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How to start a conversation: a million ways with a "Power Phrase"

Updated on January 12, 2009

How to start talking with someone

EXACT SCRIPTS for you in this article

Very often in society there are situations where YOU can be the conversation starter - YOU can be the person who "kicks off" a short dialog - YOU can be the one to set the tone for the next few seconds of talking.

What I'm about to explain is unbelievably easy.

But it works. And, if you're kinda shy or not sure what to say to begin some small talk with someone you hardly know or definitely don't know, here is the method used by communications professionals: keep it simple, short and friendly. But YOU start the ball rolling with one of the simple "power phrases" on this page.

However, the vast majority of people are uncomfortable taking that first step and being the one to START a conversation. They don't realize that the other people around them may be just as uncomfortable talking first...and the result is: NOBODY talks. And that's a shame.

The "power phrases" below are powerful conversation-starters used by the people most experienced in this type of thing: people in the public eye like entertainers, musicians, public relations pros, managers, ministers and leaders in business.

Most people in these lines of work are not only comfortable with everyday casual conversation, they can START a conversation from almost nothing and keep it interesting.

So, how do they start up a conversation?

NONE of them have a magic wand, they simply use ONE of the power phases in this article. Just one. Then, they give the other person a chance to reply.

That's it.

That's all it takes to get a conversation going, 99.9% of the time.

A tip: do NOT pick one or two of the power phrases on this page and use them over and over. That doesn't work. If you did, the result would be this: you'd sound old, lost, predictable and rather dull, and who wants that?

Another tip: Don't get stuck in a rut. Instead, rotate MANY of these phrases (some more than others, then work in a few of your own), then you sound like you're aware, in touch, and "into" the moment.

Warning: do NOT string all these power phrases together, one after the other. That doesn't sound good. Remember, all that's needed to get the conversation going is just the opening power phrase from you. After that, it's their turn. And you're off and chatting.

Sounds easy, but this skill is very often mishandled or not practiced, so memorize these power phrases and weave many of them into your opening lines starting today!




Everyone else is uncomfortable too, so make the first move...start a small conversation

You may never get this chance again

All it takes is one of these phrases...from YOU

Here are the "Power Phrases"

These are literally the most powerful conversation-starters of all time. Don't be fooled by their brevity or simplicity. I'm dead serious about this list. I have personally seen them work, time and time again, for many decades.

These exact words and phrases are used by some of the best and most experienced communicators in the world.

You don't have to be funny or witty, just start talking, using any ONE of the following:



"Good morning (or good afternoon or good evening)."

"Crazy weather!" (only if there is crazy weather)

"Can you believe this weather?"

"Anything new?"


"Nice weather." (if it's actually nice weather, this will be simply a positive statement. If it's horrible weather, you've just made a joke.)

"What's goin' on?"

"How ya doin'?"

"How ya been?"

"What's happening?"

"Well, here we are again."

"Another day."

"One more day."

"It's another day."

"This day's not over yet?"

"What's new?"

"How are ya feelin'?"

"How's everything?"


"Isn't this the most fun you ever had?" (the other person almost always takes this line as a joke, no matter where you are, so you're off and running from there.)

IMPORTANT: notice NONE of these phrases are negative or complaining. You don't want to begin a conversation on a down note, makes you sound like a dull, annoying person that way.

Instead, you just want to utter something that makes THEM have to reply, like the power phrases above.

The key: FROM THEIR REPLY YOU HEAR THEIR VOICE, SENSE THEIR MOOD, LOOK INTO THEIR EYES. How they reply is a tiny but critical bit of info about them, and it will help you determine what to say next. After all, the hard part is over. Congratulations. You've already started the conversation. It's as simple as that.

Final tip: all of the power phrases on this page may sound very trivial, dumb and pointless, but it really doesn't matter. This is how almost everyone talks in everyday life, and it's really just an attempt for BOTH parties to get past the opening, into some more relevant topics. That often follows quickly thereafter, don't worry.

What can possibly happen next?

Once you're past that first phrase, the other person can either reply or not. No big deal.

If they do NOT reply, but instead grunt or ignore you or turn the other way, nothing lost, and don't worry, their reaction has nothing do to with you...just remember someone who responds this way probably treats most people like that. So wait a minute or two and try again with another person and another of these phrases.

However, the chances are EXCELLENT someone will reply to you in the first one to three people you try this on, depending of course on the type of crowd you're in, and the amount of noise surrounding you. For example, if you're seated in a a church during the service, don't expect to get much of anything out of the person you decide to chat with. But at a concert, in line for a bank, airport or movie theater, anything can happen, and most people will talk back when you begin talking with them.

And no, I don't literally have "a million" ways on this page (thankfully!), but once you get going with this approach, you can most likely create hundreds of short phrases on your own, or pick up ones you hear others use and add them to your repertoire of conversation-starters.

Give it a try! Good luck, happy talking and let me know how it goes.

Tom Z (Tom Zarecki)



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      Ben P 4 years ago

      Since I'm one of those people that likes to cherish every moment in life, I particularly don't like the 'this day's not over yet?" one. But mainly this is about not being shy, and just being yourself.

      Having a smile on your face and standing tall with your shoulders broadened make you appear to be a more approachable person. It's proven that if you want to feel more 'powerful' and in control, you should go someone where (perhaps a bathroom stall), and raise your arms above your head for 30 seconds. You'll feel so much better afterwards. Body language is just as important as oral communication - just ask the Japanese!