How To Toss The Ball

by Connie

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Since the season for parties and celebrations is upon us, I wanted to share my favorite conversation starters, with you.  The point of ice breakers is to get an exchange of dialogue going among a cluster, or group, of people. 

Think of a discussion between you and another person like playing a game of catch, with a ball.  You gently toss the ball to the person, by asking them a question.  That person answers the question, and then tosses the ball back, to you or another person in the group, by asking a question or making an interesting comment. 

Voila!  Just like that, the conversation is off and running. 

And it all took root with your inspiring and thought-provoking question.  Now, I ask you, how cool, and simple, is that? 

Conversation starters are all about relaxing and loosening up, so you get to know one another, in a casual, relaxed way.  Openers are about putting people at ease, including you, so keep that in mind, too. 

Once people are comfortable, they’ll lighten up and begin talking about their favorite subject, themselves.  Most everyone enjoys sharing something about their lives

My experience has been that when you allow people the opportunity to talk about themselves, and you listen to what they have to say, they’ll find you interesting, and engaging, too.  It’s interesting how that works, isn’t it? 

You’ll want to stick to asking open-ended questions.  Asking questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers are pure conversation energy drains; they’re like Kryptonite to tête-à-têtes. 

I recommend that you practice these openers, aloud, if possible, until they feel comfortable to you.  You’ll want them to feel like they fit and they’re a natural part of your conversation, before trying them out at an event. 

You don’t have to memorize all of them.  Having two or three of these, in your repertoire, is usually enough to help you through most parties. 

So, without further ado, here is my,

Top 10 List of Conversation Starters for Parties: 

  1. What are you passionate about?
  1. What’s the most interesting thing about you?  Why?
  1. What magazines do you subscribe to? 
  1. What’s your favorite website?  (I follow The Power To Live, naturally.)
  1. What’s your dream vacation?  Why?
  1. What are you most proud of doing or accomplishing, in your life?  Why?
  1. If you could invite any three historic figures, notable people or celebrities to dinner, who would they be?  Why?
  1. What’s your favorite indulgence? 
  1. What’s the last good book you read or movie you enjoyed?
  1. What do you do for fun?   

Do you have any secret weapons; any great questions you ask to get others to relax and share something about themselves?  If you do, please share your suggestions, using the form below. 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Miller Pembleton December 17, 2010 at 7:42 am

Great site. Power to the Positive! I love these questions!!! As you explained being an active listener is key, not always easy but so worth it. Take a look at our product Thumball. By combining conversation starters onto an Actual ball it creates an instant effective way to engage a group, stimulate thoughts and build relationships. Our diverse designs serve every age group and setting. Thanks for the motivation to stay connected!

Reply

Connie December 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Hi, Mary,
I’m glad you like my website and blog. The questions I’ve developed are meant to be provocative, but not prying. And, yes, you’re correct, being an active listener is always worth it. There’s so much more to people than what appears on the surface. So, keep on asking and keep on engaging…
Connie

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Katesa Wesche December 24, 2010 at 10:12 am

Hi Connie,

Thank you for this article. On the 26th December is our family reunion and I am to give a presentation on my family tree and so forth. To get away from the norm of family history research, I want to reinforce their love of their ancestors, and the qualities they could emulate and respect. Questions I would be asking:
What is your favourite memory of your grandmother or ggmother?
What qualities would you want to emulate from the life of one of your ancestors?
So I can use one of your questions: What is the most interesting thing about you that you inherit from one of your ancestors? Why?
I think I can afford in this occassion to be personal with my family, since they will be bombarding me with questions Ha Ha
I have for the kids created a big puzzle of their great grandmother and I have used one of your article’s theme. What piece of me have I left behind? Very effective!
So true asking the right questions gives them the opportunity to think about why this event is important to them, and why they are here for that matter.
Thanks Connie love this article

Katesa

Reply

Connie December 29, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Katesa,

What a creative approach to sharing family roots and geneology! I love the uniqueness of it.

I’m glad you were inspired to use my posts, ‘How to Toss the Ball’ and ‘What Piece Will You Leave Behind?’
I’m very flattered, to say the least.

I hope you enjoy your time with your family at the reunion, Katesa. Thanks for sharing.

Connie

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