Meeting new people can be awkward. It doesn’t matter why you are meeting, you have to be able to keep a conversation going if you want things to go smoothly and leave the meeting feeling good. Moreover, if you want the person to really remember you, then you have to pick some topics to talk about that are going to stick out in their mind for a long time to come.
Following are some standby topics to talk about no matter who you are meeting for the first time. They will help you open the door to more topics and keep the conversation going for as long as you want it to go, and they will help you stick out in someone’s mind long past the first meeting.
Gratitude is not one of the topics to talk about for most people. Most people complain when they meet someone new. For instance, “The weather sucks, doesn’t it?” is something you will hear an awful lot when you start a conversation with someone new. Instead of complaining, trying to talk about what you are grateful for today. It is definitely something that someone new will remember about you.
You can talk about how grateful you are that you have gotten to meet this person or how grateful you are for how the day is playing out. And the chances are good that they will share a few things they are grateful for, or at least start talking about positive things since that is the tone that has been set. That conversation will definitely stand out for them.
2. The Origin Of Your Name
I know that you know how hard it is to remember names. Many people have little tricks, such as learning something about you and applying it to your name. But, I remember my neighbor’s name (who I hardly ever talk to) because she told me the origin of her name the first time we met.
She said her name was Debbie, short for Deborah, and then she told me how her name’s meaning is one of a female prophet and gave me a look of wisdom that we both laughed at. It sparked a conversation about how she learned all that and whether or not her parents knew what it meant, which led to a whole conversation that was a little more personal than you usually have with someone.
3. A Valuable Story
Stories captivate us. A good story has us imagining everything that is being said in such detail that it’s as if we are watching a video of the story in our mind. If you can tell someone a valuable story that teaches a lesson or is useful to them in some way, then you are going to not only capture their interest and keep their attention, but have them remember you as they share your story with other people.
Of course, the story should be about something that is happening in order to fit into the conversation. For instance, if you are sitting at a bus stop and happen to meet someone, you can tell a story about the first time you can remember taking the bus as a child and how you felt. This will not only help someone remember you, but it will help them see their bus ride in a new light as they imagine a child’s point of view.
4. Anything That Requires Imagination
Thinking outside of the box is not something that a lot of people do. If you can get their imagination going, then you can bet that they will remember the conversation and you for a long time to come. Again, you will want to keep it pretty relevant to where you are and what the tone of your conversation is.
For instance, if you meet someone new in a class, then you can bring up a topic such as whether or not they would take a pill that helped them ace every test if it came with a side effect of throwing up. It can be talked about as a joke, but I guarantee that they will find it interesting and have an answer for it, and they will likely think about it (and you) every time a test is coming up.
5. Your Routine
Telling someone your routine is an easy way to get them to visualize you doing something, which will help them remember you long after you are gone. Plus, it is easy to fit into any conversation.
For instance, if you meet someone at work for the first time, you can talk about your morning routine at work and how it is really getting you some amazing results at your job. Or, if you meet someone on a first date, you can talk about your usual evening routine so that they can picture what you would normally be doing if you were not on a date with them.
While this is one of the topics to talk about to give insight into your life, don’t get too personal and talk about brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom. But, do lay out what you did today in a way that clearly gives them a visual image of how you go through the day.
6. Their Routine
Everyone has a routine, and you can learn something from it. I watch one woman on YouTube who talks about cooking, fitness, and home stuff, but she didn’t really bring in new people to her channel until she talked about her morning cleaning routine. It seems people are fascinated with their routines and how they can make them better. And the people who asked her to share her routine are people she mentions quite regularly now.
So, asking someone to share how they go about their day can help you to get a better understanding of them and get them to share something that may be valuable to you, which will help them feel connected to you. For instance, if you are meeting someone for a first date, you can ask them what they normally do during a Saturday (or whatever day you are out with them). That will definitely lead to a whole bunch of conversations, and sharing something personal with you like that will help you to stand out in their mind.
7. Your Hobby
If you don’t have a hobby, get one. It is not only good for your happiness, it is one of the best topics to talk about to help people understand you better and get a unique perspective on things. I have a great example of this.
