15 Topics To Break The Ice With At The Tatler Ball
1/15 Ask if they have pets. If they do, ask them about the funniest thing their pet has done recently.
Just notice the way their eyes shine once asked about their favourite furry companion. The way things go with a doting pet owner is that you wouldn't even need to ask them for photographs because halfway through their description, they would whip out their phones and show you adorable photographs of their best friend. This is the easiest way to get someone in the mood for a long conversation, especially if it's about how their dog has completely ruined their new shoes, or how their cat insists on meowing hours on end in the middle of the night, for example. Next thing you know, you could be talking about high-tech pet gadgets that you totally need to buy.
2/15 What is their current fitness routine? Have they found something that works?
Whether you're into fitness or not, there is that insatiable curiosity to find out exactly what a person does to keep fit – especially in the age of health consciousness. Maybe you've tried yoga but you can't get into it, and you'd like to explore other fitness avenues. What do they suggest you do? Do they go to the dance studio you pass by on the way to work? Or, perhaps they had undergone a tremendous and awe-inspiring fitness journey to look the way they do now, or for a certain reason, and they could tell you all about it. Plus, what are the chances of you getting a hiking buddy the day after the ball?
3/15 Have they been travelling recently? If so, did they take plenty of photos?
This question would possibly evoke the same reaction such as the pet one, wherein the person asked would end up showing you photographs of a beautiful place they had recently been to. They could tell you about the nondescript café that had the best coffee in Bulgaria, or how they spent 12 days in Italy, for example. Either way, it's bound to get you interested and invested in what they have to say. On the other hand, the end-of-year holidays are fast approaching so you might want to consider what people have to say about their travels, right?
4/15 What’s their favourite food? Have they tried something new lately?
Malaysians are foodies, let's face it. Everyone's bound to post a photo on their Facebook, Instagram or Stories of their delicious meals or desserts, and they are always on the lookout for something new and better. Ask them about their favourite guilty indulgence. If it's char kuey teow, where do they go to get their fix? Have they tried one of the best steaks in town? The exchanging of information on food is boundless, and there is no way anybody can get bored talking about food – and their favourite one, at that!
5/15 If they were a drink, what would they be?
This is a rather interesting question because not only would they give away what they personally prefer, but you could also take this chance to ask them why the chose to be that. After that, you could venture from your table to the cocktail bar to get a drink together, or even make plans to explore unusual cocktail bars after the ball. Why not?
6/15 If they were a car, what car would they be?
Not unlike the food and drink one, this would provide an insight into the other person's characteristics and mindset as well. Would they like to be a glitzy red car? That would mean they enjoy taking financial risks. Would they prefer a spacious car? Then they clearly enjoy a crowd. If they opt for a SUV then safety and assuredness are qualities that are at the top of their mind, always. If they prefer massive cars then ... we'd leave that interpretation up to you. Perhaps, once you're done sizing them up you can discuss amazing cars that you plan to own one day.
7/15 What have they recently gotten into, or what takes up most of their time apart from work?
Whether it is building LEGO sets, or even train models, it is interesting to note how people spend their time when they're not working. People have different ways of unwinding and finding their happy place, so if you're struggling to find yourself a new hobby, you might just get some inspiration from the people you speak to, and their respective hobbies.
8/15 What’s that one song they’ve been addicted to lately?
Some young ones might surprise you and say they listen to a song from the 40s or 50s, while some Tatler Ball veterans might just be into Cardi B's new single. Who knows, you might find a common ground in music and suggest some songs or albums to each other.
See also: 9 Music Lovers Unite Over The Ultimate Raya ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Spotify Playlist
9/15 What is their most frequently used emoji?
What could it possibly be? Is it the laughing/crying emoji face that we all seem to use? According to Apple, that emoji – used to convey hearty laughter – is the most popular one in the world. But whatever it is that your conversation partner says their top choice is, there will be guaranteed laughter, whether guilty or cheeky, when telling you what it is. On the other hand, you might want to check out a video we did with Diana Chan where she responded in solely emoji speak.
10/15 There is a zombie apocalypse coming; who are the three people they would want on their team? Why?
Not unlike the 'if you were stranded on an island, who would you want with you?' question, this allows for a broader range of conversation instead of the archetype "my wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend" answer. Obviously, they would want their significant other, without a doubt. But what about the other two? Why is it so important for them to be there? This would get them thinking about their chances, and trust us, they would be amazed at their own answers, too.
11/15 If they could endorse any brand, what would it be?
"I would endorse Versace because I love the amalgamation of rock, art and brilliant colour in everything that the brand produces." "I think it would be The Body Shop because they are cruelty-free." Just think of the variations of answers you could possibly get with this question. The question would detail what people like, and why, and it'll help you reason with some decisions as well.
Read also: Hublot Announces Rapper Joe Flizzow As Malaysia’s First Friend Of The Brand
12/15 What is the best, and worse advice they ever got?
This could easily turn into one of the most entertaining conversations you could ever have. On the plus side, you could learn a thing or two from this person's best advice. But when it comes to the worse (despite also learning a thing or two), you could both have a great laugh out of it – especially if aforementioned bad advice turned into an unforgettable adventure or experience.
13/15 Did they make good on their New Year’s Resolutions?
Early this year, six individuals spoke to us regarding their New Year’s resolutions. What was your conversation partner's New Year resolution(s)? Did they manage to get it done, or are they working on it? Either way, the reason why they did or did not do it would be an insightful one at most.
See also: Malaysia's high society share their tips on making New Year's resolutions
14/15 If they had superpowers, what would they change?
There are two variations of this question: one being that if a person could do anything in the world without having monetary issues, what would they choose? The other is if one was given all the power in the world to change things, what would they seek to change first? There are so many ways this could go; ending poverty, reversing climate change, eradicating HIV/AIDS. Everybody is for a cause, it's just a matter of finding out what spurs them on.
15/15 Why are they at The Ball?
They could be award-winners, or they could be supporting someone who would be receiving an award. Perhaps they had done a tremendous job that year of being active in society, and therefore got invited to The Ball. Are they there for the first-time, or have they been coming for the past 29 years? We also suggest asking about the new venue, or the new layout, or what they are looking forward to the most – just to be safe, and for our research purposes.
See also: The Award Winners Of The #MYTatlerBall2017