problem at all.
I will be going through many different scenarios to help with many situations.
The Easiest Conversation Starters with Your Crush
There is always something about the people we like that makes us clam up. As hard as it is, the idea of doing it correctly gets us very excited.
Being an elegant woman, we always want to maintain a little bit of mystery. Not only because it makes us more alluring, but it also makes us feel not too exposed.
I run into this problem quite often if I am not too careful.
Although for me, it is not with my crush (because I’m happily married!) but before I could relate to this, and for me it was the silence that I wanted to fill.
When you’re alone with someone, whether it is someone you’re fond of or not, you must get used to the silence.
It will only be as awkward as you make it.
So you are there with your crush (or someone you admire) and you’re getting a little choked up, here are some options.
- “Hey how’s your day going?”
- “Hello there, any plans for tonight?”
- “Hey! How was your weekend?”
By using the knowledge that everyone loves to talk about themselves, it’s wise to start off about them.
This will ensure that they will be more engaged in the conversation.
That’s really half the battle, when talking to anyone is to make sure that they’re engaged and care about the conversation.
If you want to bore someone then begin just blabbing about yourself and see their facial reaction.
Think of it this way, unless you’re “The Most Interest Man in the World”, then frankly, nobody cares.
You must also take into consideration what you are trying to get from the conversation.
Are you just wanting attention, to make sure he notices you?
Perhaps you are a little further down the dating path and you want to hint that you’re available that weekend.
Figure out what you want and decide how to start the conversation.
Always avoid desperation at all costs.
For your own sake, if you feel that it might creep up, I would advise to just leave the conversation before you risk losing any respect.
If you’ve never formally met, it’s always a nice gesture to introduce yourself.
To be honest, I can be a traditionalist, meaning I believe men are to make the first move, bit if he is being super shy then you might need to gently step in.
But this world is so different, so you do you but do it with confidence.
How to Introduce Yourself
Always, always, always have a smile!
And to be a little more elegant, don’t force it because I believe being fake can be spotted from a mile away.
A simple little smirk, one that shows excitedness but a little mystery is perfect.
Make eye contact
Don’t be intimidating, but like everything in living elegantly, you need to be genuine. If you’re smiling it will also make your eyes look playful, beautiful, and more attractive!
Remember the point of the introduction, it is to let the other party know who you are. So if you think about this, you control how your first impression can go. You say what you think are your best features.
You show what you love most about yourself.
An introduction isn’t just to exchange names. It is a way to showcase your best attributes (without showboating). It’s about starting off the relationship strong.
If there is a handshake, take your cue from the Royals – pump only twice. Any longer and it just gets a little awkward. You have nothing to prove either, you don’t need to squeeze extra hard or give them a death stare.
Even if this is taking place in a business atmosphere, you have to be more elegant even though it might be tempting to be extra stern but resist. By trying too hard – it has the opposite effect.
Being gentle is a calm strength – always remember that!
Repeat their name
Think of the last time someone said your name while saying hello or goodbye, it’s nice isn’t it? I want to believe that we are all programmed to better respond to people who show us attention, even so small as to say our names.
Do it at least one time.
This expresses interest, and it also shows how well you listen (and pay attention!). Whether people like to admit it not, everyone likes to be remembered. Show them how memorable they are by saying their name before you part your ways.
Doing this also helps you to remember their name for yourself. So the next time you see them, you will most likely recall their names without much effort.
One serious tip is to make this sound as natural as possible. You can’t just awkwardly mention their name in a sentence. One way to be certain is to say their name as you say “It was nice to meet you ______”.
Always end on a high note
This may not always be possible because sometimes the conversation won’t allow it — but it can happen and when it does, you feel like a conversation PRO!
So, let’s figure out…
How exactly you can end on a high note.
1) Don’t wait – don’t wait until the conversation gets stale, end it when people aren’t annoyed or thinking of something else.
2) When you feel that it is going well, say goodbye! – this is so incredibly difficult because when it feels great and everything is going well, the last thing you want to do is leave. But I promise it will make the last memory of your conversation a great one.
