10 Talking Games For Adults To Spark Conversation

Have you ever been to a party where people there aren’t relaxed with each other? Where conversation feels stilted? Don’t you wish there were some talking games for adults to play so everyone could just relax?

That’s the worst thing about parties, for guests and host. People can be shy and unless they’ve come with friends, they’re alone among strangers and feeling awkward. They want to socialise, they’re just not sure how to start. You’ve got your hands full running the whole thing, so you don’t have time to get everyone gelling. Having a few talking games to play would make life easier.

The goal of any game is to get everyone sharing something fun and personal. That way, they’ll never have topics to run out of during the night. The first game on our list of talking games for adults fits nicely into this criteria.

Talking Games For Adults Without Prep

Improvisation

An hour before you play this game, hunt around your home for little household items and put these in an empty bag or box. Examples could include a coin, a pen, a hat, a set of keys, a fork and a shower cap.

Divide your friends into pairs. One half of the pair gets an item sight unseen from the bag and must improvise as many uses as they can, which the other player has to guess. Every correct guess is awarded a point so make sure you’re keeping score. Players can speak, make up sound effects, create dialogue, and move around during their improvisations. When their time is up, the next pair takes the stage.

Here is an example. If I picked a hat, then the improvs could be: a steering wheel, a dinner plate, sitting next to a pond as a fisherman, a moon, a doorway to another world.

The Squatting Game

The perfect talking games to play help strangers get to know each other beyond the usual usual boring introductions. Get everyone arranged in a circle, then start the game, by calling out a characteristic you know someone might have in the group might have, for example “vegetarian.” Anyone who is a vegetarian must squat down on the ground immediately then jump back up. Then pick someone else to call something out, and whoever responds to that must squat down then jump up. Your friends will have plenty to talk about with each other after the game is over.

Here are some example characteristics you could use: is a night owl, owns a Mac, cycles to work, likes chocolate, grew up in the countryside, plays the piano. 

Identity Guess

This game is sure to get the laughter going out of all the talking games to play here. As your guests start arriving, ask everyone to write down 1 personal characteristic on a piece of paper and drop them in a bowl. Make sure everyone writes in capital letters and uses the same pen ink.

To play this game, call everyone together and the first person who comes on stage picks a slip from the bowl and acts out what they read. Everyone has to guess the characteristic then think who it might belong to. Keep the game going until the bowl is empty.

Catchy Names

This game is a simple icebreaker to help everyone relax and bond together. Get your friends in a circle and instruct the first person to think of an adjective to describe themselves. The adjective they choose should start with the same letter as their name, for example, “Joyful Joan,” “Powerful Peter” “Animated Adam,” and “Cautious Cynthia.” Have each person go around the circle announcing their name.

When this part of the game is over, have the first person start again, this time saying their name, followed by the next player saying the first person’s name and their own name. The third person says the first 2 names and their name and so on. After this round is done, instruct everyone to use their new names every time they start a conversation.

Never Have I Ever

This is a classic example of simple talking games to play at any party. Get your friends sat in a circle with each person hold out their left hand, as a close fist. Begin the game by saying, “Never have I ever…” and add one thing they have never done, for example, swum in the sea. If anyone in the group has done it, they must hold up one finger; if no one has done it, then the person who said “Never have I ever” must hold up their finger. Continue the game until one person is holding up 5 fingers: they’re out of the game. 

This game can get pretty heady, depending on the types of friends you have playing together. Make sure everyone’s comfortable ahead of time with the things that might be suggested. Here are some clean ones to get your started: been on a cruise liner, drank champagne, driven in a jeep, performed on stage, climbed a mountain, slept in the office, rode on a camel.

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Talking Games For Adults With Prep

Famous Couples

Create a list of well-known couples covering both the present day and history, real people and made-up people. Superman and Lois Lane is one example, as are George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, Tom and Jerry, Captain Picard and Beverly Crusher. Each player gets a Post-it note or card taped to their back with the name of one half of a famous pairing.

Everyone now moves around the room and tries to figure out who they are by asking each person they come across just 3 questions. The answer to those questions can only be yes or no. Once the person figures out who they are, they need to go find their other half. If the other partner hasn’t figured out their identity yet, don’t reveal it to them until they’ve worked it out.

Sweet Talk

You will need packs of M&Ms or Skittles, an empty bowl and a sheet of paper. On that sheet of paper, write down what each of the colors mean, for example:

  • Yellow Skittle: One thing you love about your job
  • Red: What your morning routine is
  • Green: Favourite childhood TV show or cartoon
  • Orange: Favourite vacation as an adult
  • Blue: One dish/cake/pie you have trouble making
  • Purple: One life goal you’re working on

Hang the sheet on the wall and pour the candy in the bowl. The person who starts the game closes their eyes, is given the bowl and picks out a piece of candy at random (no peeking!) Then they open their eyes and share an anecdote or experience corresponding to the color, for at least a minute. When they’re done, the bowl continues onto the next person.

The reason players only get a minute to share their anecdote is because they might end up picking the same color again in a different round. Or they might not! Either way, they’re sharing something about themselves and encouraging everyone to ask them questions during and after the game. Oh yeah – and yes, everyone can eat their candy!

Emotional Charades

A day before your party, write out a few scenarios, each on a slip of paper, that might provoke light emotions when read by your guests. These scenarios could include: feeling frustrated because the bus is late; seeing new flowers blooming in Spring; unsure if you shut your bedroom window; forgetting your lunch; watching a dog in front of you take a sudden poop.

To play this game, jumble your scenarios in a bowl. Ask your first player to take one out and act it out without making any sound or speaking. Give the group 5 to 10 minutes to guess the emotion being communicated. When the time is up, the player shares the emotion they were acting and everyone gets to discuss what they saw and how they would do it differently. The game then resumes with a new person and their chosen scenario.

Famous Movie Phrases

Write out a list of well-known lines and phrases attributed to films, for example, “To infinity and beyond” from Toy Story or “If you build, he will come” from Field of Dreams. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out this amazing list of 50 movie phrases.

Cut your phrases up and shuffle them in a bowl. The first person takes a slip and reads it out for everyone to guess. The winner is the player who matches the line to movie correctly.

To up the ante, you can award extra points for anyone who can name the character and actor who said the line. The person reading the phrases can also get their own extra points, if they can act out the character to whom the line belongs.

The Continuing Novel

Literary games are something not often seen on lists of talking games for adults, so we’re glad to buck the trend. In this game, get everyone sitting together in a circle. The person who starts this game is given a pen and a sheet of paper and 30 seconds to write an introduction to a story just 5 sentences long. They them fold the sheet of paper so you can only see the last sentence is showing. The story is passed to the next person who gets their 30 seconds to continue the story, this time writing about an action scene.

The game keeps going like this until the end, where the last player reads out the whole thing out. Then everyone gets together to try and act out the story. You can also theme the story by writing down the intro paragraph first before passing it to the first player.

A lot of people find the initial socialising aspect at parties a difficult thing to  conquer. They want to have fun, so what can they do about it? Having a few talking games for adults is going to be the welcoming hope everyone needs, they’ll definitely thank you for it.

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