40 Conversation Starters That Make Mingling Fun


We've all found ourselves in awkward situations where we'd rather scroll mindlessly on our phone than make the effort of mingling. But it doesn't have to be anxiety-inducing to break the ice with people you've never met before. Sure, a cocktail can help, but so does a solid conversation starter. Try one of these 40 questions to get people chatting next time you're stuck at a work event or don't know anyone at a party.

  1. Where did you grow up? This is a great icebreaker that gets someone talking about the past, which often puts others at ease.
  2. Do you have any pets? People love their pets, and inquiring about them encourages further conversation. And, even if the person you're chatting with doesn't have any, it's still a good start.
  3. What's your favorite book? Instead of asking what people are reading right now, which can be a bit too intimate, asking about a book they love can create a mutual connection.
  4. What's the first thing you do after work? Do you kick off your shoes? Hit the gym? Asking how people relax makes them feel relaxed.
  5. What's your dream job? Even at a corporate gathering, inquiring about someone's dream job is a fun way to get a conversation started.
  6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Not everyone gets to travel tons, making this a fun question for anyone.
  7. What countries have you traveled to? Even if you haven't traveled the world, asking if others have encourages someone to share memories.
  8. Do you like to cook? Asking about favorite dishes and culinary adventures sparks delicious dishing.
  9. What's your favorite food? Everyone eats, making this an icebreaker that works anywhere, anytime.
  10. What's your favorite drink? A wonderfully basic question, asking about best-loved beverages works at any gathering.
  11. Do you have a favorite local restaurant? This is a great conversation to get people talking about their favorite local hangouts, which puts everyone at ease.
  12. What's your favorite movie? You can find out a lot about a person when you chat about a favorite movie. Follow it up with specific questions, such as scene stealers and actors in the flick.
  13. What movie are you dying to see? Jump in with a question that involves everyone and will get a group chatting over new releases.
  14. What are you watching on TV? This is another question that won't offend and is open-ended, encouraging even the supershy to start chatting.
  15. What's the last concert you went to? Another easygoing question for one-on-one conversation or for jumping into a group conversation. And it's a fun way to find out what kinds of music your new friends listen to.
  16. What's the craziest thing you've ever done? For those who are ready to make a bold first impression, this is a question that gets attention and can lead to fun conversation.
  17. If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have only one item, what would it be? Yes, a classic one-liner, but this convo starter always gets a good answer.
  18. What's your favorite season? Here's a question that works well with the "it's always easy to talk about the weather" concept. Follow up by asking about the current weather conditions, and you have a conversation.
  19. Do you speak any other languages? Asking a semipersonal question encourages others to share information about themselves without feeling guarded.
  20. Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? Make chatting easy by asking about future plans — without setting off a stalker vibe. Keep it light and share your plans too.
  21. Where's your favorite place to hang out in town? Here is another fun way to start a conversation about your community without being threatening. And it opens discussion to favorite restaurants, bars, and shops.
  22. I like your shirt! Where did you get it? A genuine compliment makes anyone smile.
  23. I can't place this song — do you know it? Hey, even if you know the tune, asking someone else about the music playing is a simple start.
  24. How long have you been at your job? Even at a corporate event, asking others about their job titles, roles, and how long they have been at the company breaks the ice.
  25. Tell me about something that made you laugh this week. Everyone loves a good laugh! Asking about something that brought on a chuckle makes anyone smile.
  26. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? A bit more direct, but asking a specific question that requires thought can really make an impression.
  27. How are you today? Sure, this is a no-brainer question, but it gets people talking.
  28. Where is the best place you have ever visited? Taking a vacation is always wonderful. Asking someone new about a favorite destination is always an easy way to start talking.
  29. Did you hear about (something trending in the news)? Pick something pretty generic, remembering to stay away from politics and religion, and the conversation will get rolling.
  30. So, what's your story? OK, this one is borderline pick-up line, but it's also a direct approach for chatting.
  31. This place is awesome! Have you been here before? Complimenting the venue is a positive way to chat with others.
  32. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why? Just don't roar after asking! This question is also a fun and light way to break the ice.
  33. If you could invite a famous person over for dinner, who would it be? Also an often-used convo starter, this question has lasted the test of time, which makes it a winner anywhere, anytime.
  34. What's your favorite holiday? Open and generic, a basic question is an easy way to start mingling.
  35. What's the craziest thing you've ever eaten? Here's another fun question that gets people talking! And it's a great question to use when you feel awkward joining a group that's already chatting.
  36. What is one thing you couldn't live without? Wine? Chocolate? Bread? There's no wrong answer to this question, which makes it another winner.
  37. Have you ever won anything? It feels good when you win something, so asking someone about this special moment encourages sharing.
  38. Do you have any brothers or sisters? Slightly personal without requiring too much info, asking others about their family is a smart way to make connections.
  39. Have you ever met anyone famous? A brush with a famous person is always a thrill, making talking about it with a stranger a fun icebreaker.
  40. Do you prefer texting, calling, or emailing? Emailing! This is actually a great question to ask someone after you have made a connection. Follow up by asking for your new friend's phone number or email address.