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Cool Conversation Starter Tips for Every Situation and How To Start A Conversation With A Stranger

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Have you ever wanted to get to know someone, but you didn't know how to start the conversation? A good conversation starter is like starting a car engine. If you don’t know how to start the engine, you will not go anywhere. “Haven’t we met before?” may sound too common and obvious. There is a way to turn this common icebreaker into a cool and natural conversation opener. Starting a conversation with strangers can be easy, if you know how to go about it. Here are a few simple and cool conversation starter tips and strategies that I have found useful.

Is she/he interested to talk to me?

If you wonder whether the stranger is interested to talk to you, observe their body language. They will show their interest non-verbally by:

· looking at you more than once

· smiling at you, having their arms and legs uncrossed in an open position

· have their legs crossed towards you

Persons of opposite sex who are attracted to you may indicate their interest in several more gestures such as

· straightening their clothes

· combing their hair

· caressing certain parts of their bodies

· rubbing an object like a glass or chair

· letting you catching them looking at you, and then holding their gaze a few more seconds before turning their eyes away

How do I start?

Once you have decided whom you are interested to start the conversation, the subsequent step is to smile, make eye contact, and speak.

While many people sit around pondering with uncertainty for the ‘perfect’ conversation starter, research has shown that what you say is relatively insignificant. However, it helps to start with positive openers. Negative openers generally discourage others to talk to you and will probably set a depressed tone for the conversation. A man once approached a woman in a party and started conversation with, ‘Oh my, I can’t stand all this rock music!’ She replied, ‘Well then, why are you still here?’

So, first tip: Start with positive openers.

A good conversation starter doesn’t have to be wonderfully clever, witty, funny or meaningful; ordinary comments are just fine.

What is important is the opportunity to make the first contact and get the conversation going thereafter. If the other person is interested, he or she will help you to find common interest and move the conversation to a more personal level.

Second tip: Start with ordinary comment.

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What To Do When She Doesn’t Reply

I know you’ve been there. You thought there was a connection. She seemed really interested and couldn’t wait to give you her number. You even allowed your thoughts to wander to “maybe she’s the one” and then…she never calls you back. Don’t worry brochacho, it’s happened to us all. Read on and find out the best way to handle that situation with dignity and awareness.

What should I say?

Thinking up a conversation starter is simple. Basically, you have three areas of topic to choose from. To remember it, think of the acronym, SOY :

1. Situation

2. Other Person

3. Yourself

And there are only three ways to start, remember the acronym GAS :

1. Give an opinion

2. Ask a question

3. State a fact

Your first aim is to get the other person interested to talk to you, so the best approach to start a conversation is usually by asking a question.

There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.” ~James Nathan Miller

Closed ended questions are fine, but avoid asking too many of them in a row. Stating an opinion works well too, certainly better than just voicing out a fact. When you talk about facts like, ‘It rains a lot lately,’ or ‘The house is beautiful’, the fact doesn’t involved the other person, so, the next step is to ask a question, such as, ’Have you tasted the cheese? It’s so delicious.’ Basically, switch between asking a question, giving an opinion or stating a fact to start the conversation. Let’s have a look at the ‘SOY’ topics, and see how we can use them in starting a conversation.

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Cool Pick-Up Lines

I bet you $20 you're gonna turn me down.

The only thing your eyes haven't told me is your name.

Be unique and different, say yes.

Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?

There is something wrong with my cell phone. It doesn't have your number in it.

Excuse me, but I think I dropped something. MY JAW!

Do you have the time? [Tells you the time] No, the time to write down my number?

Hi, how are you? [Fine] Hey, I didn't ask you how you looked!

I'm sorry, were you talking to me? [No] Well then, please start.

How much does a polar bear weigh? [How much?] Enough to break the ice... Hi, I'm (insert name here).

Is it hot in here or is it just you?

You know the more I drink, the prettier you get!

Do you want to see a picture of a beautiful person? (hold up a mirror)

Stare at girl . ("What're you staring at?")

Sorry, but you owe me a drink. [Why?] Because when I looked at you, I dropped mine.

You're so beautiful that you made me forget my pickup line.

I'm not drunk, I'm just intoxicated by you.

Do you have a map? I'm getting lost in your eyes.

Talk About the Situation

Talking about the situation you are both in is usually the safest and easiest of the three ‘SOY’ options to start a conversation. It is less likely to provoke anxiety than talking about the other person. It is also more likely to encourage involvement of the other person than talking about yourself.