3) Be direct – take control of the conversation. End it because you have to go, end it because you want to, but the most important part is that you end it by being direct and not by hemming and hawing. A nice example is:
“Well, it was really nice seeing you, but I have to get going! Hope to run into you again!”
Always be nice and polite.
4) When in doubt, mention them – like I’ve said many times, everyone likes to talk about themselves, do it here too! Tell them how much you enjoyed running into them, or that it was so nice to see them. By doing this it makes them feel great before leaving.
If you tell them how wonderful it was then odds are they will think the same!
5) Don’t lie – I’ve read in many different articles when researching for this post. But I have to strongly disagree.
I think even the most innocent and well-meaning white lie can cause trouble. When you lie, you have to remember when and what you lied about. While this may seem like an easy thing to do, it can catch you in trouble even in the future.
Don’t bother with it, it could end terribly for you. I tend to follow the rule, “if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all”
Conversation Starters for Texting
One positive attribute to texting is that it doesn’t need to be formal. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to follow rules of etiquette.
To slang or not to slang
I might be a little old fashioned, but I am not big on the slang and shortened terms. Especially when not we can use a keyboard instead of T9!
So there is no excuse, let’s just take a couple more minutes and write the full and proper word.
Plus, as a perk, people will often respond the way you speak to them. If you respond in full sentences, chances are they will do the same too!
Is it phone worthy?
Meaning do you think it warrants a phone call? I realize texting is much easier and allows you to multitask (by speaking to many people at one time), but sometimes it is just easier to have a quick, yet informative phone call.
Also, when having a phone call, something that can be misconstrued will most likely not which could avoid some unnecessary drama.
Can it be used against you?
Never write anything down that could be incriminating in any way.
This is serious!
Never write any negativity about someone else because they can use it to hurt you. And this doesn’t need to be about going to jail or not, but even making you look bad.
Remember that knowledge is power, and your thoughts are the same. Blackmail can happen. And if you don’t think what you’re doing now can affect you in the future, you are wrong. Look to all the politicians for an example!
Okay, so we got a few thoughts out of the way,
here are some…
Conversation Rules for Texting
1) Act as if you’re having a verbal conversation
Use the words and greetings of what you would actually say if you saw the person face to face.
A very simple hello mixed with a pleasantry, and always bringing the other person up.
2) Be quick and short and keep it to sending only one to two messages.
Are you like me where I send a text per thought or sentence? This is bad form and it took my husband to tell me what I was doing was annoying. I never thought about that but it’s true, sometimes every message you get is another ding of the phone and can be harder to read.
I never thought about that before and it really does make sense.
Also, I know you want to tell someone so much, then may I suggest actually calling because writing novels as text messages can also be quite annoying. Hard to read and sometimes, other people just don’t care enough to read the whole thing.
3) Respond adequately
I realize this is not a conversation starter but it deserves to be here. When someone goes out of their way to write to you a long and thoughtful message, the least you can do is write back well.
Give it some thought and try to address every part of their message.
I realize that this can be difficult but there is nothing more upsetting than writing out a long message and the response is a letter “k”, or worse, an emoji!
4) Ask if they have time
We are all so busy now. When you don’t ask if they have time then they don’t respond it could leave you upset and feeling insulted. When really it could all be avoided if you asked if they had the time or if they are in the middle of something.
We text because it is easier then speaking, but at the same time we need to understand that people are busy or doing other things and that texting is usually something that comes after other things get done.
5) Be patient
Things goes along with the last point. You don’t know if they even saw your message yet. But I realise you might want to keep sending messages to see if they are receiving it or maybe they simply forgot that you messaged and by messaging them is bringing it to their attention.
This seems so needy and annoying and this will draw them farther away from you. Just be patient and accept that when you text message you won’t get an answer faster than if you would call.
Always give them the benefit of the doubt or else you will be upset and usually for nothing.
