The ability to communicate well and engage in productive conversations is a key success factor for professionals.
Often the first time of the day to communicate is via engaging conversation starters. And while there may be many ways for us to improve our various forms of verbal expression; nothing beats good old-fashioned discussion!
The easiest way to make sure your team members are included in meetings or networking events is by starting with some lighthearted opener questions or stories before getting down into serious business. A good conversation starter is an excellent icebreaker that makes people feel at ease and more comfortable in their environment.
“95% of professionals consider face-to-face communication vital for long-term business.”
We’ve put up a list of the most effective conversation starters, meeting topics as well as follow-up questions to keep professionals engaged and help them feel involved.
Whether you’re looking for something to talk about with your boss or a fresh colleague, or someone you meet for the first time, these starters will ensure that the conversation continues. These themes are guaranteed to get your team meeting off on the right foot and keep the conversation going!
Let’s check out the 40 most engaging conversation starters for work in 2023!
Basic Work Conversation Starters
1. How are you doing? How’s the family?
People love talking about their families. You can start a conversation by asking about someone’s family members or sharing an interesting or funny story from when you were little! This is always a good conversation starter.
2. What do you do for fun?
The Assist recommends this question to ask because it’s light and easy to answer. It also helps you get to know your colleagues and bosses better on a personal level. Plus, it can lead to some fun conversations about hobbies and interests!
3. Any travels coming up?
Traveling is a great way to experience new things and make friends with people from all over the world. Chatting with colleagues and coworkers about favorite destinations and giving recommendations about where everyone should go next time they’re looking for some adventure is an excellent and exciting conversation starter.
4. How long have you been with the company?
This is an effective way to strike a conversation with someone whom you don’t know too well. It’ll break the ice between you two and provide an opportunity for parties to share their company experiences.
5. How’s your workload been recently?
Even though some people don’t like talking about work after office hours; however, this question shows interest and genuine care about someone’s workday, effort, time and overall well-being. This also gives them a chance to talk about what makes them happy at work, what bothers them or if this was their dream job or not.
Pro-tip: To get the fun and easy banter started, try supplying everyone in your group with the Icebreaker Box from Caroo.
Interesting Conversation Starters
6. What is at the top of your bucket list?
This is a great open-ended question that allows the other person to express themselves freely, describe what they really want to do – whether it’s traveling somewhere exotic, finding a new job, going on a new adventure with a group of people – you name it.
7. What is the coolest place you have ever been to?
Nothing makes someone more nostalgic than talking about memories made during travel; hence, making this question one of the best conversation starters you can use to talk to the people in the room.
8. What is one skill you’d love to learn?
This question brings out the other person’s creativity and has them think about skills they are passionate about and would like to pursue. There are always skills that get our imagination running thinking about what life would be like if we knew how to do certain things.
9. What superpower do you wish you could have?
This one takes anyone to the land of “Anything Is Possible” and helps them imagine what their life would look like if they acquired that one specific superpower that they desire or need. This question will also elicit a lot of laughs and will add fun and humor to the conversation.
10. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Knowing someone’s personality can be beneficial in business interactions, especially when it comes to giving and receiving feedback. This can also help create a more positive work environment where issues are easily resolved because coworkers know each other on another level.
Funny Conversation Starters
11. What never fails to make you laugh?
The answer could be a favorite book or a movie or a specific joke. Whatever it is, this question will have the whole room engaged and get everyone to share their stories and thoughts.
12. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
No matter how embarrassing your story is, you never know what the other person has in store! They might share an incident that is so awkward or uncomfortable that’ll have everyone in stitches!
13. What is one fun fact about you?
One fun or two or three… This is one of the most effective conversation starters to get to know someone while making sure things are light and humorous.
14. If you were a ghost, who would you haunt?
The boss, another colleague, an ex… Expect anything and a lot of laughter while answering this question.