To start a conversation about the situation, look around to find things that interest or puzzle you. If possible, look for things that the other person is also likely to want to talk about. Here are some examples of openers under different situations or surroundings. Keep in mind that they are no better than what you are likely to come up with. Saying something is often better than remaining speechless.

At a bowling game:

‘Which team do you think will win? Why do you say that?’

At an art gallery:

‘What do you suppose the artist wanted to say?’

At a supermarket:

‘I notice you are buying artichokes. Do you by any chance know how to choose a good one? ‘

‘I notice that you bought some apple cider vinegar. I have always wondered, is it really beneficial for health?’

‘I notice that you have chosen some beetroot. I have always been curious, how do you prepare them?’

"Would you like a taste of my forbidden fruit?" ~ contributed by Jasmine JellyBaby

Waiting in line for a movie:

‘What have you heard about this movie? What made you decide to watch it?’

Waiting in a queue:

‘Hi, this queue doesn't seem to be moving much, does it? Since we have to spend hours here queuing, I guess I should introduce myself: I am Dave. What is your name?’

To a neighbour:

‘Your roses bloom so beautifully. What’s your secret? What’s that you’re working on?’

‘I could not help but notice that you have a new dog. What’s his name? Where did you get it from?’

In an elevator:

‘This must be the world’s slowest elevator.’ (If the other person is interested to talk to you, he or she may response by comparing it to another elevator somewhere else.)

And here is a good ice-breaker in an elevator by David Wygant:

“What is it about elevators that make everyone so quiet? We all do the same thing in an elevator: we look at the buttons and say nothing. So, how are you today?”

At a Laundromat :

‘Would you mind showing the settings I should use for this machine?’

‘How much detergent do you think I should put in?’

In a classroom:

‘I missed the lecture yesterday, what did the lecturer talk about?’,

‘What do you think will come out in the exam?’,

‘What do you think the teacher meant by that?’

At a shop to the salesgirl,

‘What would you recommend for a party dress?’

In an airplane:

‘Which movie would you recommend? Have you watched any of these movies?’

‘Hi, I could not help but noticed the book you are reading, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. So, what do you think about it? And by the way, my name is Dave.

In a party:

‘How did you happen to be at this party?’

‘Hi! I am Dave. My friend and I were just talking about what women value the most in men they date, and could not agree. Would you mind giving us your opinion?’

"Hello, I feel I should know you" and proceded to introduce yourself. ~ contributed by Les Trois Chenes

"How much does a polar bear weigh?" "Not sure..." "Enough to break the ice. I'm _____" ~ contributed by TylerCapp


Talk About The Other Person

Most people are glad to talk about themselves and will be pleased to respond to any questions or comments about themselves. Before you start, observe what the other person is doing, reading, saying, looking or wearing and think of something you would be interested to know more about.

At a party:

‘That’s an interesting T-shirt. Tell me, what does that symbol stands for?’

In the street:

‘You look lost. How can I help?’

‘I am looking for Body shop, would you mind telling me the direction to get there?’

After a meeting:

‘That was an interesting comment you made just now. Tell me, why do you think the property prices are escalating lately?’

To an air stewardess:

‘I have often curious about the qualifications required to be an air stewardess. Do you mind telling me about it?’

At a sports event:

‘You’re the best player here. What do you do to train?’

While jogging:

‘What kind of running shoes are those ? Why do you choose that brand?’


Talk About Yourself

Though common as they are, conversation starters about yourself seldom stimulate conversation. Research has shown that strangers are often than not more interested to talk about themselves than talking about you. Unless you are asked a question about yourself, your profession, interests or family, it is best not to volunteer information about yourself.


You can do it !

Starting a conversation is probably the most challenging part in the beginning of a relationship. If you don’t start, there will not be a beginning.

A turtle travels only when it sticks its neck out. ~ Korean Proverb

Don’t forget that many people are the same as you, and they need courage to start a conversation. Therefore, don’t be afraid to be the first to initiate a conversation. Who knows, one day, you may find yourself sharing your brave or memorable first encounter with your grandchildren.

If you need more tip or a push, get a social lubricant .... beer ! (as recommended by rmcali01)



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© Ingenira


Chloe#34 on September 11, 2013:

I have a huge crush on this hot teacher in my college. Though he doesn't teach our department, I see him almost everyday and I clearly get the vibes he likes me too. Could you please suggest how I could strike a fruitful first conversation with him? :P

Ingenira (author) on May 20, 2013:

Glad to hear that, vikramdude.

vikramdude745 on May 20, 2013:

very informative. even shy ones like me with have a bit more at their disposal to start an interesting conversation. thanks

Ingenira (author) on May 05, 2013:

ayGthreep, nicely said. A smile is a good start to any friendship. :)

Ingenira (author) on May 05, 2013:

Mobile Spy, thanks so much. I am glad that you have found this site helpful and informative.

