How to join a conversation
If you hear an interesting conversation, it’s a good idea to listen in and make sure it’s appropriate to join.
If it’s a personal or private conversation, the speakers might not want you to interrupt. You‘ll have to use your own judgement, and take a risk.
If they seem friendly and open, you can try to find something interesting to add. Don’t try to change the subject or talk too much about yourself.
Remember to smile, be friendly and ask questions about others.
You could try one of these phrases for joining in:
‘Excuse me, I overheard you talking about…’
‘Hi, my name is … ‘
‘I heard you talking about…’
‘Did I hear you say…?’
Here are some examples:
‘Excuse me, I overheard you talking about travelling to Australia. My sister went there last year. When are you going?’
‘Hi my name is Shirley. I heard you talking about Adelaide university. I’m a student there, too. What do you study?’
‘Did I hear you say you’re watching the new Game of Thrones series? I’m half way through it, I love that show. Where are you up to?’
If you find it hard to find a natural way to join the conversation, you can say:
‘Excuse me, would you mind if I joined your conversation? I don’t know anyone here yet, and you look interesting to talk to.’
Of course, not everyone wants new people to join their conversation. If it doesn’t work out, don’t take it personally. Try again next time.
Flickr CC: Ruth Ellison