13 conversation starters to get past small talk

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you want to connect with a stranger and aren’t sure what to say. Asking about the weather and work only goes so far when you find yourself at a dinner table with distant friends-of-friends. Or maybe you’re at a wedding reception and have exhausted the usual pleasantries. Memorize a few of these questions for the next time you’re wanting to move past small talk and learn more about the person next to you.

1. What would you do if you were late for a very important meeting?

2. What would you do if you didn’t have enough money to pay the bills?

3. If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

4. If you had the power to alter a major historical event, what would it be?

5. Say someone asks a question you don’t want to answer. How do you respond?

6. Describe an interesting neighbor you’ve had.

7. Describe someone you respect and admire deeply.

8. Describe a place you’ll never forget.

9. Tell about a recent interview.

10. What’s one of your best childhood memories?

11. Have you ever lied to your parents, boss, or a teacher?

12. Have you ever been treated unfairly?

13. What is your opinion about fortune telling?