The most polite and logical thing to do would be to introduce yourself. Simple things like "hi, my name is… and you are?" will do just fine. With this as your first step, who knows the other party has some conversation starters or topics of their own that they will practice with you?Weather
Cliched, but it works for it is generic and affects everyone on a day to day basis. There's always something to say about the weather. If it has been rainy, ask if he or she had problems arriving at the event location. If the weather has been a tad hot recently, ask if how the other party has been coping with that. If the weather has been behaving itself well, comment on how rare the weather is. Chances are that they have had problems arriving in the rain or they may share that the weather has been so good they recently had a picnic – from which you may further the conversation.Weekend
Rest days are rare and cherished by almost everyone. By asking questions like "how was your weekend?" or "do you have anything planned for the weekend?", you are likely to get positive chirpy responses, especially when they had fun or something specially planned. Alternatively, you may ask how they spent festive occasions if one has just passed. Nationality
In settings where there are many foreigners, asking them where they are from is always a good conversation starter. Following their answer, you could glean more information about the person or at least you will be able to continue the conversation by mentioning how much you like their food or culture. If you are totally ignorant of how the country is like, apologizing for your lack of knowledge and asking is a good idea as well as an apt conversation starter. Surroundings
One of the easiest way to start a conversation is to examine what brings both of you to the same place at the same time. For example, at a party, ask how the other party got to know the host or whoever invited them. Share stories and, through common ground, find interests and passions that would connect you naturally. Hobbies and interests
Seek common grounds for they will bring people together naturally – unless, of course, you are supporting opposing soccer teams. You could ask if they have a hobby, especially if someone has a swimmer's built or a wears a sport band. From there, ask questions and share experiences. There, you easily have a conversation going on. Current Affairs
Be in the know of current affairs especially those worthy of debate or discussion. However, avoid political topics as you never know his or her inclinations, which may be sensitive. Instead, ask if they have seen a funny video like The Noose for one. Person
Seek clues from how one is dressed or even how he or she carries him or herself. Notice an exceptionally graceful lady? Compliment her on her grace and ask if she is or was a ballerina. Notice an extremely toned male? Ask if he works out regularly at the gym. One note though: never start a conversation with criticism or on negative points such as hygiene and especially looks. Just for Fun
When all things fail or when there are awkward pauses, you may use the below topics or questions:
- If you had $1 billion dollars, would you still be working? What would you be doing?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
- Which countries have you travelled to?
- Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Conversations can be fun, so sit back, relax and enjoy them! Let your curiosity – with appropriate tact – help you carry the conversation on. You might also like: How to Mingle and Make Small Talk