15. What is the funniest conversation you’ve ever overheard?
This is a great question to break the ice and share some of your own funny conversations as well.
Conversation Starters for Work Meetings & Events
16. What is your morning routine?
If you’d like to know how your coworkers get ready for work or pick up some of their healthy habits, this could be a good question.
17. Do you prefer Zoom meetings or in-person ones?
You can also discuss the perks and downsides of working remotely vs being in the office. This is a question that leads to a wider and even more interesting conversation.
18. How do you relax after work?
Maybe you’ll find common interests with the other person or they might give you ideas about what you can do to unwind and recharge after a long day at work or during your free time.
19. Have you ever been to one of these events before?
If it’s your first time attending such an event, this is an excellent question to know what to expect from such events, what takeaways to get and what to learn.
20. What is one nice thing a coworker has done for you?
If you want to express appreciation to a colleague, this question is the question to ask. It’s perfect for promoting team bonding and engagement among coworkers and colleagues.
Conversation Starters for Work Lunches & Parties
21. Do you like to dance?
Dancing is the highest form of body language. And what better question to ask during a work party?
22. Have you tried any other good restaurants lately?
Food brings people together. Sharing recommendations about delicious food and restaurants that serve nothing but absolute yumminess is always a good thing.
23. Do you have any food allergies?
It’s always useful to know what food someone is allergic to in case you want to throw a dinner party for colleagues or bring them a pick-me-up snack during their break.
24. What food reminds you of your childhood?
Ah, whether it’s gingerbread cookies, fried chicken or morning pancakes, there’s nothing sweeter than walking down memory lane.
25. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?
This question gives the other person a chance to talk about someone they think is intriguing or influential. Maybe, you’ll discover that you both pick similar artists or historical figures.
Team Meeting Ideas for Work
26. Mini Retreats
Spend a mini retreat with your team to build relationships and create harmony. Choose an indoor or outdoor location that will offer just the right amount of space for all so that everyone feels included.
27. Lunch and Learn
Lunch and Learns are an excellent way to get your employees engaged during their lunch break. You can choose from different topics for the activities that’ll take place, including basic training or leadership skills as well as “out of the box” options that will pique your team’s interest. This can be done virtually or in-person.
Turn your next meeting into a competition! This is a great way to get people’s attention and keep them excited throughout the gathering. Plus, it creates unforgettable experiences that they’ll remember long after the event is over. There is a wide variety of competitions that you can choose from so that everyone in your group can participate.
29. Scavenger Hunt Meeting
Looking for a fun and engaging way to make your next meeting more exciting? Scavenger hunts are a great way to do that! They can be completed in many different ways. Plus, scavenger hunts always bring out the competitive side in people, so you can be sure that everyone will be excited and motivated to participate. Who knows- maybe your next great idea will come from a colleague who was inspired during this activity!
30. Breakfast Meeting
Show your team that you think outside the box and want to start the day off on a positive note. There’s nothing like a delicious breakfast to help get the creative juices flowing. And with plenty of coffee on hand, you can be sure that everyone will be wide awake and ready to go.
Topics for a Team Meeting
The goal-setting technique is a fantastic method to get focused and reach your intended result. It may be particularly beneficial if you’re stuck or perplexed about the next step. When everyone participates in sharing objectives and receiving feedback from the group, a feeling of comradeship and community is generated. This might help you move forward with your objectives and may provide fresh perspectives and ideas.
32. Work Wins
If you want your employees to be happy and productive, then it is important that they feel appreciated. One way of doing this? A weekly recognition gathering where team members can boast about their successes or thank someone who helped them out during a tough time!
Discussing mistakes with team members helps normalize flaws and alleviates guilt. Not only that, but stories about mishaps can be amusing as well! The group could share tales of these comfort one another and also advice or ideas on how not to repeat the same mistake.
