Review Ù The Fine Art of Small Talk How to Start a Conversation Keep it Going Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression 109

The Fine Art of Small Talk How to Start a Conversation Keep it Going Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression

Debra Fine ò 9 Read

Ne Art of Small Talk With practical advice and conversation cheat sheets The Fine Art of Small Talk will help you learn to feel comfortable in any type of social situation from lunch with the boss to an association event to a cocktail party where you don't know a soul. This is just a delightful little book It's fun and easy to read and includes lists of icebreaker uestions and comments for many occasions She emphasizes making others feel comfortable and being genuinely interested in people which I like

Summary The Fine Art of Small Talk How to Start a Conversation Keep it Going Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression

S the thought of striking up a conversation with a stranger make your stomach do flip flops Do you sit nervously through job interviews waiting for the other person to speak Are you a Nervous Ned or Nellie when it comes to networking Then it's time you mastered The Fi. This was was somewhat helpful but it had so many DO and DON'T lists that the book became tedious

Free read ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ò Debra Fine

Nationally recognized communication expert Debra Fine reveals the techniues and strategies anyone can use to make small talk in any situation Do you spend an abnormal amount of time hiding out in the bathroom or hanging out at the buffet table at social gatherings Doe. I figured out awhile back that even the very best self help books contain about a pamphlet's worth of good ideas padded out to book length with anecdotes redundant bullet points and the occasional not very funny cartoon With the lowered expectations of that definition this is a pretty good book since it contains about a pamphlet's worth of good ideas The actual suggested talking points are stilted and awkward than anything you could think up yourself and if you didn't already know which subjects to avoid politics religion you've got bigger social problems than this book can fix However the author manages to make a few good points and reminded me of a few things I hadn't perhaps taken seriously enough Such as pointing out that shyness can be misconstrued as rudeness if you seem to be avoiding conversation and that sometimes taking the aggressive position of initiating the conversation and asking the uestions can be a shy person's best defense against being corneredThe general focus of the book is on business networking and the section on dating consists mainly of anecdotes likely to scare you off dating than increase your confidence in social small talk Hence I think I'd be likely to recommend this to business people than to someone just interested in making friends but even there it has some helpful points for the socially inept


About the Author: Debra Fine

Debra Fine is an internationally recognised speaker and trainer As a member of the National Speakers Association she travels extensively giving lectures and conducting workshops on the topic



10 thoughts on “The Fine Art of Small Talk How to Start a Conversation Keep it Going Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression

  1. says:

    Hello my name is Heidi and I am bad at small talk It's not that I don't have things to say — I can think of plenty of things to say The things just don't make it out of my mouthEnter Debra Fine self help author and speaking coach She believes small talk is a skill that can be taught and mastered by even the most hopeless conversationalist Fine begins by detailing her own life experience as a poor conversationalist and how she remade herself into a conversational dynamoAnd she hopes to do the same for her readersMost of the advice in The Fine Art of Small Talk is common sense stuff but I can still see it being useful to me in the futureFor example she encourages readers to be brave and initiate conversations in public situations Look for the people sitting by themselves They might appreciate your attempts to chat Also if you don't start a conversation he or she may believe you're being stand offish That's not a belief you'd want to encourageActually I have a very shy friend one of the librarians I worked with who swore by this techniue of finding a person sitting by themselves She did extremely well at parties by finding the uietest person in the room and starting a conversation with themNext once you're talking to someone learn his or her name and how to appropriately pronounce it Ask open ended uestions to foster the conversations and reduce any potentially awkward pauses Fine recommends using the acronym FORM to help you create these uestions FORM stands for family occupation recreation and miscellaneousDon't be rude and press into topics that people seem reluctant to talk about Just gently steer the conversation around the recommended general topics and let the person you're conversing with lead Make sure to pay attention to any verbal cues or body language the other person gives you Obviously this can be difficult over the phone so just actively listenAnd finally exit the conversation gracefully by going back to the topic you started talking about in the first place or offering to follow up with the person by giving a phone number or emailNow that you have all the tools of small talk your assignment is to practice it YikesAs I said nothing earth shattering in here but in an age of increasing social disconnection because of technology perhaps these tips could be useful to anyone who is seeking to improve their relationships through small talkRecommended for all the tongue tied bibliophiles out there like me


