How are your conversation skills? Do you find it easier to text than to have a face-to-face conversation? We’re here to help! Face-to-face conversations are tricky, but they’re a great way to truly connect with someone on a personal level. Our 29 tips to hold quality conversation will help you start conversations better than a candy heart ever could.

Start quality conversation

Opening a conversation can be as easy as saying, “How about this weather?”. But will the conversation go much further than next week’s forecast? Unless the other person is extremely passionate about the weather, the answer is no.

Instead, start with an engaging question focusing on your environment. If you’re at an event, ask what the other person thought of:

  • The speaker
  • The food
  • The event venue

If it’s just a random encounter, focus on something you can easily identify first. Maybe they’re wearing a fun shirt or cool shoes. Ask them where they purchased them and discuss your favorite places to shop. A few ideas for random conversation starters are:

  • How should success be measured? By that measurement, who is the most successful person you know?
  • How often do you help others? Who do you help? How do you help?
  • If you could bring back one TV show that was cancelled, which one would it be?

Once the conversation begins:

  • Jump into more detailed questions regarding favorites or opinions.
  • Keep things positive and bubbly to create a warm atmosphere that generates healthy conversation.

Unless you’re at a religious or political event, it is wise to avoid those topics. They may come off as combative and often make people feel uncomfortable.

Continue quality conversation

How do you keep the conversation going? First, gauge if the other person actually wants the conversation to continue. If they keep breaking eye contact or fail to ask questions of their own, consider moving on to another person. Forcing conversation creates an uncomfortable situation for everyone.

To keep conversation flowing:

  • Continue asking open ended questions that allow the other person to express their interests
  • Be an active listener, ask follow-up questions
  • Avoid giving one word answers
  • Understand the conversation might hit bumps along the way

A few question prompts to consider are:

  • “Tell me more about…”
  • “What’s the best part of…”
  • “What started your interest in…”

Different personalities enjoy talking about themselves to varying degrees, so make sure there’s an equal give and take in the conversation.

Search for free information

Good conversations often have free information passed along that provides opportunity for extended conversation. The trick is to listen. Often, people will mention minor details when answering a question that can lead to new topics and more detailed, engaging conversation. Here’s an example:

You: Wow, I really love the pattern of that shirt.

Other person: Thank you! I just bought it at the mall.

In this situation, you could ask:

  • What’s your favorite store at the mall?
  • What store did you purchase the shirt from?
  • What’s your favorite mall?
  • What food court item would you have as your last meal?

Just from that little piece of information, the opportunities are endless.

Consider exchanging information

If you’ve genuinely enjoyed the conversation, let the other person know. Consider exchanging phone numbers or add them on Facebook or Twitter. This could form a new friendship and lead to many adventures.

Let us know how these work!

Valentine’s Day is coming up (hint, hint). Give these starters a try and let us know if they work for you. Remember: stay positive, project confidence, and remain interested in the conversation. You don’t have to be the most interesting person; you just have to be the most interested.