This post on dinner party questions will help you avoid awkward silence and maintain a lively conversation with your dinner guests. Plus you can get a printable version of 112 great questions and more below!
Home is my favorite place to entertain my friends. Whether hosting a large group in the backyard or a small group setting at my dining table, I find good conversation and good food are the two keys to a successful dinner party.
Restaurants are not the best social settings as they are challenging for good conversation.
Additionally, although attention is appreciated, it is hard to have a deep conversation when the waitstaff interrupts you.
Don’t fret if you are not a “small talk” person or you are anxious about keeping the conversation going in a group. This post will help you with conversation advice and good conversation questions to keep your friends talking.
Small Talk Advice for Hosts
In order to have a successful dinner party you can’t just have good food. You also need to have good conversations. And great conversations take preparation to include working on questions for your dinner party.
Have you ever attended dinner parties where there was a giant lull in the conversation? Awkward!
As the hostess, what can you do if small talk dries up? Move on to good talk with prepared dinner party questions.
In other words, move away from questions with one-word answers and keep away from negative current events.
Some of the best advice I can offer any host or hostess is to keep the conversation flowing with new questions and have fun dinner party conversation starters in your back pocket. Stay away from controversial topics. You never know if someone will take over in a rant or be offended.
The last time I went to a dinner party where one of the guests kept bringing up controversial events, all the other guests began responding with one-word answers. The dominant speaker did not get the clue. It was pretty embarrassing.
Good Conversation Starter Tips
Anyone hosting a dinner party or event in their home should be ready to start and redirect the conversation if needed. According to The Art of Manliness, everyone should come to an occasion armed with topics to be ready to discuss. However, the responsibility for the success of the evening is the host’s.
So, here are a few tips when thinking about questions for your dinner party:
First, try posing a question that fits with where the current conversation left off. For example, if a guest complains about their job, ask the group what was their worst job in high school. This keeps the conversation going and lightens the mood.
Second, make it a game. Have you ever heard of the conversation game “For It, Against It”? You introduce a neutral topic to your guests. You can start with something you eat, wear, or is in a house. Some ideas for example are salt water taffy, junk food, velvet pants, hats, or fake flowers. Then everyone takes a turn stating whether they are for it or against it.
Third, depending on who is at your table you can take the conversation to a deeper level. In other words, try asking a dinner party question as if you are talking to a good friend. Maybe you will be!
The great thing is with good conversation your guests may all become great friends.
The Art of Meaningful Conversations
In order to have interesting conversations every host needs to have the ability to move a conversation forward or sometimes completely redirect if a topic becomes negative or too controversial.
Keep in mind, however, that thought-provoking questions or deep questions are not always necessary for interesting conversations at a dinner party.
A great conversation can start with light topics around common interests. If a guest is a cat person, you can bring up the topic of taking care of pets while traveling. Not everyone owns a pet, but most people can get on board with problem-solving in order to travel.
Also, some of the best dinner conversation starters begin with open-ended questions. These questions can eventually lead to lively conversation as your guests are free to run with the answers.
Ways to Approach Conversation Starter Topics
As the one hosting the dinner party, you need to be proactive in keeping the conversation going. In other words, just a little prep can go a long way to making the evening really enjoyable with good conversation questions.
Basically, don’t stress dinner questions by overthinking which topics of conversation to focus on. Keep it light use open-ended questions to get going.
Additionally, you can make it an organized game.
Make Answering Dinner Party Questions a Game (Printable)
Rather than trying to remember questions you decided on prior to your dinner party, you can print up a list of questions for a game.
Now that you know about the questions, a great way to save time is to grab the printable list of 112 Best Dinner Party Questions and Conversation Starters for a Dinner Party. Grab it below!
This is a very simple party game with just three steps and no rules.
- The first step is to print out the list of questions and cut them up into strips. You can also write some of the questions on slips of paper.
- The next step is to put them all in a basket, mason jar, or other container.
- Finally, have each person draw a question from the container and answer it.