Ingenira (author) on May 05, 2013:

Thank you, plammumark for your most kind remarks.

ay Gthreep on May 05, 2013:

"Friendship begines with a smile as a sea from a brook." but now i have a way with the ladies. How do i naintain it. Sure u handle dat. Good work. SOY GAS.

Mobile Spy on March 07, 2013:

I’ve searched many sites and have yet to come across a site that has been as helpful and informative as yours .

plammumark from Erode on November 24, 2012:

The post is handsomely written. I have bookmarked you for keeping abreast with your new posts.

Ingenira (author) on May 05, 2011:

Thank you, Sun-Girl.

Sun-Girl from Nigeria on May 05, 2011:

Great hub, thanks for sharing.

Ingenira (author) on March 01, 2011:

Glad to see you here, fibo. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

fibo777 from UK on March 01, 2011:

Very interesting topic. We have forgotten how to communicate in real life. Everything happens in cyberspace most of the times. Thanks for all the tips. Very useful!

Ingenira (author) on February 24, 2011:

Glad it helps, sarclair. :)

sarclair on February 24, 2011:

This is a very useful hub. Thank you. I have a hard time starting up a conversation.

Ingenira (author) on February 22, 2011:

LOL... LukeMason, that was a good ice-breaker.

LukeMason from Florida on February 22, 2011:

Great Hub!

I will definitely remember SOY and GAS next time I'm in a conversation!

Ingenira (author) on February 22, 2011:

Neil Sperling, it is great to see you again ! Thank you so much for your vote.

Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on February 22, 2011:

people skills are by far the most valuable to develop - this is a great hub - you got my vote UP ^5

Ingenira (author) on February 21, 2011:

Thanks, Tom. You are so right about what you said. I sure hope more men will be brave enough to step forward, as we women surely like to be pursued. :)

TomC35 from Georgia on February 21, 2011:

Unfortunately it is easy for men to read these things, but putting it to practice, and that is a keyword, is difficult for some. Because, you essentially have to practice, to get good at it, like most things, many men do not put the effort forth.

Ingenira (author) on February 21, 2011:

Bobby Rio, that is a cool way to start a conversation, thanks for sharing your tips. Whether it's a big or small talk, as long as the conversation starts, the purpose is met !

Ingenira (author) on February 21, 2011:

Becky Puetz, glad to see you here. Thanks a lot for leaving a comment. I'd like to check out your hubs now. :)

Ingenira (author) on February 21, 2011:

benten games, :) You have gotta try to overcome the first barrier. It's ok if you fail the first times, but take it positively. Try a few times until you are good at it one day. Soon, it'll be a natural things for you to do. Practice makes perfect.

Bobby Rio on February 21, 2011:

My favorite kind of opening line when talking to a woman is use what I call the Fast Forward opening method.. where I jump right into a conversation and skip the small talk...

Usually i'll do this by asking her opinion on something my friends and I are already talking about... works great.

Good tips in your post too :)

Becky from Oklahoma on February 21, 2011:

Great information and ice-breakers. Thanks for the tips and advice. I enjoyed this read and picked up a few pointers.

benten games on February 21, 2011:

I am really bad at this. I can not even talk to a girl in my class even she is not a totally stranger. hope your tips will help me. thanks.

Ingenira (author) on February 21, 2011:

Thanks, Susie Duzy. Yes, I agree with you. Hope you have gained a few tips from this hub. :)

SUSIE DUZY from Delray Beach, Florida on February 21, 2011:

Great tips. There are always some awkward situations when you don't know what to say.

Ingenira (author) on February 21, 2011:

Glad you enjoyed it, Rick. I enjoyed reading your hub too !

TurtleDog on February 21, 2011:

Good post. Asking a question (The "A" part is GAS :-) is a great technique. It forces the other person to engage. Thanks for the post, this one has some great tips and is good fun to read.

Ingenira (author) on February 20, 2011:

LOL, Francine Smith, that was a good one. Thanks for sharing.

