How to keep a conversation going – 9 effective tips

by Veikko Arvonen // June 17 // 0 Comments

picture of how to keep a conversation going

Are you tired of constantly thinking about what you should say next in a group? Or wondering how to keep a conversation going on a date? If you can relate to this even a little, I encourage you to spend five minutes of your valuable time and read on.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 9 tips on how to keep a conversation going. I’ll also share some examples to make sure you’ll get the most out of this article.

I’ve found these tips very useful in my social interactions and I believe that you will also. I know what it feels like when you just don’t know what to say or other people are withering the conversation.

Can you imagine being the conversation leader next time you hang out with your friends? Or does no more awkward first dates sound good?
If yes, read on my friend.

Let’s start with the tips:

1. Speak with enthusiasm

For me, this one was a game-changer. Did you know that people pay way more attention to HOW you say something than WHAT you say? This means that you can talk about pretty much any nonsense as long as you speak with enthusiasm and congruency.

This means that you have to actually believe in what you say. Use different tonalities and gestures to amplify your message. Even if you don’t get the desired reaction from others, don’t let it change your mentality.

Have you ever seen someone talk about something completely random but still capturing everyone’s attention? If yes, it’s probably because they spoke with enthusiasm.

These kinds of charismatic people understand that it doesn’t matter what you say as long as you say it with congruency. They believe in what they say, they use their gestures and tonalities, and above all, they know that things don’t get awkward if they don’t make them.

This is a great way to keep a conversation going. You can talk about your hobbies, share your plans, or even tell how you found a cat video from Facebook as long as you speak with enthusiasm.

Yes, people may consider you weird sometimes, etc, but just act like it’s not a big deal. Nobody will remember that later. And remember, things don’t get awkward if you don’t make them awkward.

When you do this properly, people get excited and relate to you even if you’re talking about completely random things.

This one may require practice and confidence since you may have to lead the conversation and stay calm under pressure, but it will get easier.

2. Say whatever the fuck you want

Always remember to be polite and avoid topics that may be sensitive or offensive, but don’t censor yourself too much.

See, some people get stuck inside their heads, trying to come up with a perfect joke or awesome story. And the only thing that they achieve is an uncomfortable situation where they’re distant and unsocial.

The point is when you have something to say or something that you want to share, say it.

You see a pretty girl walking by? Share it with your friends.

You’re pissed because the bouncer is annoying? Crack a joke about it when you get inside.

Don’t censor yourself too much. When you’re hanging out, you’re supposed to enjoy your time and not get stuck inside your head. In many social situations, people talk about pretty random stuff.

Combine this with the first tip, and soon you’re leading most of the conversation.

Don’t overtry and comment on every single detail, but if you have something even slightly interesting on your mind, say it.

Again, speak with enthusiasm and be authentic. This non-verbal communication matters and people will start to respect your opinions more when you do it correctly.

If you end up saying something awkward, just stay calm and act like it’s not a big deal. Eventually, your social skills will improve and you’ll become more socially intelligent.

3. Ask open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are a great way to keep a conversation going in any situation. They are questions that require more than just a boring, one-word answer.

Rather than asking “Are you studying or working at the moment?” ask “What kind of exciting plans do you have for the future?”

Do you see the point? When you ask an open-ended question, the other person has to tell you more than just “yes” or “I’m working”.

This is even more effective when you ask about something they’re passionate about. I always find sharing my plans for the future more pleasant than my opinions on politics.

Usually, the best conversations happen when someone speaks about their passion or a common phenomenon.

Examples – close-ended questions

here are some questions that may not spark an interesting conversation:

  • Do you like wine?
  • What’s your favorite food?
  • Are you studying at the moment?

Examples – open-ended questions

Consider replacing them with more interesting, open-ended questions like:

  • Why do you think that hangovers from red wine are so terrible?
  • Why does every unhealthy food taste so good?
  • So you’re at law school, what makes you want to become a lawyer?

