Conversation Starters (for the Holidays!)

Author: Kiara Poitra, Receptionist & Events Coordinator

We all have experienced that awkward moment where we run out of things to talk about, whether it was at a holiday dinner or just talking to someone we don’t know very well. Well, here are some ways to make these conversations less painful!

One handy tip to a good conversation is to ask good questions. Sometimes its hard to come up with anything better than the basic “How have you been?” Theres nothing wrong with this topic, but it is difficult to have a good conversation when the most common response is “Good! How about you?”

That is definitely a circular question that takes the conversation nowhere and can cause some mid-conversation stress as you try to find a new topic. There are more creative ways to start a way better conversation. So, here are some good questions that will help you have more interesting and deeper conversations this holiday season (and maybe cure some of that pre-party anxiety)!

Are you enjoying your work?
What does your typical work day look like?
Have you thought about any New Year’s Resolutions?
Who is your favorite superhero?
Have you seen any good movies recently?
What kind of music have you been listening to lately?
How do you spend an hour of free time?
Have you discovered any new restaurants you like?
Have you read any good books lately?
What has life been teaching you?
What is one of your favorite holiday memories?
What are you most grateful for today?
What is your favorite thing to do with family?
What has been keeping you busy outside of school/work these days?

A few extra things to keep in mind before you start jumping into your holiday conversations are…

Ask follow-up questions and say “That’s interesting, tell me more!” Sometimes people don’t know how long they should talk about a particular subject. So asking “why?” and “how?” gives your family or friends the permission they need to continue talking about something they enjoy or are passionate about.

Be prepared to talk about yourself. If you ask your relative what they enjoy doing in their free time, have your own answer to the same question on your mind. People like to return the same question.

Asking questions helps the other party-goers feel heard. Don’t ask questions just so you can figure out a way to put your own opinion into the conversation. Just take some time to listen and learn.

Last of all, these are conversations, not interrogations. Don’t rush the conversation to an end. There are many people to talk to and to help contribute to the conversation and keep it going. It’s not worth stressing over, so just let things happen and go with the flow! Holidays are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends, so enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

Kiara Poitra
Receptionist & Events Coordinator
Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau