More Useful Stuff
Become the guy with conversational firepower – the guy everyone wants to hang out with
How do you know the host?
Yes, it may be a run-of-the-mill question, but you need to establish a basic connection with the person if you’re ever going to divulge a few personal details as icebreakers. What’s key here is your demeanor. Open with a silly “I know we just met, but can I give you a hug?” You can achieve similar results (without awkwardness) by deploying some self-deprecating humour (“The host and I met as beauty pageant contestants”).
What’s the best live sports event/burger/movie you’ve ever seen/eaten/watched?
Good, open-ended questions provide people with opportunities to share anecdotes about their experiences. Be a good listener, but also be prepared for when your new acquaintance turns the question back on you. (That’s the logical outcome of this type of inquiry.) Just don’t act too eager to jump in with your own amusing story. No one likes the guy who is just waiting for his turn to talk.
What’s your favourite swear word?
This is a great test to bring up after you’ve established a good rapport – you can actually learn a lot about someone from their answer. (Is their preferred word based on its sound, or its meaning?) Plus, people love talking about swearing.
Was there one event or circumstance in your life that changed you as a person?
If your goal is to be memorable, this will do the trick. Asking how someone has changed can lead him or her to talk about both hardship and success. It also focuses the chat on the person as an individual. Use your judgment and ask accordingly.