  2. says:

    I figured out awhile back that even the very best self help books contain about a pamphlet's worth of good ideas padded out to book length with anecdotes redundant bullet points and the occasional not very funny cartoon With the lowered expectations of that definition this is a pretty good book since it contains about a pamphlet's worth of good ideas The actual suggested talking points are stilted and awkward than anything you could think up yourself and if you didn't already know which subjects to avoid politics religion you've got bigger social problems than this book can fix However the author manages to make a few good points and reminded me of a few things I hadn't perhaps taken seriously enough Such as pointing out that shyness can be misconstrued as rudeness if you seem to be avoiding conversation and that sometimes taking the aggressive position of initiating the conversation and asking the uestions can be a shy person's best defense against being corneredThe general focus of the book is on business networking and the section on dating consists mainly of anecdotes likely to scare you off dating than increase your confidence in social small talk Hence I think I'd be likely to recommend this to business people than to someone just interested in making friends but even there it has some helpful points for the socially inept


  3. says:

    Like many people I can't stand small talk or icebreakers and I generally avoid social situations in which these skills are necessary I recently returned from a vacation on which I had pledged that I'd try to be better at talking to random people and I entirely failed on that goal I never seem to sit next to a chatty Kathy on an airplane I don't strike up conversations with locals at bars or restaurants If I am approached by someone in these situations my default reaction is usually to be defensive instead of open I shoot back one word responses and don't ask open ended uestions because I usually don't want to speak with the person beyond that A man that works in my building told me I needed to smile the other day and I'm still harboring resentment toward him days later for that comment I know he's from an older generation and probably means well but it's 2018 Don't say thatA lot of the conversation topics and ideas in this book seem incredibly robotic and unnatural to even say I was surprised to see the book was written in 2005 It reads as very dated Many of the suggestions seemed geared toward business interactions as well which isn't my area I took a few pointers away from this book but they were mostly seeing aspects of myself in the bad conversation skills section I accept this and can maybe sort of try to do betterAfter reading this book I've come to the realization that I don't really think I'm meant to talk to random people I'm guilty of instantly judging people from the second I see them or am introduced I make a snap decision if the person is worthy of my time or not and I'm usually right A key component to this book's suggestions is to express genuine interest in what other people are talking about and I'm genuinely not interested most of the time Life is too short to suffer through conversations I don't care about If this dooms me to solitude and spinsterhood then I guess that's fine


  4. says:

    I recently looked up this book ordered it from the library and read it Very very good I'm one of these people who never feels he has anything to say to anybody I'm not really close to So it occurred to me I need to learn how to make small talk I used to look down and demean small talk Debra author shows how small talk is indeed important and meaningful and she teaches how to do it I'm practicing and I find she's really onto something I need to keep practicing I'm going to buy this book to keep on hand to reference when needed


  5. says:

    This is a good book to learn about conversation skills It lets you know what kind of things are important to a conversation like maintaining eye contact listening attentively etc Some of the things seem kind of basic initially but we can know it but still not do it correctly We all freuently find ourselves trying to multi task using the computer while talking etc Eating while talking is fine but Debra reminds us that we need to be focus on the conversation and the person or our mind will easily drift to other things I especially like the chapter about crimes and misdemeanors The FBI agent someone who asks too many uestions so the conversation doesn't flow the braggart the one upper the monopolizer the interrupter the poor sport the know it all and the advisor This book inspires the reader to pay attention to our conversations networking and connecting with others Favorite uote Guess what? Most of us are ordinary people just trying to live our lives We worry about paying bills educating kids our favorite team winning a championship getting a promotion caring for elderly parents taking an occasional vacation having time for a hobby and relaxing now and then We are alike than we are different and our commmonality as human beings opens the door for connection and conversation P 61


  6. says:

    This was was somewhat helpful but it had so many DO and DON'T lists that the book became tedious


  7. says:

