Funny conversation starters can be a risky business, but they can also add interest and sparkle to your conversations. People like, listen to and trust people who make them laugh. Get your conversation off to a great start by making people laugh straight away.

Humor is personal, though, so if you can, get an idea of the sense of humor of the person you are talking to first. Does he or she tell jokes? Do they add a funny angle to their stories?

Adding humor to your conversations is easier if you understand what makes something funny. The two main aspects to this are:

1. Surprise
2. Relationships

Basically, that means keeping a punchline hidden until the very end of the joke, or bringing some unexpected element into your story, and building a relationship with your listener. To make other people laugh, you need to be relaxed or else your audience will not feel relaxed enough to laugh. They will feel uptight. So, stay true to your own sense of humor. Plenty of people will like it.

1. "Excuse me, but I do think it is time we met" will put a smile on most peoples faces without sounding too intimidating.

2. Share something funny that happened to you, especially if it was the same day. You will sound modest and that is quite an attractive quality.

3. "What kind of old person do you want to be?" intrigues people. Everyone hopes to get old and so they will have an opinion. Also, though, it will make people smile because you are taking old age as something positive - an unusual twist on any everyday topic will make people interested.

4. You could share a fun story about your children. They are a rich harvest for fun stories - and cute too! You could then ask something like 'what is the weirdest thing you brought home when you were a child?" Take a little trip down memory lane with the person you are talking to.

5. How about asking - 'what is the best question in the world?' You are going for the element of surprise and this one has the added benefit that it sounds like you are interested in getting to know the other person.

6. If you are at a party, try bringing a funny card for the host and get everyone to sign it. What to write and what others have written will give you a wealth of funny conversation openers.

7. Ask someone about their worst holiday to introduce talking about one of your recent vacation mishaps. These can be really funny conversation starters, get people laughing and will not cause tension. In addition to this, everyone will start providing their worst vacation stories and everyone will be laughing over the unfortunate events.

8. This one might work best for the younger generation - to whom all things gross seem hilarious - but try asking about the worst meal the person has ever eaten or seen someone eat. It always seems to get people talking and makes them laugh. You will also bring in most women who are pregnant or who have ever been pregnant and had cravings. Perhaps skip this one over dinner, though!

9. Ask people about their pet peeves. People are always happy to talk about these. Done in the right way with a touch of humor, you will not come across as a moaner, but as someone with a keen sense of humor.

10. The tenth? ...The tenth is up to you! I told you the element of surprise was important in humor. Seriously, you have learned a few things here about how to use humor in your conversations.

You do not have to be the funniest person on the planet to open a conversation with humor. Just keep in mind your aim, which it to make people relax and get them talking. Funny conversation starters are really about giving the other person a relaxed way in to the conversation.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: