Things to Talk About

A conversation is basically an exchange of information on various topics between two or more people. When the content and form of the conversation are appropriate, people connect with each other. Having good things to talk about plays a big role here.

When you have good things to talk about with somebody, either a guy or a girl, it’s easier to keep the conversation going, make it interesting and create a positive connection.

As a social confidence coach, I often work with people who struggle with identifying the best things to talk about, which feeds their anxiety about making conversation.

So I want to share with you the best things to talk about that I know.

Good Things to Talk About With Anybody

There are some conversation topics that cannot fail. Almost every person will have something to say on these topics and they are suitable for many situations: a first date, a party, a coffee with friends, a business networking event, etc.

These topics form the acronym F.O.R.D., which is an excellent way to remember them so you can bring them up in a conversation. Here’s what it means:

F stands for Family. Ask the other person about their family: if they’re married (not on a date though), if they have kids, or how are things at home for them if you know them for a while. Talk about your family situation as well.

O stands for Occupation. This is one of my favorite things to talk about. You can ask the other person what they do for a living, how they got in their particular field or what they like about it. You can also disclose your own career situation.

R stands for Recreation. This is a very big topic, which offers many possibilities. Ask the other person what they do for fun, or what hobbies they have. Bring up your recreational activities as well, and discover your common interests if they exist.

D stands for Dreams. This is where you talk about future plans or goals. Anything from “Where do you see your career going in the future?” to “What do you want to do in your next vacation?” goes.

These topics can go hand in hand and it’s easy to jump from one to another; like from occupation to dreams and from dreams to recreation. This dynamic is what helps the conversation be fluid and engaging.

For more practical advice on making a conversation engaging, watch this presentation I have designed.

When In Rome…

You know that old adage: when in Rome do as the Romans do? It applies a lot to conversation and finding the best things to talk about with somebody.

The context you meet a person in leaves clues about their interests. And their interests give you interesting things to talk about.

For instance, if you meet a person at an art gallery, they probably like art. So it’s a good idea to ask them what exhibits they like the most at that gallery, or what kind of art they like the most.

It’s pretty straightforward for a person to get pleasure from a conversation when they talk about the things they love to talk about.

Plus, the more you converse with a person, the better an idea you get about their specific interests, and then you can navigate the conversation towards the topics related to those interests.

The key is to first be curious about how a person’s overall life looks life, and to ask questions using the F.O.R.D. model. Then, as you have a clearer picture of their lifestyle, you can infer the specific conversation topics that person enjoys the most.

Remove the Obstacles

There is one thing that all people who frequently don’t know what to talk about with others have in common.

It’s not that they’re not intelligent enough to figure out what to talk about, it’s that they have a flawed mindset.

They may think that they always need to find the perfect things to talk about, that they must always impress or that others won’t enjoy conversing with them if they just talk about the things that naturally pop into their head.

They are often shy and anxious in social settings, and struggling with finding things to talk about is merely a symptom of that.

For this reason, it’s imperative to remove these internal blocks. Work on identifying and eliminating your limiting beliefs, as well as boosting your social confidence.

I have created a special presentation that will show you the exact steps you need to take in order to overcome your limiting beliefs and develop your social confidence. Make sure you check it out.

Once you get these obstacles out of the way, you will always have subjects to talk about and naturally make conversation fun. Confidence is the propeller that will make banter run effortlessly, make you astonish others, and make your social life thrive.

Equipped with the essential knowledge I just gave concerning the right things to talk about, plus a solid dose of social confidence, you can enjoy meaningful interactions with others in any situation.

Image courtesy of Ktoine 

Top 10 Conversation Topics

Recommending people conversation topics is tricky. Personally, tuning my people skills, I have learned to talk about anything and everything. I can do this now, not because I know a lot of stuff (which I don’t), but because I can relate with people on any subject.

Simultaneously, I am aware that particularly when you’re talking with a person you’ve just met it’s good to understand what the interesting conversation topics that go well with most people are. Thus, you can start a conversation on a common ground and build rapport fast.