Of course, basic close-ended questions are great when you’ve just met someone, but the open-ended alternatives will keep the conversation going in the long run.

4. Continue your answers

What about when someone asks you a close-ended question? If you want to lead the conversation, you’ll have to be more interesting than answering “yes” or “no”.

To be honest, people who just reply and never come up with anything creative are extremely boring and painful to be around.

Luckily there’s something you can do to avoid that. When someone asks you a close-ended question, answer it and then continue with something relevant.

Let’s say someone asks you “Do you like going to festivals?” Instead of answering just “yes” and killing the conversation, say something like “yes, but I’ll always lose my mind when the security thinks I’m sneaking in drugs.”

Using this so-called “yes, and…” principle, you’ll avoid killing the conversation and become much more interesting and attractive.

5. Stories

Sharing stories is a great way to become the center of attention or shine the spotlight on someone else. When someone has a story they like to share, the next few minutes of your conversation will be interesting, guaranteed.

If you have a good story, you should share it at some point when it’s relevant. Maybe something hilarious that happened to you or some crazy adventure you’ve gone through.

You can also encourage someone else to tell something that you know will cheer people up. Or if you just met someone you can ask about something their past.

Sharing stories will work extremely well if you can combine it with step one. If you can share something with passion and make others laugh, they don’t just think you can keep a conversation going. They’ll even find you very charismatic.

My example

One story that I like to share sometimes is when I worked in a laser tag company, operating the games. When I was there, some customers came there and I found out that they couldn’t speak any language I spoke.

Most of them even arrived late and the entire situation was a mess. I somehow managed to show them the instruction video and everything turned out to be fine, but I’ve made several people laugh like crazy with this story.

As you can see, stories are a great way to keep a conversation going.

6. Don’t over try

Just like in pretty much anything, overtrying leads to failure. Overtrying makes you unauthentic and people don’t like fake people.

On top of that, if you’re constantly trying to figure out what to say next or wondering if you’ve asked too many close-ended questions, you’ll screw up. You’ll get stuck inside your head and that’s going to show.

If you’re nervous, other people will sense it through your body language and vocal tonalities.

Instead of overtrying, go out there and enjoy your time. Put these tips into action every there and then when you find it convenient. Share a great story or ask someone else to share.

If you think you need to improve your confidence or anything else on the mental side, click here to read more about that.

The moral of the story, don’t overtry. Just go there and have fun!

7. Occasional moments of silence are OK

You’ve been reading through different ways to keep a conversation going, but this doesn’t mean silence is fatal. It’s OK if at some point no one has anything to say. Silence doesn’t kill you.

Especially if you’re eating out or enjoying some other activity, it’s natural that people focus on that. They may not have time to talk all the time. If they speak with a mouth full of food, it’s pretty disgusting.

There’s a difference between silence and awkward silence. Awkward silence occurs when you’re in a group where people are boring enough to never come up with anything. Or if someone says something super weird.

If you end up being this guy, don’t make it awkward. Just say something like “Oh, you guys didn’t get it” and act like it’s not a big deal.

Also, you don’t have to always be the one who breaks the silence. Things don’t get awkward if you don’t make them. Therefore it’s OK to have some moments of silence. Especially if you’re eating or something like that.

8. Avoid using your cellphone

Sometimes I’ve made the mistake of hanging out with someone who’s addicted to their cell phone. To be honest, it pisses me off every single time.

If you want to keep a conversation going, keep your cellphone in your pocket. Like seriously, you got a group of people there, and your scrolling through Instagram or Tik Tok?

If all of you are just using phones, the conversation will be dead. You’ll have to be the first one to give it up and show the example.

I remember when I and three other guys went to see your old friends. Well, one of the guys had been more than friends with one of them. Anyway, we went there and the two girls were just staring at their phones when four guys were talking. It was both hilarious and extremely frustrating.

How to deal with cellphone addicts

This is how to not keep a conversation going

To be honest, sometimes there’s not too much to do. You can try to engage in a conversation with them, because they may be bored.

