You’ve just finished discussing the weather, your weekend plans, and last night’s playoff game… and the conversation is dead.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to a co-worker, on a first date, or out at a bar meeting new people. Keeping the conversation alive and interesting can seem impossible.
But it doesn’t have to be! Use the following 5 conversation topics to keep the conversation alive, keep it fun, and convey confidence and charisma in all of your social interactions.
#1: Ask for Advice
People love to give their 2 cents… about everything.
Imagine you’re in the middle of one of those awkward silences, and then the other person turns to you and says, “Hey, I could use your input on something.”
This would immediately take all the pressure off of you to make conversation! And you would be more than happy to give them advice on any aspect of their life, even if you have no expertise in the area.
Here are some easy things to ask for advice on: business decisions, girls you’re dating, your workout routine, your diet, your style, your haircut, vacation destinations, or anything else (that is somewhat personal).
When they’re done giving you advice, it’s only natural to turn the table and ask them about that same aspect of their life. BOOM! That’s a solid 10-20 minutes of interesting conversation right there.
#2: Make an Observation
Another easy way to revive the conversation is to make a simple observation. This observation can be about one of 2 things:
- Your conversation partner: make a comment about their clothes, their haircut, or what you think their day was like (e.g. “you look exhausted, I bet you had a long ass day today”).
- The environment: make a comment about something or someone nearby (e.g. “that guy looks like he’s pissed at his friend, what do you think they’re arguing about?”)
This is super simple. Just use your eyes and look around. When you notice anything, make an observation about it and then get an opinion from the person you’re talking to.
This works so well because people love gossiping about other people (and they also love when you pay attention to how they’re looking and feeling).
#3: Tell a Story
Another topic I want to cover is storytelling. For some reason, most dudes are really uncomfortable telling an entire story from their lives.
If this is you, then it’s time to get over this fear. And the only way to get over a fear is to DO IT. So, when you find yourself in an awkward silence, take the lead and say something like this, “Oh, let me tell you a story from [yesterday/last week/last summer].”
Use these tips to tell good stories:
- Be enthusiastic (it’s better to go overboard than be boring)
- Don’t go on tangents (stick to the main storyline)
- Hold eye contact
- Describe the emotions you felt at each part of the story
If you follow these steps you can make literally any story interesting. Seriously, practice this right now. Pick a boring event from your life (e.g. getting ready for work, working out, or driving home) and tell yourself the story out loud RIGHT NOW.
People fucking love stories! And almost always, they will reciprocate and tell you a similar story from their life after you finish.
#4: Discuss Your Aspirations
One way to quickly make any conversation extremely personal and emotionally charged is to start discussing your goals and dreams.
An easy way to lead the conversation into this topic is to say, “You know, something I’ve always wanted to do is __________.” After this you can explain WHY you want to accomplish this goal, then flip the script and ask them about what they want to achieve this year.
And if you don’t have any cool goals or dreams that you can think of, you should immediately sit down and brainstorm some things you want to achieve. Not only will this give you conversational fuel, but it will also fill your life with motivation and purpose on a daily basis.
#5: Discover More About Them
A simple way to extend any conversation is to take a genuine interest in the person you’re talking to.
Imagine that you’re a detective trying to figure out exactly WHY the other person does what they do. Here are a few simple questions you can use:
- “How did you get into that?” (if they’re talking about their job or hobby)
- “Why do you think that?” (after they make a statement you don’t fully understand)
- “What made you do that?” (if they’re telling a story or recalling something from their past)
Some of these might seem aggressive or challenging, but when they’re done from a place of curiosity about the other person, then they really aren’t. If anything they show that you’re comfortable putting the other person on the spot and seeing how they react.
Bonus Tip: Embrace the Silence
When you use ANY of the above conversation topics, it conveys confidence. You are essentially taking the lead and directing the conversation. This puts you in the position of “power”.
However, embracing the silence can also be very powerful. Here’s what I mean: if you simply relax, smile, and hold eye contact when you reach a point of silence in the conversation, you show that you’re 100% comfortable with it.
Now it’s up to the other person to make conversation. And they will almost always “feel the pressure” and quickly say something. If they don’t, it’s no big deal. You can always use one of the topics above if the silence goes on for a long time, or the other person starts to get noticeably uncomfortable.
Either way, you just demonstrated a high level of confidence, and the other person most definitely took note.
Some good points here David. Have you ever tried the game ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’?
Yeah, great game for making observations (with girls). Thanks for bringing that up!
David, You are my hero.Thanks for that advice
Awesome ideas there David! Thanks for that.
Thanks Leon – glad you liked them!
Great Ideas Man, I like the idea of asking for advice. I mostly too ‘proud’ to do that.
Personally I also like giving a heartfelt compliment – and if it’s about an object they have/wear ask more about that. Always adds some positive energy to a conversation.
Thanks Timon. Good point on giving a heartfelt compliment (and seeing how they react).
…and maybe reframe asking for advice as “asking for a perspective”
Which one is best in your opinion?
There’s no “best” one. Choose one that seems easiest to you and experiment with it in a few conversations tomorrow.
If you do this for a couple of them it will be obvious which ones are natural for you.
Great points David! I always go off on tangents in my stories, so it was a good reminder NOT to do that.
Thanks Dom, I make that same mistake a lot myself haha!
david it is very helpful for me thank you
Awesome, glad it helped man!
Haha. So true. No matter who you talk to, their favorite thing to talk about will always be themselves. Use it to your advantage.
very good quote, statement I got from somewhere: “It is really too bad, unfortunate, that our schools do not teach conversation-skills, or just don’t have programs for us in our formative years growing up that teach us conversation-skills. They are just as important as math or history or any other subject. Hell, to me, they are even more important because communication is the way you climb social-ladders.” “The better you are at conversation, the easier it is to get a job, promotion, attract people to form relationships and befriend people with ease”
Hey David. These are really great points. However, I can get your email id cause there is something personal that I would like to ask you and get your ideas on. These videos and advices have really helped me though.
*can I get your email id