A Slamdunk Conversation Starter at Big Dinners | Cup of Jo

A Slamdunk conversation starter at group dinners

Picture this: It’s Thanksgiving, and you’re sitting at the table with people from different generations—a few grandparents, parents, teenagers, young children. People ooh and aah over the spread and clink their glasses. You take a bite. The conversation pauses. What now?

Large group meals can sometimes end up feeling like small talk with the lowest common denominator – “Anika, what’s in these Brussels sprouts?” “Nana, how was the traffic?” – so how do you get things up and running? It might sound silly or third-grade educational, but we’ve done it at dozens of dinner parties, and I promise it’s a LOT of fun:

Ask the group a question, and go around the table to share everyone’s answers. You can always ask what people are grateful for, but here are a few more ideas if you want to change things up:

— What is the worst/weirdest job you’ve ever had?
— If you could live anywhere for a year, where would you live and why?
— What is one of your embarrassing teenage memories?
— What natural talent do you wish you had? (mine would be sing!)
– What is the best meal you ever had?
– What is your irrational fear?
— What is the best live performance you have ever seen?
– All people’s top three movies
— Share something good about the person sitting to your left (How cute is that? Jenny saw it as a soccer team-building exercise)

Slam dunk conversation starter at group dinners

And remember these dinner conversation napkins by artist Tucker Nichols? His suggested topics made me laugh, including “what I know about cheese,” “mosquitoes like/don’t like to bite me,” “foods you used to like,” and “for the last time, how daylight savings time works.”

Slam dunk conversation starter at group dinners

He also designed napkins with things NOT to talk about, such as “moderate flight delay,” “what’s everyone got in the cloud,” “world’s longest nails,” and “someone here is wearing cologne.”

What questions would you like to add? (And of course there is always Would you rather.)

PS The nerdy tip, how to say goodbye to a partyand 12 questions to ask your girlfriend.

(Photo by Jeremy Pawlowski/Stocksy.)

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