Conversation questions are a great resource for language learners, social activities, small talk, and for simply building an understanding and ability to ask curious questions. Conversation questions are typically asked between two or more people to practice the flow of conversation or to encourage people to talk more. Asking different types of questions is a key element of conversation building and is important for improving conversation skills.
What are Conversation Questions?
Conversation questions can be used as prompts to spark discussion and to generate ideas, insights, and stories. They are usually open-ended, allowing the replier to answer in any way they wish. Unlike yes-or-no questions, conversation questions can have a variety of answers and can often lead to further questions and deeper conversations. They can be simple factual questions, such as ‘Do you like donuts?’, or more open-ended and abstract, such as ‘How do you define success?’ Asking these kinds of abstract questions can provide an interesting insight into another person’s thought process and way of thinking and can help break the ice and open up a conversation.
Types of Conversation Questions
These are basic questions that are designed to help you get to know someone. Such questions might include ‘What is your favorite TV show?’, ‘What are your hobbies?’, ‘Tell me something about yourself.’ They are typically designed to get information without being too intrusive or personal.
These questions are designed to get to know somebody more deeply and to establish a connection. Such questions include ‘What do you find most attractive in a person?’, ‘How do you define love?’ or ‘What are your biggest dreams and aspirations?’
These questions are more abstract, open-ended and often stimulate thought-provoking conversations. Examples include ‘Do you think people are born with a set life path?’, ‘Why do we form attachments to others?’ or ‘What makes human life meaningful?’
Fun and Interesting Questions
As the name suggests, these questions are designed to be fun and get the conversation flowing. Such questions can include ‘What superpower would you choose?’, ‘If you could go back in time, which era would you choose to visit?,’ or ‘What would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow?’
How to Create Conversation Questions
Creating conversation questions involves some basic principles which can help you create interesting and thought-provoking questions.
Develop an Intention
The first step in creating engaging conversation questions is to decide what kind of conversation you want to have and set a purpose or intention. This could be anything from purely getting to know someone better, to providing insight into a specific issue, or even just allowing the conversation to flow.
Keep it Open-Ended
The best conversation questions are open-ended and give the other person the opportunity to answer however they want. This is important for encouraging participation and for encouraging deeper conversations.
Be Creative and Think Outside the Box
Creating interesting conversation questions requires thinking outside of the box. Try to avoid too many factual questions, and instead focus on more abstract ones that allow the other person to explore and express their own interpretations of a situation.
Try to Avoid Controversial Topics
One of the key points to keep in mind when creating questions is to avoid topics that may be too controversial or sensitive. If you are meeting someone for the first time, it is best to avoid topics that may make the other person feel uncomfortable or which might be seen as too personal.
Think About Asking Questions that Inspire Action
Asking questions which lead to somebody taking action is a powerful way to create new opportunities and connections. Questions such as ‘What steps can we take to improve or solve this problem?’ or ‘How can I help you?’ are great for getting people to take action and can help build stronger relationships.
Examples of Conversation Questions
- What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
- What was the best moment of your life?
- What would you do if you could have any superpower?
- What do you think is the meaning of life?
- Who has had the most positive impact on your life?
- Who is your favorite author and why?
- What do you think are the most important values to live by?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- What are your thoughts on social media?
- What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever learned?
Conversation questions are a great way to start a conversation, to deepen a relationship and to get to know somebody. They are also great for getting people to think more deeply about a topic or situation and for helping to break the ice. Creating conversation questions involves setting an intention, keeping questions open-ended, and being creative and avoiding topics that may be too sensitive. There is a variety of types of conversation questions, including get-to-know questions, relationship-building questions, philosophical questions, and interesting and fun questions. Examples of these kinds of questions are included above and are a great starting point for creating interesting conversations.