What to Remember About Conversation Style
Regardless of what medium you use to start the conversation there are always a few rules to follow.
Being an elegant woman means knowing how to handle yourself in many different situations.
It can be a little discouraging when you feel like you don’t know how to act, here are a few rules you should try to remember.
1) It’s about them
Always talk about them. Direct the conversation in their favor. Seem interested in what they are doing or what they are talking about. Whenever you don’t know what to say, ask them about themselves!
However! Very important! There is a caveat, as it is always nice to talk about them, it prevents you from sounding like a narcissist, if you ask too personal of questions, it can make you seem nosy!
So remember small talk and avoid personal and touchy subjects!
2) Keep it light and bright!
It might be tempting to start a conversation about gossip or something terrible that is happening, but avoid it. I realize that bad news travels fast, but you don’t want to be the one spreading it.
If you are always the one that they hear the bad news from, that will be the type of person you will be in their eyes. You will be the Debbie Downer!
That is not a personal trait that I want people thinking about me and I doubt the same with you. Try to be naturally upbeat about something and like the good ol fashioned rule, “if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all!”
3) Be polite and gracious
Whether you are receiving compliments or giving them, be gracious. Always respond with kindness and find ways to genuinely compliment them.
4) Less is best
Without sounding too cliche, leave them wanting more!
It;s best to never overstay your welcome in the conversation. If you leave when you feel like everything is going well, then you will know you left on a high note.
5) Be engaged
I know that we have all talked to people about topics we can care less about, but we must try and also be engaged. Not just verbally but also physically Keep the eye contact, use your hands and positive body language.
Ask sincere questions, be a good listener.
Even if you don’t care, care! You’re not the most important person to listen to either, so remember that the next time your tempted to drift off in your thoughts and daydream while someone else is talking.
6) Understand the context
Just as important as reading the room, you need to understand the context of where the conversation is initiated. Is it at the mall, a funeral, a grocery store, a wedding?
They all can be very different in terms of starting conversations. Use your gut and follow other people’s lead. Are they chatting loudly? What has brought everyone together?
Not only do you know what to talk about, but you also have a good idea how long to keep a conversation going.
At the grocery store? Keep it under a few minutes. Why? Because they are most likely running an errand and usually when you’re running an errand and tackling your to-do list you have allotted yourself time to do so.
It’s best to assume they are doing the same thing.
Deep Conversation Starters
Up until this point I have only really mentioned if you are out and about and you run into someone.
But what about with your loved one?
Or a parent or child?
Having deep conversations are what make friendships so wonderful, but starting them can be difficult. You don’t want to look like you’re trying to pry, but you want to talk more about the weather or current events. You want a true friendship and open up.
1) Make sure you’re ready for lengthy conversation
There is nothing more rude than rushing someone who is having a heart to heart. Especially if you started it! So if you don’t have the time, please let them know ahead of time.
2) Make sure you’re ready for emotions
You might be opening up wounds or diving into something touchy that it could bring forth anger or sadness. You don’t necessarily need to know what to say, but being there is really want counts. If you end up crying together or talking about subjects that make you uncomfortable, that’s one factor of relationships!
3) Make sure you’re ready to listen
Especially now more than ever, when someone wants to talk and you’re giving them permission. Listen as best you can to all the details because you will most likely be asked your opinion and you won’t want to be a “yes man” even if it might be what they want to hear.
4) Make sure you’re ready to reciprocate
Only do what you are most comfortable doing. However, you need to understand that if you are initiating a conversation that can be personal then you most likely will need to also dish. The reason being that if you ask questions and never return the favor, you will come off as nosy.
Romantic Conversation Starters
Isn’t it just wonderful to be in love?
There is nothing more exciting then the butterflies in your stomach or the idea of him coming over for dinner.
Regardless romantic conversations happen and I’ve thought of some important things to keep in mind…
Dating Conversation Topics
Movies/ books/ podcasts/ Youtube
Goals (however, keep this super light-hearted)
Note: you can see that I didn’t include jobs or career in this list.