With this in mind, I am giving you ten fine researched conversation topics I believe work fabulously in most conversations. So you can confidently pick from them in your social interactions and then adapt the conversation topics as you learn more about the other person.

Before I list these topics though, I want to add one thing: knowing the right topics doesn’t do much for you if you lack conversation confidence. Knowledge without attitude is useless. This is why I have created for you a free presentation in which I reveal the secrets to conversation confidence. Go here to watch it.

1. Human Psychology

We love the subject of human nature and nurture. We want to understand ourselves better and to understand others better. To some people, this is almost like having a superpower.

Talking about how we are, how our mind works, why we do what we do and anchoring this in real life is always interesting. Furthermore, if you know some fascinating psychological theories, you’re sure to woo anybody.

2. Traveling

Nowadays, traveling is highly accessible and it is the favorite pastime of many people. Almost every person out there with a decent income does some long distance traveling every year and has a lot of stories to tell.

For this reason, I find that it’s very easy to get other people talking about their traveling experiences and to relate with them. Plus, I have filled most of my traveling agenda based on recommendations from others. So I killed two birds with one stone.

3. Books

From what I can tell, almost everybody with a level of education above high-school reads books, at least once in a while. Sure, people may have different tastes in what they read, but the subject of books in itself is very big and juicy.

Also, keep in mind the alternative sources for reading material such as newspapers, magazines, journals, websites and the increasingly popular… blogs.

4. Movies

Books may have their limits as an interest, but I’m positive that everybody who doesn’t live in a monastery watches movies. In my perspective, this is one of the richest conversation topics out there.

The caveat is that a discussion about movies can quickly get boring, so you want to be careful and elegant with it. You most certainty don’t want to abuse this topic.

5. Women/ Men

I often say that men’s favorite conversation topic is women, and women’s favorite topic is men. You might as well exploit this. I have rarely seen two men connect as easy as when they are having a discussion about the ‘prey’ (and I’m not talking about wild deer).

Even if you’re talking with a person of the opposite sex, talking about either men or women (pick one at a time) can be very engaging. We generally love to get the perspective of the opposite sex on this subject.

6. Hobbies

There is a wide range of hobbies people may have, from polo, to yoga, to pottery. I frequently like to ask others about their hobbies. Even if we may not have a lot of hobbies in common, they present a good opportunity to get to know the other person and perhaps discover a new, exciting hobby for myself.

Preferably, avoid talking with a workaholic about their hobbies, as they will politely (or not) explain you how they work 70 hours each week. Speaking of workaholics…

7. Career

There is a huge difference between a job and a career. A job is what you do at one point or another for money. A career is a journey of learning, adding value and receiving value that stretches over most of your lifetime.

You don’t want to narrowly focus a conversation on “What do you do for a living?” You want to also explore career plans, career challenges or the journey so far.

8. Bars, clubs, pubs and coffee shops

One of my favorite conversation questions is: “Where do you go out?” Some people prefer places where they can dance, some where they can eat and others where they can just hangout or use their people skills to socialize.

Nevertheless, most persons do like to go out of their cave and explore their immediate surroundings. Conversation topics involving their experiences in this area are definitely a good idea.

9. Food

There is this subtle attraction most of us humans have towards food: making it, seeing it, acquiring it and eating it. It’s not just a subject for housewives and chefs.

Subtle conversations on the art of cooking or the art of eating, sharing small details about the kinds of foods you like and how you eat them, these create a bond between people.

10. Events

If you live in a relatively big city (and chances are that you do), there’s a lot going on in it every day of the week: conferences, celebrations, marches, strikes, accidents, alien invasions and so on.

Such events create one of the best conversation topics for some quality small talk at the beginning of a conversation: they’re easy to bring into discussion, somewhat interesting and they’re happening somewhere near you.

These are ten conversation topics I use quite a lot and I find well suited for almost any conversation. They’re a good tool to engage people, make interactions enjoyable, build relationships and reveal your charismatic personality.

However, they are only the second layer in making conversation. Check out my instructional presentation on conversation confidence to learn how to put a solid foundation.

What are the conversation topics that work best for you?

Image courtesy of Bethan