Forecasting is an essential skill for today’s corporate world. It may assist teams in enhancing their critical thinking and planning skills by looking at what may happen to the company over the next period. You could even establish a prize pool where participants who are correct in predicting events can win some fantastic rewards.
35. Today I learned
To create a fun and educational atmosphere, it is important to engage employees. One way of doing this without boring everyone with serious talk all day long (or even during lunch) would be by having team members share fascinating facts about things that they have learned at work or outside office hours.
Conversation Topics for Adults
36. Current Events & News
Discussing the latest news is a great way to break the ice in conversation. Because many individuals have opinions on major events, it’s an easy opener for informal talks with colleagues or when meeting new people. You may also start conversations by talking about a fascinating article you’ve read which will pique their interest. It’s usually not a good idea to go political or contentious unless you know someone and where he stands well enough.
Movies, music, and television can bring individuals together. Whether it’s about discussing a current tv show, a newly released movie, or a song being played on repeat at the moment, these topics may be a simple way to connect that doesn’t require much effort from either party involved. Media forms can provide you with opportunities for downtime chats.
It’s never too early to start learning about your coworkers’ hobbies. In fact, it might help you get a better sense of who they are by learning what they do in their spare time. Maybe you’ll discover something that both of you like which can provide common ground for future conversations, or one person might be enthused about sharing some of this knowledge with others around them.
When it comes to food, there’s no such thing as too much discussion. Whether you’re talking about your favorite dish or a recent cooking failure that made the whole family laugh, food is one of the most common topics for conversation. People often share their favorite dishes and memories from childhood when it comes to food they love!
40. Office News
The office is always full of life and activity, especially when there are new announcements! It could be new partnerships or upcoming projects — you’ll never run out of topics to discuss!
People Also Ask These Questions About Conversations Starters For Work
Q: What are some good conversation starters for work events?
- A: Some good conversation starters for work events include talking about the event itself, the company’s current projects, or recent news stories. You can also ask your colleagues about their personal lives or interests. Small talk about common interests is often preferable, and the discussion should then flow naturally. And remember to be respectful of other people’s opinions.
Q: How do you start conversations at work?
- A: One way to start conversations at work is to ask people about their past weekend. Another way is to share some news that you found interesting. You can also ask people for their opinion on a topic that’s been in the news. If you see someone working on a project, you can ask them about it. There are many ways to start conversations at work, and the key is to be friendly and open-minded. To begin conversations with coworkers, start with a general question about work, the weather, holidays, or films and continue the discussion by asking follow-up questions. Starting with a broad topic is an excellent method to get to know some new people.
Q: What conversation topics should you avoid at work?
- A: There are certainly some conversation topics that you should avoid at work to maintain a professional demeanor and keep things running smoothly. First and foremost, avoid discussing sensitive personal information or anything that could be construed as gossip. This includes sharing too much about your own life, talking about other people’s lives in a negative light, and speculating about co-workers’ private lives. Additionally, it’s generally best to steer clear of controversial topics like politics and religion.
Q: What is an interesting team meeting idea for work?
- A: An interesting team meeting idea for work is to have an icebreaker at the beginning of each meeting. This can be something as simple as going around the room and having everyone share their favorite thing about their job or a fun fact about themselves. This helps everyone get in the right mindset for collaboration and brainstorming. Another great idea is to incorporate breakout sessions into your team meetings. This means that instead of everyone sitting in one big group, you break off into smaller groups to discuss specific topics or projects. This is a great way to ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute and that all voices are heard. Lastly, make sure to end each team meeting with a clear plan of action.
Q: What are the topics that should be focused on during team meetings?
- A: Topics that should be focused on during team meetings include updates on individual tasks and goals, reviewing and revising project timelines and deadlines, identifying potential obstacles or challenges that have arisen and brainstorming solutions, finalizing project plans and procedures, reflecting on past projects and discussing what went well and what could be improved upon for future projects and sharing new ideas or strategies that may have been discovered since the last meeting.