Real Women Advice: Tips on how to start a conversation at a dinner party.


At Esselle, there’s nothing we love more than an intimate dinner party with our friends, family, and a good bottle of wine! With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, you’ll either find yourself hosting a dinner party or attending one. From awkward silences, to boring small talk, we know starting a conversation with strangers at a party can be a little tricky. We asked a few dinner party pros: What are some great conversation starters and what are some conversation killers? Read below to learn a few talkative tips that will definitely make you the hostess with the mostess or the guest who is the best!


“If you are a guest at a party, a great way to start up a conversation is by asking another guest how they know the host. It usually leads into some type of backstory, which leads to another story, which leads to another story.” - Natalie G. (27)

“This might be somewhat obvious but ALWAYS avoid politics as a conversation starter. No good can come from it.” - Pamela B. (32)

“As a host, one of the first things I ask my guest is, ‘Have you tried any new restaurants lately?’ People love talking about food!’” - Grace K. (33)

“People love talking about themselves so I’ll usually start a conversation by complimenting someone. I’ll find someone with a cute pair of shoes and ask them where they bought it in hopes of the conversation continuing.” - Cassidy K. (26)

“Ask people what Netflix show they’re currently binging. That’s a conversation that can last for hours!” - Jessica L. (24)

“If it’s a gathering with coworkers, try your best not to talk about work. There’s nothing I hate more than working a long day, going to dinner party, and then talking about more work related things.” - Katelyn P. (30)

“Keep dinner conversation positive. Gossip and speaking ill of someone is not a good way to make an impression.” - Trinity S. (27)

“When I host a dinner party I'm always conscious of the group that I have invited and what our commonality is with each other. For instance, are these friends from college? Friends from work? Friends from church? Whatever the common thread is, is where I focus conversation starters. They naturally lead into better topics on their own later.” - Danielle G. (36)

“For me the best conversation starters have always been those about my family who grew up across the country. Once I pronounce coffee as "cawfee," the whole room lightens up and others start to share their experiences in states with strong dialects and sayings. I also mention hilarious stories from my past that aren't too cringe worthy. Telling people I got my hair stuck in a drill in woodshop class, or I was the only girl in a 1st grade magic club, let people feel more comfortable with me. They may think I revealed a huge secret, but it's really just a funny story I love to tell. It gains people's trust.” - Shelby B. (20)

“I like to ask other guests whether they have any travel or fun trips planned! That usually opens the door for more conversation.” - Parker G. (22)

“Being the host is a little different from being the attendee. If you're the host, I find most conversations start with taking care of the attendees: "Do you need more...? Bathroom is that way. Are you driving home? If so, can I have your keys? Yes, the recipe is... No, my dog cannot eat brownies." If you're the attendee, it's more getting to know the others, or catching up with people you know: things you notice you have in common, trips you've been on, things you are looking forward to, and compliments. Avoiding politics, religion, intensely personal topics, or anything else that can get heated is important if you want to leave the party with your hearing intact and the friends you had. Also, sharing games like cards against humanity or exploding kittens makes conversation more entertaining and less stressful!”  Alexis S. (32)


Got a few tips of your own? Leave a comment below!

With Love,


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