Summary of The Fine Art of Small Talk

How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills - and Leave a Positive Impression!

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The Fine Art of Small Talk book summary
Learn how to use small talk to ease your way into social situations and optimize your networking opportunities.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


Have you ever watched suave social butterflies in action? They effortlessly work a room, leaving everyone they encounter feeling flattered, charmed and energized. Communications expert Debra Fine unabashedly studied these golden few extroverts while hiding in the corners of various business functions. She then asked, researched and answered the question, "How do they do it?" In this analysis of "the fine art of small talk," Fine shares the secrets of how to introduce yourself, make a connection, and initiate and sustain a meaningful conversation. She offers techniques for developing active listening skills, getting referrals, avoiding awkward moments and even surviving a first date. She provides lists of conversation starters, icebreakers and follow-up questions. Although many of her examples seem stilted and disingenuous, the basic advice is solid. getAbstract suggests this book to anyone whose stomach clenches at the thought of entering a room full of strangers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why mastering small talk skills is essential for social and business success;
  • How to enter a room full of strangers, and leave a room full of friends and acquaintances; and
  • How to initiate, conduct and smoothly exit a conversation.


Chance Encounters
Casual conversations take place throughout the day, whether you are at the office, your child's baseball practice, a dental appointment or a religious service. You cannot avoid contact with other people. Yet, these chance encounters make many people anxious. You don't...
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About the Author

Debra Fine once dreaded social situations, but now she gives "Small Talk" workshops. Her clients include major companies and financial institutions.

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Contained in Knowledge Pack:

  • Knowledge Pack
    Small Talk
    Why your business relationships may hinge on the large role of small talk.

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