Sure, I will be glad to consider your suggestion. :)

Francine Smith on February 20, 2011:

Great hub. Reminds me of when this guy used a chat up line on me, whilst I was at the gym thanklessly sweating off Thanksgiving. Quite confidently and directly he asked, "have you got a sister?" I thought he was trying one of those cute 'mistaken identity' chatup lines. So I responded, "oh no, there's only one of me." He replied, "that's a pity. I only do threeways with sisters. You know any hot sisters who come to this gym?"

Ingenira, maybe your next hub should be, how to kill a conversation a leering a*hole. :-)

Feeling the love,

Francine X

Ingenira (author) on February 20, 2011:

What you said is true, Alex. Very often in life, what we need is the courage to make the first step. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

alexfantastico from Victoria, Australia on February 19, 2011:

Thanks for the hub. Unfortunately no amount of good advice is useful if you're too afraid to use it.

Ingenira (author) on February 19, 2011:

Thank you, Gorgeously. Glad to know you and see you here.

Ingenira (author) on February 19, 2011:

Hi Rich, he is actually my uncle, what can I do for you ?

April Treme from United States on February 19, 2011:

Great tips! Enjoyed it. thanks...

Rich on February 19, 2011:

This guy is slick. Are you a salesman?

Ingenira (author) on February 19, 2011:

Jasmine, that was an excellent conversation starter ! Thank you so much for sharing. You made my "night". (night time here) I hope you don't mind that I add that to my list above.

Jasmine JellyBaby on February 19, 2011:

I have no trouble talking to strangers but these tips are very helpful. I remember I once went to a fruit market and I was trying to choose the perfect apple. Then there was this guy that came by and started looking at the apples too. Then I blatantly just asked him.. "would you like a taste of my forbidden fruit?" well fast forward 8 years later, he's still eating my forbidden fruit!

Good hub, very interesting.

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Thanks so much, serena williams.

serena wiliams on February 18, 2011:

The post is very informative. It is a pleasure reading it. I have also bookmarked you for checking out new posts.

Easter revision courses

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Thank you, icetrance. :)

icetrance on February 18, 2011:

Great article...nice vidz:)

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

John Orton, wow, you are positive and confident. That's a good start ! Thanks for your comment.

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

John, I agree with you. We should exercise caution when speaking to a stranger. Often, people rely on their intution and situation before speaking to a total stranger.

Additional note : normally, posting an external links are not encouraged here.

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Pinkchic18, yes, asking an opened question will often lead you somewhere. :) Thanks for your comment !

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Thanks so much, Les Trois Chenes, you are a jewel !

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Thanks, Sarees.

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Beth, the begining is often difficult for some people and that's ok. Accept yourself and be yourself. And look for clues that someone likes to talk to you, then, the effort is halfed.

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Thank you, Dovay Lee, great to see you again.

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Nice to see you here, Nirav Dave. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

Ingenira (author) on February 18, 2011:

Thank you, Neil Betterfield. That was a very useful comment. :)

John Orton on February 18, 2011:

Nice tips. I believe you should keep yourself simple and honest. I mean there is no need to be our confidant in front of her. Just show her what you are and talk about the things she like most.

This thing take time but if you keep your attitude positive, sooner she will be yours:)

John on February 17, 2011:

Given the times we live in I don't know if talking to a perfect stranger is wise. thanks

Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on February 17, 2011:

Nice tips! These are some sure-fire conversation starters. Asking a question is one of the best ways to get someone to open up, in my opinion :)

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on February 17, 2011:

I'd be flattered if you included it! My friend will be intrigued too.

sarees on February 16, 2011:

Nice post,, thanks for shaing..

beth on February 16, 2011:

As a shy and silent type of person, I couldn't initiate a conversation, because I don't know how to start, unless someone initiated it.

Thanks for these useful tips.

Dovay Lee from China on February 16, 2011:

I like this article and I leart much from it. Thanks very much for sharing such good topics with me!

Nirav Dave from Rajkot on February 16, 2011:

Nice and informative article...

I think you help those who are just confuse abot this topic..

Your article is going with the flow and you did nice presentation....

Neil Butterfield on February 16, 2011:

Very nice article, I believe another strategy that works once the ice has been broken is to get the other person to speak about themselves. This can be done by asking them questions that are not yes or no questions about them.

Ingenira (author) on February 16, 2011:

You are cool, DGS Choudhury. Thanks for reading ! :)

DGS Choudhury on February 16, 2011:

Very useful to me lol!

I get the gestures from strangers lool! No need to offer chocolate haha

Ingenira (author) on February 16, 2011:

Thanks, Matt.

