One of the best ways to get to know someone is by asking questions. This is true whether you are talking to someone one-on-one or if you are interacting with a large group. Any time you are spending time with new people, it can be difficult to get conversation rolling. Ice breaker questions are a great way to spark conversation and help people feel more at ease. Take some time before a special event, party, or blind date to organize a few ice breaker questions. It will put everyone at ease and start conversations that would otherwise never occur, preventing the uncomfortable silence that sometimes happens in new situations.
Getting to Know You Questions
One of the best ways to get to know someone better is to ask him or her questions. This can be done on the fly or it can be arranged in an organized manner. At parties and special events, you might want to have a list of organized get to know you questions. This keeps your mind from drawing a blank when you are engaged in conversation. If you are hosting the event, you might post getting to know you questions on a board at the front of the room for everyone to see.
If your event is casual, you can give everyone a get to know you question on a piece of paper when he or she arrives. As people mingle, their goal is to ask their getting to know you questions of each person they encounter. A variation on this is to swap questions. For instance, John and Julie meet a party. John asks Julie a question listed on his piece of paper and she does the same. They switch questions and move onto the next person. John then asks Jim the question he was originally asked by Julie. As the party host, you can create a variety of variations for this game, as long as everyone is mingling and asking questions. Some getting to know you questions you might want to provide include:
- Where did you grow up?
- Have you ever met anyone famous?
- Where was your last vacation?
- What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
- Who was your childhood idol?
- What is your most memorable sports-related moment?
- How many pets have you had?
- What is your favorite restaurant?
- Do you enjoy your job?
- What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
- What is your favorite way to exercise?
- How often do you go to the supermarket?
- If you could trade lives with anyone, would you and who would you choose?
- Do you prefer warm weather or cold weather?
These getting to know you questions do not reveal any information that is too intimate or sensitive, so they are great for work events or parties attended by a large number of people who do not already know one another. Nobody wants to reveal too many details about their personal lives when they are just getting to know others or when they are in a professional environment. When creating your list of questions, keep things casual and focus on things most people would not mind sharing with others.
Questions to Ask at a Party
If you are hosting a party attended by friends or family, and the atmosphere is casual, you can create questions that are
a bit more intimate. Though you still need to consider factors such as the ages, relationships, and social skills of those in attendance, the questions can probe a bit deeper than they would in a work-centered environment. In addition to generic getting to know you questions, consider throwing a few questions into the mix that are funny or embarrassing.
Questions that require a person to make a choice between two unappealing or arousing circumstances are often a lot of fun. You could ask people to choose between an intimate relationship with two celebrities or a situation in which something terribly embarrassing happens. You can also ask probing questions about intimate topics such as dating, sexual encounters, or personal habits. The key is to get people talking and feeling comfortable around one another. If questions are too embarrassing, guests attending your party will be upset. However, if you stick to strictly vanilla questions, things can get boring and people will be reluctant to talk because they are not having fun. A good party host is able to strike a balance between questions that are fun, and those that are too revealing or too benign.
Ice breaker questions are a great way to get things rolling in a variety of social situations. If you are trying to compile a list of ice breaker questions, analyze your guest list and come up with question themes. This will help trigger ideas for questions and keep you on track so your questions are appropriate for your guests. If all else fails, encourage each guests to arrive at the event with three questions they have created written on a sheet of paper. Exchange the papers and let other guests choose which of the ice breaker questions they want to ask.