“A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.” David Whyte
Tired of hearing the latest in Helga’s ongoing drama with her ex? What about the nitty gritty details of Buffy’s daily workout? Do you prefer not to hear in-depth reporting of your uncle’s chronic GI issues?
Nope. You are not a victim of boring conversations. You can triumph over the petty and mundane. Even if you are the quiet type [#closetintrovert], the one who struggles to conjure up witty repartee, you can create the delightful conversation you actually enjoy.
As busy as we all are, the holidays bring opportunities to share with people we don’t usually see. Enjoy this chance to have a real conversation, the kind that reverberates with you long after.
These conversation starters not only help you have more fun at a party, but also they’re strategically designed to stimulate your imagination in the conversational process. Who knows what you will come up with!
With all of these conversation starters, be prepared to share your own answer. Like in Sparkling Convo Starter #12, I would share what essentially book most impacted me this year, before asking someone else about theirs. Of course not everyone is a bookworm so you can always make substitutions.
Simply print out this list and bring it to the next dinner, cocktail or tea. Some people take these lists and print copies for all their guests. Or print the list, cut out questions, fold them and pass them out after dinner and before dessert. That’s a great moment to shake up the ongoing party talk.
25 Sparkling Holiday Conversation Starters
3. I’ve noticed a recent upswing in facial hair for men, how do you feel about that?
4. Has anything happened this year that you’re so grateful for, that not even writing 10,000 thank-you notes would be adequate?
5. What does it take to bring out your inner green monster? Does anything make you supremely jealous?
6. I’m curious. Describe your gift shopping process.
7. What’s a “brilliant” idea that you’ve had, for a project or business? One that you’ll never-ever actually do, but still tickles your fancy?
8. Out of all the people you’ve met this year, tell me about someone who really surprised you.
9. What’s the most exciting thing that happened to you this year?
10. What’s your secret for staying sane during the holidays?
11. What is something you’re beyond excited about for next year? [Other than The Southern C Summit, of course!]
12. What’s your recommendation for a game-changer book?
13. If you could instantly teleport any person to this party, who would it be?
14. What’s been a gigantic lesson for you this year?
15. What kind of connection do you see between your current career and your 9-year-old self? Did you ever imagine you’d be working in this industry?
16. Who or what has really inspired you this year?
17. I had a terrifyingly embarrassing moment last month when I sent a new client the wrong document. Have you ever done anything like that?
18. So what was the best part of your day?
Note: this question is highlighted because it is the absolute best ever for almost any conversation with anyone of any age at any time.
19. What is your approach to giving constructive feedback or criticism? Are you a fan of the compliment- critique-compliment “feedback sandwich” or do you have some other way of having this type of conversation?
20. How do you handle holiday decorating?
21. What is your favorite luxury brand and what is it that makes it compelling to you?
22. What kind of party do you most enjoy throwing?
23. What things do you like to buy on the Interwebs?
24. How do you inspire yourself when you feel dry and low battery?
25. What do you secretly want for Christmas?
Laura Camacho is obsessed with communication as a tool for building bridges and careers. She believes all conversations should be carried out with style and enthusiasm. And a presentation is just a special conversation. Read her bi-weekly posts at www.mixonian.com. She’s up for hire for quirky communication workshops and private coaching. If you invite her to a party Laura promises not to be boring.