20 Conversation Starters To Make Networking A Little Less Awkward

Even the most social people dislike networking events because of how awkward it is to have to walk up to random strangers and make conversation. There’s one important thing you have to remember though: Everyone feels as awkward as you do.

Here’s a compilation of serious and laid-back conversation starters that will take the initial awkwardness out of talking to a complete stranger:

Career-Related Conversation Starters

  1. What’s your story?
  2. If you had to create a new job title and the words that you currently use to describe yourself didn’t exist, what would you call yourself?
  3. What do you love most about your line of work?
  4. Are you originally from [wherever the event is], or did your business bring you here?
  5. What’s the worst business advice you’ve ever received?
  6. What brings you to this event?
  7. What was the best piece of advice you got early on in your career?
  8. How do you measure your own success?
  9. When you hit your income target for the year, how are you gonna celebrate?
  10. What’s the biggest epiphany you’ve had over the last year in terms of attracting your ideal clients?

Laid-Back Ways to Start Conversations

  1. Compliment someone on their clothes/accessories/hair.
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice! Hi, I’m _________, and it’s nice to meet you.
  4. If there’s one question you don’t want me to ask you, what question would that be?
  5. Have you fulfilled any childhood dreams?
  6. Have you ever been so grateful for something you felt like a thousand thank you notes just wouldn’t cut it?
  7. Have you ever experienced something so extraordinary that it shifted your entire perspective on life?
  8. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  9. Do you prefer hosting events or attending them?
  10. If you had to switch outfits with one person here, who would it be?


  1. https://www.themuse.com/advice/30-brilliant-networking-conversation-starters
  2. http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2011/04/29/100-alternatives-to-so-whadda-ya-do/
  3. https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/10-memorable-and-professional-networking-conversat.html
  4. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/125-conversation-starters-for-virtually-any-situation/