    If you find yourself grasping at straws to keep the conversation going with somebody you just met or if you consider yourself to be a wallflower you've come to the right placeSmall talk is the Icebreaker that clears the way for intimate conversation laying the foundation for a stronger relationshipThis book aims to teach you how to engage any individual in a meaningful conversation It will also show you how to resuscitate a dying conversation and transition into new topics It will share techniues to make you feel at ease at networking events parties and receptions You can then use small talk to develop business friendships and be able to step out of a conversation with graceDebra Fine was once a shy engineer who kept mostly to herself and because of this was passed up for a promotion to someone who was peesonable She later on opted to become a stay at home mom to take care of her 2 kids Her husband filed for divorce and she found herself jobless with 2 mouths to feedPlato said Necessity is the mother of invention and so she had to reinvent herself So she had to learn the Art of Small Talk And master it she didThe book contains anecdotes taken from Debra's personal experience comical illustrations and like so many self help books follow the Pareto Principle of 8020 Most of the important tipsreminders can be found in bullet points encased in boxes where you can photocopy cut out and keep in your walletpursewhat have you for uick reference if you forgot the lessons and need a uick refresherI would recommend this book to those struggling with networking events or those having trouble keeping a conversation alive Remember there are people who are not born conversationalists And this book will help them overcome this hurdle


  8. says:

    1 7 17I'm an introvert I admire people who are able to talk to anyone and keep a conversation going This book is very helpful I have learned that I'm actually not terrible at small talk but I have plenty of room to improve I've practiced my new skills on a few unsuspecting strangers acuaintances and family members I had the longest and most informative conversation I've ever had with my 12 year old son who is not usually aware of the world around him using my new skills This may be a book to buy and underline and reference Small talk is the verbal euivalent of that first domino It starts a chain reaction with all kinds of implications for your life p11


  9. says:

    This is just a delightful little book It's fun and easy to read and includes lists of icebreaker uestions and comments for many occasions She emphasizes making others feel comfortable and being genuinely interested in people which I like


  10. says:

    Learning how to small talk is probably one of the most important skills that everyone overlooks This is something that should be taught in schools but won't because their too worried about standardized testing all the time If you were to recount the number of times you've been to a social event and found the other person to be uite rude in their social and conversation skills then you are not aloneDebra Fine explains in this little book of hers that learning how to small talk with others can open doors into other worlds that might never have been possible before because you took the time to listen and relate to what the other person was saying These are not simple or easy skills to learn because if they were everyone would be jumping at attending social functions every night But how often do you find your nights filled with nothing to do at home? People who learn the skills in this book and take it to the next level realize the world of opportunities that are out there every night Their nights become filled with event functions and networking groups that expand their inner social circleThere is something else that changes when you learn the fine art of small talk and that is you bring in job prospects into your life If you look at the number of people who have mastered the skills taught in this book they are the ones you meet at these social functions who show a genuine interest in what you have to say but not only that they make your stories and experiences something they can relate to that makes you want to talk with that person There is no secret in what they are doing to you they have simply learned the art of active listening and relatingSmall talk starts off with all the things your parents taught you as a kid that has done damage to your understanding of what it means to become a social person Parents need to stop telling their kids to not talk to strangers because that is the first bad habit that kids pick up and take with them into adulthood If you have been told not to talk to strangers and then one day you graduate from high school and then told to go talk to strangers what happens? Confusion happens You were never taught the skills of how to do that and now you are told you have to be amazing in interviews and social events? Kids naturally want to talk with anyone who will listen to them and if you learn to cultivate those skills instead of killing them then your kid will grow up to be uite the people person that everyone wants to be connected toThe remaining part of the book goes into different ways of starting a simple conversation with various uestions and comments you can memorize to help you get started The book also covers different situations you will be reuired to talk in weddings company events parties singles events and so on Learning to speak with others shouldn't be hard especially if you just take the time to listen to what other people have to say instead of worrying about what you plan to say nextIf you want to get better at talking with people you have to get over your fear of talking to strangers so the next time you are on the bus in an elevator or at a public event smile and say hi to anyone that looks at you You will be surprised at how just acknowledging another person can transform that individual into someone that is just looking to be validated and wanting someone else to talk with But always keep in mind that you want to meet new people as well and not take up others time so mingle talk mingle and talk some You might be surprised at the new opportunities that open up in your life from just that simple act of acknowledging someone else's existence


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