If you’re in a group where one of you is a phone addict, it’s probably easier to let them be. It’s their problem when you stop inviting them to hang out.

However, sometimes you may end up in a situation where someone’s phone addiction is seriously ruining your interaction. In this case, try to engage in a conversation or maybe tease them a little. Like asking “What pornography website are you scrolling this time?” Chances are they’ll understand that they should put the phone away.

Then there are people who just can’t give up their phone. In this case, I usually ask them to put it away. Luckily those kinds of people are rare and I always avoid hanging out with them.

9. Be spontaneous

Being spontaneous in this case means that you’ll join the conversation and engage with new ideas etc.

For example, if someone asks you to share a story, do it. Don’t be that boring person who always rejects new ideas and kills the conversation. Make sure to be ready for new topics and put yourself out there. Be interested to share your thoughts and listen when others share their stories.

Being spontaneous is pretty easy, but I added it here because I’ve seen people who have been so boring. That was because they weren’t spontaneous.

Let me share a quick story:

I ended up going on a date with a Tinder match. First, we gave her friend a ride home. After that, things got boring as hell. We were driving around and keeping up the conversation with her was one hell of a challenge.

She just replied to my questions and never came up with anything creative or spontaneous. I remember when I asked what would she do with 20 million in her bank account and she just said “ummmm, I don’t know” and killed the conversation.

Later I took her to a shore with a beautiful view. I hopped on a metal box to see better and gave my hand to help her there, but she just stood there and said, “ummm I think that metal is too cold”.

Needless to say, I didn’t see her after that. See, it doesn’t require much to be spontaneous and open to new topics, but people who fail to do this are boring as hell. You don’t have to agree to every crazy idea, but just don’t be boring.

How to keep a conversation going? – FAQ

What to say to keep a conversation going?

It’s not so much about what you say. It’s about how you say certain things. You can talk about pretty much anything as long as you believe in what you say and you speak with congruency.

When you’re truly confident and don’t make things awkward, people will sense that through your non-verbal communication. Just say whatever you want as long as it’s somehow relevant and not inappropriate.

Sometimes people may not get your point right away, but don’t make it a big deal. Don’t become nervous and ashamed, just elaborate your point or let it be.

How do I stop being a dry person?

Dry people are more or less painful to spend time with. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to fix.

Firstly, make sure you’re in a good mood when entering a conversation. This will naturally make you more socially skillful and fun to be with.

Secondly, be open to new ideas and come up with your ideas too. Pay attention to other people and be present. Implement the tips from this article to keep a conversation going. Don’t just sit somewhere without ever bringing any value to the interaction.

This may be hard if you suffer from social anxiety, insecurity, or anything like that. If this is the case, I suggest you focus on that area first. If you want to bring value to a conversation, you’ll have to show up.

How to keep a conversation going over text?

To be honest, it’s way harder than face-to-face. Especially if the other person is not interested in talking to you. One great thing you can do is to ask open-ended questions and talk about topics you both find interesting.

What comes to dating, I recommend being a little playful and setting up the date fast. Don’t overtry or force it, but set it up as soon as it’s convenient and the other person is ready.

When texting a friend, I recommend talking about some interesting topic or just hang out in person.

Questions to keep a conversation going

As I mentioned before, use open-ended questions about interesting and relevant topics that require more than “yes” for an answer.

Scroll up to see examples.


There you have it. 9 tips to keep a conversation going. As I mentioned before, these tips are way easier to implement, if you have a proper mindset.

This means having enough confidence to show up etc. If you feel like you want to improve your mindset, check my articles here.

I hope you found these tips valuable and I want to thank you for spending your time on my website. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me.

I’ll see you next time!

Veikko Arvonen is a blogger with a burning passion for self-development. In his blog, he shares battle-tested tips to become more confident, charismatic, attractive, and happier. Back in time, he got tired of being at the lower end of the pecking order and decided to change. Now, you can learn his lessons from this blog.