20 Questions to Get to Know People

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Small talk tends to bore people. It’s a series of superficial comments that tend to make participants lose interest in the conversation. When you’re ready to make an impact, skip the weather, “What’s up?” and other excitement-killing questions. Try these thought-provoking comments and questions instead, and get to know the person responding to them:

At parties:

What’s the best thing to eat from this food display/at the bar/menu?

Who’s the funniest person here? What makes them so good at it?

Can you recommend something good to read? I need a book that holds my attention.

I’m not great at making small talk. I like real communication. Are you willing to tell me the best motto that you ever heard or read? Why does it affect you so much?

I don’t want to drop names, but GOD Almighty I had a fun time getting here, tonight.

If you were to write a book about this event (or some remarkable event in the news), what would you share with your readers?

When conversing with new acquaintances one on one:

My super power is losing keys. I do it more often than anyone on the planet. What’s yours?

What are your dreams, your goals?  How are you going about that?

Who have been the most influential people? Tell me about them/him/her. 

What’s your happiest memory?

What motivates you? 

I live in my kitchen, too. It’s the best place to be. What are your favorite recipes and tools?

Women have some kind of secret life going on between them. Have you figured any of them out, yet?

Can you recommend a great place to visit in town, and let me know why you like it so much?

Do you enjoy music or any of the arts? Tell me your favorites, please.

Do you like being with many people at once or do you prefer 1:1 encounters?

Are you into any sports?

How do you spend your leisure time?

What is the thing that you’re most proud of in your life?

If you could spend time with someone famous, from history, or from your life, who would it be and why?

What’s your definition of a good life?

What is the most memorable thing that you have ever heard or read? Why is it so important to you?

  Enjoy the insights that everyone in the conversation can share, and that you’re better off for knowing just what makes some people tick.

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