10 conversation openers to talk to absolutely anyone

6. At the cinema

At a company outing with colleagues you might not normally socialise with – ?What’s the best film you ever seen

7. At a conference

Ask the person you are sharing a table with during a coffee or lunch break: ?So, which seminars do you plan to attend whilst you are here ?

8. Waiting in a departure lounge

Waiting in a departure lounge next to someone with a case for a musical instrument – ?What type of band are you in

9. While travelling abroad

Being a business traveller can be a lonely experience at times. When you have some downtime between meetings, approach a tourist taking photos and ask, ?Would you like me to take a picture of you?” Although not an open question it easily leads into you asking where they are from, how it compares to here, the best things they have seen so far etc.

10. In a lift

One of my favourites, although not totally an open question it works well in this tough space – I look for the sign with the capacity like “This lift holds 12 people then notice it is quite crammed already. I look at the sign and then across to the others in the lift and say “I?d hate to be in here with 12 people, it’s pretty packed with the four of us!?

You will notice that most of these openings come from assuming something that may not be correct. That doesn’t matter, because they will give you more information to build a conversation on.

Most of these openings could be social openings as well as business openings with most business conversations tending to start with a general chit-chat” rapport building social aspect.

You don’t know where a conversation could lead the next time you talk to someone while getting your coffee or browsing the bookshop are they going to end up being a future friend, a future customer or client” A future supplier” Who knows” Until we start talking to people we do not know what lies in store for us.

Mark Rhodes is a mentor, entrepreneur and the author of How to Talk to Absolutely Anyone, published by Capstone.

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