I purposely left it out for a couple reasons. One, it is not supposed to define who you are and it usually doesn’t. It could lead to unfair thoughts.
People might be uncomfortable talking about itm they could be in between jobs, working somewhere they hate or it could swing the other way and they don’t want you to see them as just their job.
Think about being a doctor, they might not want you to assume they have money. IT can be a private or heavy topic and I strongly urge you not to bring it up on the first few dates.
Values and Morals
Anything that is vitally important in your life needs to be discussed. I know that most of the time we want to avoid them because it can be an awkward subject, but it is important to bring it up.
Not necessarily on the first date or even the second, but they conversation topics need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Goals – Short term and long term future
Again, this might be too deep for many people or even something that they don’t want to think about but it is something that you should have an idea about the person you are dating.
That way your futures can align together.
How to Keep a Conversation Going
Being an elegant woman and knowing what to say goes togheter like peanut butter and jam – but that doesn’t always happen.
It happens to the best of us, when we put our foot in our mouth or say something you wish you could take back.
It takes practice to start a conversation, but it also takes just as much practice or more to keep a conversation going. There are a few variables that you need to be aware of:
- Are they fidgeting, looking at their watch, trying to leave?
- How engaged are they? What about yourself?
- Do you feel awkward? Meaning you don’t know what to say next?
When you feel that you are comfortable and you sense that they feel the same way, then you can choose to keep the conversation going.
Be sure to always nod your head and answer all the questions (within reason).
List of Conversation Starters
1) How’s your weekend going?
2) How’s your evening?
3) Any plans for tonight? This weekend?
4) Have you seen the new movie __________? I heard _____________ about it!
5) I love your hair, how do you get it to stay like that?
6) Did you watch that hockey /basketball/ football (insert any sport or game)? I hated/loved (name a detail in the game).
7) I can’t believe how much it rained last night! (It’s always a safe bet to talk about the weather. While it can be annoying if you’re whining too much, a lot of people can agree on it!)
8) Have you tried this new restaurant in town?
9) It’s been forever since we’ve seen each other, how’s everything been? (this is a good time to mention family members and ask how they have been)
10) What do you think of (bar, restaurant, gym, any place really) ?
11) What are some good blogs that you have been reading lately?
12) Are you into audible books?
13) What kind of podcasts do you like to listen to?
14) Do you like when movies are being remade into new versions?
15) What is your favorite thing to watch?
16) What kind of hobbies are you interested in?
17) What genre of movies are you into? What kind of things do you like on Netflix?
18) Have you ever met anyone famous before?
19) Where is your favorite place to visit?
20) What did you go to school for?
When you’re really stuck and all else fails, just ask them how they have been and a few questions that is related to what they are doing.
But after that, and there still is no conversation going – embrace the silence.
Do not feel that you need to push talking because the harder you push the worse it will feel and the ironic thing is, the more you try to make it not awkward – the more awkward it gets!
Use your best judgement and if you make a mistake, keep trying.
I have lost track of how many times I’ve put myself in situations where I just feel so stupid for my insistent talking, trying to force a conversation when I should have listening to my gut and embraced the silence!
For a more comprehensive list of starters if you’re stuck click here.
Boring is Fun
Conversation starters can be daunting, especially if they are to a stranger, but being an elegant woman it is an important lesson to know.
Being prepared with knowledge of starting a conversation and knowing how to do it with ease can help others around you feel comfortable.
The most important thing to remember is that although there might be different ways and topics to hold a conversation there are always a few rules that applies.
It’s about them.
Always will be.
Make them feel comfortable, confident, and have them leave you feeling better than you did perfectly.
There is nothing wrong with having a debate or disagreement – but so long as you do it with respect and always light-hearted.
There might be different conversation styles but the most important part is to make it personable, not too personal, and make sure you leave the person feeling better than before they talked to you.
Remember that an elegant woman will always tries her hardest to make others feel more comfortable and that she will try to mold herself to others without forgetting who she is.
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