You could search online for a list of conversation starters and use them in conversations. However, if you start up a conversation in a business convention for boats and you start talking about your last trip via air travel, you may not be making the best use of your conversation starters.
In fact, with the previous example, if you begin a conversation with a stranger about how your dog likes to chew on your shoes, you are likely to elicit strange looks from people. Of course, if you showed up with chewed up shoes, then you would be adding the relevancy needed for that particular conversation starter.
Keeping your conversation starters relevant goes a long way in developing those conversations further. That is what the goal is, to get the conversation to continue. When you are with a group of people who share a common interest, as in the case of a conference about boats, etc., the conversations tend to feed off the theme. Everyone has a boat story or a joke to tell. Make sure you have a few lined up yourself.
When you are in a social situation where there is no theme, you have some flexibility on how you start your conversations. For many, this makes it more difficult as they don’t know where to begin. This is especially true when you are with strangers. If this is the case, simply listen for what topics people are discussing and try to structure your conversations based on that.
Another key element with conversation starters is to make sure you know what you are talking about and don’t try to fake it. For instance, if you are not into sports but hear people talking about sports, don’t try to pretend that you watch. They will pick up on this and know that you are not genuine. It’s best to simply state that you are not interested in sports and try to find a different topic. When people discover one person in the group who does not have an interest in the topic, they may change the subject out of courtesy, but this is not always the case.
If you can’t find a good topic to start a conversation, start with the weather. This is something that affects everyone and people talk about it all the time. Prepare ahead of time by reading or watching the forecasts and use that to get your conversations flowing.