Have you ever had a conversation with someone that died out into an awkward silence? This could happen as a result of not being familiar with one another. It’s also a common occurrence in remote meetings, as we miss a lot of non-verbal cues that generally keep the conversation flowing.

Thankfully, it’s possible to arm yourself with a list of things to talk about if there is ever a lull in the conversation. If you keep a few of these topics in mind, you’ll always be prepared to start a new conversation.

Questions, anybody?

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Here is a list of 14 Things to talk about

Start with the basics

1. How was your day?

A simple way of allowing the other person to share their experiences. The key here is to pay attention and listen. If they seem excited about a particular topic, ask followup questions!

2. Which countries have you travelled to?

Talking about travel generally brings up happy memories, and that will lift the mood of the conversation. If you have been to the same countries, it give a chance to share your experiences and build rapport.

Sports is a great office topic to talk about

3. Do you play any sports?

Just like in question one, this is a great question to help the other person relax and open up. If they share that they also play some sports, you can bond by talking about the sport you play and your respective achievements.

4. What is a hobby that you are passionate about?

Just like the question above, the topic of hobbies is generally a safe and light conversation to have. You can talk about your own hobbies or what you aspire to learn.

5. What was your favorite thing about school?

You can also branch out and talk about schooling, as people generally enjoy reminiscing. If they mention any influential teachers, see if you can relate with them!

6. What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?

When you are done talking about school and work, ask the other person to share their most important lessons in life. This is a good way to understand their personal goals and motivations. Deeper questions are great ways to open up more and build closer relationships. For a full list of deep and meaningful questions, check out our article.


Asking for recommendations is a great way to start a conversation

7. What was the last book you read?

You can also branch out and ask what the other person is reading. The last book they read is a good indicator of their personality and how they think. Ask for their thoughts, or recommend books that you think will benefit them.

8. Do you know what your Myers Briggs Personality Type is?

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test that consists of four letters – E, I, S, T. These letters form 4 pairs, and when the pairs are put together, we end up with 16 different personalities.

Although this is not a foolproof method of identifying personality traits, knowing your own MBTI and the other person’s is a great way to get to know them on a deeper level. For example, ENTP and ESTJ types are very different personality wise.

If you want to find out what your MBTI is, you can take the test here.

If you want to know the other person’s MBTI, simply ask them!

9. What is one thing that you regret?

If they talk about their regrets, you can learn how to not repeat their mistakes. If the regret is more recent, you can also help them by providing feedback and support!

What does the future hold?

10. What do you look forward to in the future?

Understanding someone’s plans and expectations for the future gives you a better idea of their personality. If they are trying to achieve a long-term goal, you can also help by providing support and advice along the way.

11. If you could ask your best self anything, what would you ask?

This is a good opportunity to learn about the person’s values and goals. You can also ask about their methods for achieving their goals, and whether they would do anything differently.

12. If you could be anyone else for one day, who would you be?

This is a conversation starter that allows you to discover the other person’s aspirations, as well as their perceptions of how others are like.

13. What is a good movie you’ve watched recently?

Many of us love movies. It is a great conversation topic that allows the person to relax and be themselves. You can have them recommend other movies and discuss your likes and dislikes.

14. If you could pick any superpower, what would it be?

You can also talk about fictional characters or other elements of pop culture. This is a topic that allows you to see where the other person stands, as well as what they aspire to become.

Conclusion

The ideal time to start asking questions is at the beginning of a remote meeting. Make sure to take note of their responses, and ask them about their experiences. If you don’t know them that well, you could ask a few questions like the ones above.

As you get to know the other person better, the topics you can discuss will get deeper. Some conversations can last for hours and leave you with the best information about one another. If you keep in mind that the conversation should be interesting for both of you, you’ll enjoy the experience of remote meetings even more!

The next time you're starting a meeting or need an icebreaker to get to know your team or colleagues more, use Brightful Meeting Games. You'll find all the tools you'll need in one place to build deeper and closer relationships with friends, family and colleagues.