Conversation Tips and Questions

question marks


So how exactly do I approach local people and get them talking to a complete stranger?

Our audience has asked us for conversation tips. We are not experts, and there isn’t a sure way to do this. However, based on our experience, here are the steps that you can take:

1. Act natural and be yourself

2. Gage the situation and see if it is appropriate to ask a question about what the person is doing, wearing, reading, thinking, etc. 

3. Ask to take a picture. If the person initially seems shy or unwilling to talk to a stranger, try waiting until the end of the conversation to do so.

4. Introduce yourself and/or go right into a conversation. Continue the topic of Step 2, and ask more questions about the person. See the conversation question list below.

5. Introduce China Unheard and our mission.

6. ALWAYS ask the person if you can publish their photo and story. Let the person know exactly what will be published and how to find that post– it is Our Policy.

Conversation Questions


  1. What do you do for a living?
  2. Do you have any kids? If so, what are they doing?
  3. How did you begin working in this field? Why this career path?
  4. Where have you traveled to?
  5. What is your favorite thing about your city/town/village? What is your least favorite thing? 
For the deeper conversations:
  1. What is the happiest moment of your life.
  2. What is your biggest regret?
  3. What is the craziest thing you’ve done in your life?
  4. What motivates you?
  5. What was the best part about growing up here? The worst? 
  6. What is one lesson you want to teach your children? 
  7. What do you think today’s greatest social issues are?/If there was one thing you could change about society, what would it be?

For the younger participants:

  1. What do you want to be when you grow up? 
  2. What do you and your friends like to do in your free time?
  3. What is your favorite class in school? Why? 
  4. Tell me a story about your favorite teacher.
  5. What do you like about where you live? What don’t you like?