Tips on starting a conversation

Updated: 01 Jun 2021

Walking into a room full of strangers can feel daunting. If you want to build your conversation confidence, have a read of these top tips.

 Members meeting up in a cafe for a chat.

Making friends as an adult does feel a lot harder than back in the schoolyard. Remember, you don’t need to enter the conversation with the aim of leaving as best friends, instead simply focus on enjoying sharing a moment in time.

We asked our members about the advice they’d give to themselves if they could travel back in time to their first Oddfellows social event. Here's their top 10 tips to build conversation confidence.

1. Just be yourself

If you want to make genuine friends there’s no point pretending you’re something you’re not or faking interests that aren’t real!

2. Be patient

It will take people time to realise how marvellous you are, just like it will take you time to learn how lovely some of the other people in the room are.

3. Don’t feel intimidated

Your opinions and enthusiasms are valid.

4. Smile and introduce yourself

It’s a friendly way to start a conversation.

5. Maintain eye contact

Look people in the eye, smile, nod, show that you’re listening.

5 members enjoying an afternoon tea together.

6. Ask questions

You won’t find much out if you don’t.

7. Discuss the present

Talk about the event and things going on around you.

8. Don’t just hear, listen

Really listen to what people have to say. It shows you are interested in them and it helps with asking the next question.

9. Pay compliments

It’s a great way of showing interest and spreading positivity, and it shows you care about your interaction with them.

10. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Don’t worry about remembering names. You can always ask again later. They probably can’t remember yours either!

Example conversation questions 

Oddfellows friendship groups

We're always ready to welcome new members to our local Oddfellows friendship groups. You can find your nearest by using our Branch Finder, or use our Events Finder to search for social events and activities happening near to where you live.

Give the Oddfellows a try. There's no obligation to join. Contact us to request your free information pack and local events diary.

Read more advice on making friends and building social confidence in our friendship guides section.