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Conversation Etiquette: How to Liven Up the Party

Dinner parties are meant to be intimate, so don’t host more than six to eight people; everyone should sit together at one table. Figure out a good mix of personalities to invite, and add in interesting friends who can help the conversation going. Don’t let fear of social etiquette stop you from hosting a dinner party. The key is to make everyone feel comfortable. Do this by introducing your guests to each other, graciously accepting hostess gifts, and navigating the seat arrangements.

Dinner Conversation Starters will get the conversation flowing at your dinner. A few good conversation questions will help you avoid awkward silence.

Five (5) Good Dinner Party Conversation Starters

1. Compliments with good taste: Break the ice by saying something nice. It doesn’t matter what you compliment, interior decor, artwork on the wall, table setting, weather, dress, just say something nice and positive! If there is a nice artwork on the wall in the dining room, say something like, “I love this art piece, as it complements the wall colour so well.” If a guest brought a dish to the party, say something like, “Mary told me you made this the shepherd’s pie, may I tell you it tastes delicious, thank you!” Guests will instantly warm up to you and feel at ease when you’re positive. The compliment should come with a sincere smile, a right tone of voice, and eye contact.

Some guidelines of such topics:

  • Compliment a guest’s hairstyle, handbag, or shoes if you are comfortable.
  • You can also compliment a male guest’s dressing.
  • Compliment the host’s taste on her table Centre piece and the Dinnerware.

Compliment a guest’s handbag, “You have a very lovely bag, and I love the colour too?” Or a male guest’s pair of mint coloured shoes, and say, “Love the unique colours of your shoes.”

2. Choosing Topics: Even with a comfortable group, it doesn’t hurt to introduce a new topic of conversation to liven up the party. As the host(s), you will find it helpful to choose a few topics of conversation to make it a bit easier for your guests to chat it up. You, as a host, can introduce a topic to the group once everyone has arrived and seated at your party. Your guests will appreciate you for not neglecting the most important part of any party – the conversations.

When choosing topics for conversation, you should try to avoid subjects that could potentially cause uneasiness or controversy among your guests. The classics that fall into this category are discussions about religion or politics. The purpose of the gathering is to encourage your guests to know each other and to get along, not the other way. The aim is to start the conversation with topics that are easy for many people or everyone to participate in, not one that only a few know about. Choose topics with the idea that will get people to contribute, laugh, reminisce, or share comfortably but not too personal that anyone would feel uncomfortable.

Some guidelines of such topics:

  • How was your day?
  • What did you do last weekend?
  • For couples, can ask “How did you two meet?”
  • Do you have a dog?
  • What was your biggest surprise ever in your life?
  • When were you happiest and why?
  • Have you been to any restaurants lately?
  • Where is your favourite vacation spot and why?
  • If you were to win a lottery, what’s the first thing you would buy for yourself?

Conversation starter questions can include,
“Where is your favourite vacation spot and why?”

3. Share 3 fun facts about ourselves: As a host, you can initiate the conversation by saying “Let’s do an ice breaker!” As the most important guest is always seated to the right of the host, you can start with the most important guest. Or it can start from the host yourself, and say things like “I have a twin sister… Um, I love to drink a latte to go with my afternoon snacks… I love to read over the weekend.” By the time you got halfway around the table, you will see that everyone is warmed up and will be telling interesting fun facts about themselves. This will get everyone laughing, and people will share things that would never otherwise come up. It is the ultimate conversation starter, as every contributor will spark a lot more questions, and the flow can last the whole evening.

Some guidelines of such topics:

  • What is your biggest fear in life?
  • Who is your celebrity crush?
  • Which is your all-time favourite movie?
  • Where is your favourite spot in your home?
  • What is one dessert that you can eat for the whole year?
  • What is your favourite sport?
  • If you open a restaurant, what type of food would you serve?
  • What is one thing you can’t leave home without?
  • What is one thing that you are good at?

Fun Facts Conversation can include,
“What is your favourite sport ?”

4. Food is a universal language: As a guest, you can initiate a conversation starter by complimenting the host’s or hostess’s cooking, “These ‘hors d’oeuvres’ (meaning appetizers in French or a common local language) are nice, I am looking to learn a new recipe for appetizers and cocktails. Do you have a favourite? Even if the dinner party is hosted in a restaurant, there won’t be a dull moment when discussing food, recipes, or restaurants.

Food is a universal language.
“I am looking to learn a new recipe for cocktails?”

5. Sharing Feel-Good stories to start a positive conversation: Either as a host or a guest, you can share an uplifting short inspiring story, “I read an interesting article about how giving someone a thoughtful gift can not only bring joy, it makes an average day truly extraordinary – and sometimes it changes lives.” Thus sharing a handful of stories that celebrate the art of giving can not only bring positivity to the dinner party, it can also definitely spread the act of kindness and spirit of humanity while livening up the party.

You can share short stories through telling,
“It is amazing what can be accomplished and how sometimes even a Simple Act of Kindness can change the lives of many”.

“Some of the most important conversations you’ve ever had occurred at the dinner table so, remember to have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

Image source: i-stock photos

When it comes to creating the perfect dining experience, ARTELIA owns a reputation that is second to none. As Luxury tableware that has evolved over four decades, ARTELIA caters to its elite customers bringing exclusivity and uniqueness to each meal on your table. From hosting a banquet to friends gathering, ARTELIA accompanied you with its finest brands in tableware, exquisite pieces, limited edition designs, or even the latest and most contemporary, to make your entertaining fun, memorable, with style and class.
To shop for luxury tableware elegant fine glass and silverware, and also decorative ornaments adorning corners of your interior, go to

Date: 19th February 2022 (Saturday)
By: Teresa Dian Chew,
Principal Image Consultant, Chief Influencer and Author

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