What to Say When You Meet Someone for The First Time | 21 Questions

If you do not know what to say when you meet someone for the first time, then you have landed at the right place.

In this conversation guide, I will share with you 5 simple steps to start a conversation with someone new. And I will also give you 21 fantastic questions to initiate a conversation anywhere you go.  

Let’s dive right into the details.

what to say when you meet someone for the first time

What to say when you meet someone for the first time

Here are the 4 steps you can use to start a conversation with someone new. 

It can be applied in almost any situation, be it in a party, networking event, social events, or friend’s gathering session. 

Step 1: Choose A Good Starting Point

Let’s be practical. If we go to social events, most of the time, the first thing we do is to look for our friends.

If your friend brings along a new person, then you can ask your friend to do the introduction for ya. 

On the other hand, if you are attending an event alone, then the most natural way to start is to pick a seat first.

Then, you can initiate a conversation with people who are sitting around you. Or, you can grab a drink or snack. While doing that, you can start talking to people who are doing the same thing.

Step 2: Simple & Quick Introduction

A lot of people are afraid to introduce themselves because they are not confident enough. They do not believe themselves as someone worthy or exciting enough to talk to. 

If you are thinking the same, then I want you to ditch this mindset right away. Many people in this world (including me) are more than welcome to make new friends wherever they go.

I assure you, as soon as you shift your mindset, you will suddenly find that people are actually not that harsh, and it’s not that tough to connect with people around you.

After you take your seat or grab your drinks, just look at whoever is closest to you. As long as they are not engaged or talking to someone else, you can introduce yourself.

Introduction examples:

  • Networking events: “Hi. I’m John. I’m new here. Looking forward to meeting new people and make some friends around. What about you?”
  • Party: “Hi, you come here alone? I’m John, by the way. Nice to meet ya.”
  • Friend’s gathering: “Hi, I’m John. Michael’s friend. Is he the one who invited you here too?”
  • Social events: “Hi, nice to meet you. This is my first time here, and I’m John, by the way.”

The introduction should be straight to the point—no need to overcomplicate the process.

Step 3: Ask Questions To initiate A Conversation.

After introducing yourself, you can throw some questions to start a conversation.

First, you can ask him questions related to the event or a mutual friend.

Questions examples:

  • Do you join conferences/events like this all the time?
  • Are you into internet marketing too? (Change “internet marketing” into any topic that is related to the event you are attending)
  • How long have you been joining this group/community?
  • How do you get to know this event?
  • So, what brings you here?
  • How long do you know each other? (Assuming your friend brought along a new friend)

Step 4: Share About Yourself

After the other person has answered one of your questions above, you should also share your opinion on the same questions.

This will help the other person know more about you, so he/she can continue the conversation based on what you have just shared.

For example, you go to a wine tasting event, and you ask a person, “how long have you been joining this wine testing community?” After he answered you, you can then share that this is actually your first time joining a wine tasting event and you can express that you are excited about it. Then, you can also share how the event is different from what you have expected. 

This is a more natural way to start a conversation. You start it from a common topic which both of you shared, which is the event itself. Then, from there, you expand the conversation into something more personal to get to know the person better.

Step 5: Expand The Conversation To Know The Person Better

This is the part where you want to learn more about the person and see if both of you have more things in common.

Here are the questions you can ask:

  • So, what is the best thing you like about…?
  • Besides…, are you into something else too?
  • How do you get started….?
  • What inspires you to get started…?
  • I’m new to this. In your opinion, where should I get started?
  • Do you join any other similar events?
  • What are the things I need to get started?
  • What is your goal when it comes to…?
  • What do you usually like to do over the weekend?

These sorts of questions will allow you to learn more about the person you’ve just met. 

The concept is the same. After you ask questions, you should share a little more about yourself and contribute to the conversation.

If possible, you want to lead him/her to share about vision, goals, feeling and allow an exchange of emotions to take place. That is the key to forge a real connection with people. 

In conclusion, when you try to initiate a conversation with someone new, don’t be afraid that you might be interrupting the person. This is because if you really do, he will let you know and excuse himself. 

In that case, just let him go and initiate a conversation with someone else. It is not a big deal.

21 Questions You Can Ask When You Meet Someone New

Aside from the examples of the questions I have shared above, here are an additional 21 questions you can ask someone you meet for the first time.

  1. Are you from around here?
  2. What brings you here?
  3. What are you up to?
  4. How’s life? Anything interesting you have this week?
  5. What are you most passionate about?
  6. Are you into movies? What are your favorite movie genres?
  7. What types of music are you into?
  8. You seem like a sporty person. Are you into any sports or outdoor activities?
  9. I know it’s random, but what’s your favorite quote?
  10. Are you a spontaneous person, or are you more of a planner?
  11. What’s your zodiac sign?
  12. Do you know any good restaurants or cafes nearby?
  13. Are you a coffee person? Maybe we can grab a drink together sometimes.
  14. Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
  15. What is your life motto or philosophy?
  16. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  17. What is the most challenging part of your job?
  18. What is the most exciting or fun part of your job?
  19. What is your favorite way to waste time? I’m joking. What is your hobby?
  20. What’s your plan for the upcoming holidays/festivals?
  21. What kind of skills do you wish to pick up?

11 Best Topics To Talk To Someone new

Whenever you feel stuck during a conversation, you can always ask questions about the following topics to reignite it.

  1. Travel
  2. Pets
  3. Zodiac sign & personality topic
  4. Food
  5. Sports/ Outdoor activities
  6. Movies, music, books
  7. Work
  8. Relationship 
  9. Past (good memories, achievements)
  10. Present (Current challenges, motivation, or focus)
  11. Future (Goals, vision, desires)

4 Tips On How To Meet Someone and Stay Memorable

1) Call Them By Their Name
When you meet someone new, you should pay close attention to their name and call them by their names during the conversation.

People feel appreciated whenever you call them by names because that is their identity. It is the most remarkable thing that belongs to them.

2) Stay Engaged
Avoid looking at the exit, watch, or your phone during a conversation because these are the body language that indicates you want to run away from the conversation.

While having a conversation, remember to smile, retain eye contact, nod your head sometimes, and keep an open gesture. This will invite the other person to speak more.

3) Be Confident And Relaxed
When you are confident, people will feel that you are a charismatic person and naturally drawn to you.

On the other hand, when you are relaxed, the other person will often react in the same way. This makes the whole conversation becomes fun.

4) Compliment
You do not have to do this on purpose. But, if you noticed they have something impressive or outstanding, you can give them a genuine compliment. They will feel appreciated.

The Bottom Line about Talking With Someone New

Many people are eager to make new friends just like you do. So, just relax and be yourself when you initiate a conversation with someone new

Most of the time, you will be surprised that people are often more than welcome to have a conversation with you.

Do not let your fear stops you from getting to know more people, for the stranger might become your best friend in life. You never know until you take the initiative to build a new relationship.