You know those dinner parties that come off just perfectly? Of course, the food was wonderful, the wine was divine, the music and decor both spot-on. But when you really look back, what mattered most was the conversation between guests. We bet thinking about that conversation was fairly low on the host's to-do list, but fostering an atmospher of conversation and connecction can make your get-together memorable.
We turned to writer and humorist Henry Alford for advice. Alford admits that, while it seems geeky to think of pre-arranging conversation prompts, it's actually a terrific way to get people talking and sharing stories about their lives. This may simply break the ice or could be what you need to take the party up a notch. If you find your holiday conversation at an impasse, considering encouraging some interaction using some of these questions. (Psst. A few drinks may not hurt either. Check out these cocktail recipe suggestions.)
Conversation Starters from Henry Alford
- What was the best thing you ate this year?
- What new friends did you make this year?
- What do you wish you were doing more of in your life?
- What was the most helpful invention of the past 100 years?
- What was the most destructive?
- What are the first three things you would do if you were President?
- Who would you cast in the starring role of a movie about your mother?
- Describe your own version of heaven.
- In a world with laser surgery, space travel, and aerosol cheese... why hasn't anyone invented a pill that makes you feel like you got a good night's sleep?
- How might the world be made better if, outside of crises, the entire country had a 24 hour-long global moratorium on talking?
Some additional conversation starters from The Splendid Table
- What do you like most about yourself?
- Did you ever get into trouble as a kid?
- Did you/do you like school?
- Who was your most memorable teacher?
- Tell the story of your first kiss.
- If you could do anything, now, what would you do?
- What age were you when you really knew who you were?
- What was your first job?
- Do you have any phobias?
- What do you find the most attractive in the opposite sex?
- Do you like to flirt?
Feel free to leave some of your favorite conversation starters in the comments section below or share with us on The Splendid Table social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.