The best part is this can keep the conversation going when you need to step away from your guests to finish dinner preparations or get dessert ready to serve.
This is also a fun game to break the ice during the appetizer or get people laughing after dinner.
Dinner Party Questions and Conversation Topics
The next time you host a dinner party try out some of these fun conversation starters. All it takes is a good question or two and you are off to a successful evening.
Dinner Party Questions About Childhood
- What is the best excuse you ever gave for not doing your homework?
- What are your best memories of high school?
- What is your earliest favorite memory of your childhood?
- What was your first job?
- What is funny about the most embarrassing moment of your childhood?
- What are some of your dad’s favorite jokes?
- What is your favorite family tradition from childhood?
Entertainment and Fame Dinner Party Questions
- What is your favorite movie?
- What actor would you trade places with and why?
- If you could have dinner with someone famous from another time period, who would it be and why?
- If you could be a cartoon character for one day, who would you be and what would you do?
- If you could live on a movie-themed set, what would it be?
- What is your favorite song by Elvis Presley?
- Who do you think is the most famous person of the 20th century?
- If you could live in a TV show, which one would it be and which character would you be?
- What is your favorite fictional character from a book?
- If you were going to live on a deserted island for a year, what one book or movie would you bring?
Additional Dinner Party Questions to Make You Think
- If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three personal items would you want?
- If work was canceled for a day, what fun way would spend your time?
- If you had to gain ten pounds by eating junk food, what would you eat?
- If you could change one thing in world current events, what would it be?
- What new skill would you like to learn and what would you do with it?
- If you could ask God two funny questions, what would they be?
- If you won the lottery, what is one good thing you would do with the money?
- What is the earliest memory of your spouse or significant other?
- What is the best gift you have ever been given?
Favorite Holiday Dinner Party Questions
- What is your favorite smell in the fall?
- What are your least favorite holiday parties?
- What is your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?
- What is your favorite holiday food and who makes the best version of it?
Changes You Would Make Conversation Topics
- What are the most important things you would like to tell your 10-year-old self?
- What do you think is the most beautiful place you have not visited?
- If you could invent one thing to make the rest of your life easier, what would it be?
- What’s one choice you really regret? How would you change that decision?
- What part of the human body should be changed and how would you change it?
- Dinner Party Questions to Put Your Guests in the Hotseat
- What is your biggest fear and how would you face it?
- Can you think of a good reason to slap someone and did you?
- What is your favorite thing to do when you are alone?
- What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten and where?
- The historical moment I most remember — both good and bad.
What to Serve at a Dinner Party
If you are in need of inspiration for what to prepare for your guests, check out the MENUS PAGE of Lone Star Gatherings. Overall, you will find complete menus, recipes, and wine pairings for many different occasions.
You’ll find complete menus like:
Other menus for small dates or large crowds are also available. Check them out without delay!
Family Conversation Starters
Good conversation-starter questions aren’t just for dinner parties.
One of my family rules growing up was to eat dinner together when all of our family members were home. Yes indeed, we actually sat at the dinner table. Evidently, dinner time was the perfect time to grill my brother and me about our day.
My parents would start with simple questions to get us talking, but after a while, we would just chatter away about everything.
At this point, my brother and I regard this quality time as a favorite family activity.
So, here are a few family dinner ideas for conversation starters with your kids or grandkids.
- What is one good thing that happened today?
- What is one area where you did well today?
- What did not go well today?
- What is one thing you can do better next time?
- What is one family rule you want to change?
- What do you like best about your ______ class?
- If you could decorate your room any way you wanted it, what would it look like?
- What would you do if you saw a friend making fun of another person?
Invite Friends Over for Dinner and Conversation
Summing up, the next time you have friends over or gather family for a great meal you will now be prepared to help the conversation along and make sure everyone has a good time.
So, if you want to encourage interesting discussions at your next dinner party, use the dinner party questions and good conversation starters listed above or get them in the FREE printable handout above.
After all, you may become known as the host or hostess with the best dinner party food and great conversation! A successful evening indeed!
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