Ingenira (author) on February 16, 2011:

Tyler Capp, that's cool ! I love it. Let me add that to my list. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ingenira (author) on February 16, 2011:

Tyler Capp, that's cool ! I love it. Let me add that to my list. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ingenira (author) on February 16, 2011:

Les Trois Chenes, thank you for your sincere and warm comment. I like the idea of using a dog to attract conversation with another person. And your best friend is so cool, I like the way she introduced herself. I hope you don't mind if I add that to my article above.

Matt on February 16, 2011:

This is a nice article, it helps

TylerCapp from Los Angeles, California on February 15, 2011:

You really did that well. I found it very interesting. I like your Korean proverb you threw in there too.

One conversation starter I heard from some movie was: "How much does a polar bear weigh?" "Not sure..." "Enough to break the ice. I'm _____"

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on February 15, 2011:

Interesting. The directions one wouldn't work with me. Once given I expect the person to go. If not I'd feel tricked. My best friend came up to me, sat down opposite and said, "Hello, I feel I should know you" and proceded to introduce herself. I was impressed with that. The supermarket works well. People have asked me questions about food and vice versa - but we only wanted to know about the food! The best ever is to get a puppy. When our dog Molly, was a pup, everyone wanted to talk to us.

Ingenira (author) on February 15, 2011:

Thank you, moncrieff for your suggestion, I think that's a good one !

To your question on how to act if you don't want someone's attention but you don't want to hurt their feelings, I think, I need to write another hub on that ! :)

moncrieff on February 15, 2011:

Great tips! I can provide another one for people in a supermarket: ‘I notice that you cannot decide which vodka to buy... So you like to drink? Here, I can help you...’

Now how to act if you don't want someone's attention but you don't want to hurt their feelings?

Ingenira (author) on February 15, 2011:

You have very good point, trimar7. People engage more with computers and handphone than talking face to face to another person. Starting a conversation with another person is gradually becoming a problem.

Ingenira (author) on February 15, 2011:

You got my attention, rmcali, the reporter. :)

trimar7 from New York on February 15, 2011:

hubs like this are going to become increasingly important - young people are losing the art of conversation as they are always texting or engaging via their electronic equipment - face-to-face is becoming a problem for many people - thank you for the great hub!

rmcali01 from Utah on February 14, 2011:

Fine article.. but why do you say in your bio that you will not bore the reader by describing how you are different than other people and then you go ahead and do exactly that?

Ingenira (author) on February 14, 2011:

Thanks, izettl, glad to see you again! Yes, being a waitress is a certainly great way to train oneself up to be a good conversation starter and it comes with rewards too, which is an excellent motivator.

Ingenira (author) on February 14, 2011:

Thanks, happyboomernurse. I agreed with you. A friendly smile, comment or question are just fine to start a conversation.

L Izett from The Great Northwest on February 14, 2011:

Great comprehensive guide. This is all so true. The way I learned this was by being a waitress. You get real good at conversation especially when your income depends on it. Great hub!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on February 14, 2011:

I like the way you emphasized the basics. Most people respond well to a friendly smile and comment or question. Thanks for sharing these tips which should be very helpful to those who feel shy and awkward in social situations.

Ingenira (author) on February 14, 2011:

Glad you do, Ben ! Thanks.

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on February 14, 2011:

Love it Ingenira, fresh and fun!


Ingenira (author) on February 14, 2011:

Thank you, Betty ! Hope it helps.

Betty Johansen on February 14, 2011:

Thanks for some great suggestions, Ingenira. I need to print this one out and memorize it. I'm not good at starting conversations.

Ingenira (author) on February 11, 2011:

Thanks, Tony, glad you find it useful and funny.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on February 11, 2011:

Great ideas. Thanks for sharing them. I think the acronyms are useful and funny!

Love and peace


Ingenira (author) on February 07, 2011:

lol... Claudin. Thanks for your funny comment. :)

Claudin_Dayo from Southeast Asia on February 07, 2011:

Now I personal know what to say when were together; I actually drop the conversation he's stated for I really don't know what to say next lol ^^

thanks for this hub =)

Ingenira (author) on February 06, 2011:

Thank you, Unleashed Victory and Carrie.

carrie450 from Winnipeg, Canada on February 06, 2011:

Thanks for these tips Ingenira. Great hub and well written.

Unleashed Victory on February 06, 2011:

This is really good to help someone get over the awkward stage. Great information and a great hub!

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