One of my friends has a cabin in a small harbor in Newfoundland. I had traveled there to spend a week with her, and while we were there, some tourists came into the harbor and passed her cabin. They weren’t the first tourists that came during my trip, but they are the only ones I remember because they talked about how their hobby was taking pictures of lesser known places. They described in great detail how and why they had come to take a picture of the harbor, and I can remember everything about them, right down to their shoes.
8. Your Last Vacation
Everyone loves a good vacation, and hearing about vacations is nice too – even when you are on a vacation. I once took a cruise, and the only person I remember on that whole cruise is a man who talked about his past cruise vacations and what he and his wife normally do during them. At some point he told us about how his wife was down in the salon getting ready for the day’s excursion, and I can still picture him leaning over the rail telling us that as we pulled into port.
Talking about a vacation you went on helps people get unstuck from where they are and picture somewhere else with you in it, and that’s a great way to stay memorable in their mind. Work it into the conversation or you can even start the conversation off by talking about how you just got back from vacation, how wonderful it was, and how you are trying to get a hold on daily life again.
9. An Interesting Skill You Have
Your skills set you apart from other people. What you are good at is a part of what makes you unique, so use that to help you stand out in someone’s mind when you first meet them. You don’t want to brag, but if you can point out something that you are really good at, then you can really stand out in someone’s mind.
For instance, I have been interested in reflexology since I was young. I was at a local store buying something when the clerk mentioned that she had a stomach ache. I briefly talked about how long I had been practicing reflexology and then showed her where on her hand she could massage to help with her stomach problems. She has remembered me ever since then.
10. What Motivates You
Do you really want people to get an inside peek into what drives you? Then talk about what motivates you in life. We are all motivated to do what we do on some level, which means this is one of the topics to talk about anywhere.
For instance, if you are at a dog park and you meet someone new, you can talk about why you bring your dog to the dog park or what motivated you to get a dog in the first place. If you are on a date, talk about what motivated you to choose the restaurant or come out on the date. If you are at work, talk about what motivated you to take the job or what motivates you to do your best at work.
11. One Thing You Are Afraid Of
Fear is natural. We often keep our fears hidden so that other people don’t think we are vulnerable. But, in actuality, we are all vulnerable in some respect, and talking about it on some level will help you become more relatable to new people you meet and help them to remember you.
For instance, if you meet someone new in a class you are taking, you can talk about a fear you are having towards that class. If it’s a parenting class, you can talk about a concern you have with your child. Or, if it’s a cooking class, you can talk about your fear of making guests puke.
Just don’t get too personal. Remember, this is someone new and your deepest and darkest fears may scare them away from you.
12. How To Stay On Track
Much like routines, talking about how to stay on track will interest anyone. We all want to stay committed to our daily goals, and hearing about how other people do it can benefit us in a big way. Therefore, if you see a way to benefit someone, then take the opportunity.
For instance, if you are at work, and someone new comes in, you can talk about your duties and how you manage to finish off everything during your day using a planner or goal tracking software. Give them some specifics, such as time allocation or not taking on more than you need to. This will help them get insight into their workload and remember you for giving them that insight.
13. Talk About Someone You Have Appreciated From Your Past
This is a nice way to show people that you are aware of what others do for you and that you appreciate it. It will give them insight into why being in a relationship with you is a nice place to be, which could spark a friendship or, if the circumstances are right, a romantic relationship.
Talking about your grandmother or grandfather is always a nice way to bring up someone from your past. Most people can connect to the image of having a grandparent in their life who teaches them something or helps them through something, so it is a great way to paint a picture that gets them emotional, which will help build a connection with you.
Everyone eats. There is not one person who will not engage in a conversation about food, and talking about things like favorite foods will help you stand out in their mind when they are deciding what to eat for supper or what they want to make for tomorrow.
For example, one of my friends is a vegetarian, and she has been since she was very young. Therefore, that comes up in a lot of conversations, and people remember her because of it. She talks about how she eats the same foods they do, just without meat, which sparks a lot of interest and questions from people who need to eat meat at every single meal! I remember people used to comment that she must live on a liquid diet, even though she ate quite well. She really stuck out in their minds.