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

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  1,411 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
Learn how to: Start a conversation - even when you have nothing to say Avoid awkward silences Adopt listen skills that will make you a better communicator Exit interactions gracefully Turn every conversation into an opportunity for success Applies to business, social, networking, and personal interactions!
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Hachette Books (first published 1997)
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Svetlana Kurilova Amazon.com!
and also if you goodle this book, you can find pdf version for free. just saying...
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marley
Nov 29, 2008 Marley rated it liked it
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 more stilted and awkward than anything you could think up yourself and if you didn't already know whic
...more
Zev Friedman
Feb 28, 2012 Zev Friedman rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
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 th ...more
Chris
Dec 13, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Introverts, People afraid of strangers
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 quite rude in their social and conversation skills then you are not alone.

Debra Fine explains in this little book of hers that learning how to small talk with others can
...more
Jennifer
Mar 21, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
This is a good book to learn more 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 frequently 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 ...more
Rebecca
Jan 14, 2017 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I'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, acquaintances 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 t ...more
Esraa Yousef
Oct 14, 2010 Esraa Yousef rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Esraa by: job mate
كتاب جيد .. قرأته بالترجمه العربيه وكانت واضحه من مكتبة جرير.
لا أحب كتب تطوير الذات ولا تجذبني إطلاقاً لكن قرأت الكتاب اكمالاً حديث ما..
كثير التكرار، ولو طبقت كثير من الأمور فيه بمجتمعنا لاعتبرنا فضوليين أكثر من كوننا مهتمين بالحوارات القصيره.


مع ذلك يبقى كتاباً جيداً
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Feb 01, 2008 Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Truly has something for EVERYONE!
This is just a delightful little book! It's fun and easy to read, and includes lists of "icebreaker" questions and comments for many occasions. She emphasizes making others feel comfortable and being genuinely interested in people, which I like.
Diane
Jun 26, 2016 Diane rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
This was was somewhat helpful, but it had so many DO and DON'T lists that the book became tedious.
Dare
Feb 24, 2017 Dare rated it did not like it
حیف وقت!
Casey
Apr 30, 2013 Casey rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub_picks
There are people in this world who like leadership conferences & self help books & feel like motivational speakers really speak to them, then there is me. I know I suggested this book for my bookclub, go ahead and judge me. Like I said SOME people find these books useful and GREAT for them!!!!

You can get the useful bits of info from this book by reading ch. 11 "50 questions to help fuel conversations."

Deb, not Debbie, had good stories but the second half of the book repeated the first ha
...more
Pvw
Mar 27, 2012 Pvw rated it liked it
Nice little booklet about everything that the title suggests. In essence, these are just the same basic ideas from How to Win Friends & Influence People applied to the specific context of social conversation at receptions. But Debra Fine makes a nice job of presenting them. I especially liked the chapter on 'Conversation criminals'. You know, the type of people that everybody hates having in their social circle because they ruin or monopolize conversations in one way or another. Funny becaus ...more
Meera
Oct 30, 2015 Meera rated it liked it
I give 3 stars for Debra Fine’s ‘Small Talk’. The book is basic and common sense knowledge on how to start a conversation/chat, building networking skills etc. The chapters are nicely categorized; writing simplistic, brief with good instances.

‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’, was an interesting chapter and an eye - opener where conversationalists have been categorized. Reflective to see to which group one belongs and also caution to avoid being in the company of such conversationalists and to handle t
...more
Ryan Watkins
Jan 13, 2017 Ryan Watkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, practical
Listened to the Audible audio book version while retouching. Great approximately 3 hour audiobook about starting conversations, keeping them going, and gracefully ending them. The author also goes into detail about proper body language while conversing, things that can kill conversations, and examples of proper and improper phrases to use at each point in the conversation. Chapter 11 is a great summary of the books main tips. Highly recommend.
Craigneggs
Jan 27, 2016 Craigneggs rated it really liked it
Nice little read. I read this with my EFL students in mind, but there are some good ideas for all types of conversation learners.
There are a lot examples and strategies for different occasions. Some sentences seem a little dated, but the content just needs switched for new technologies or current topics.
I plan on adapting some of these ideas for my students, but hopefully they can use the strategies in English and their native language as well.

Shubhi Agarwal
Jul 19, 2014 Shubhi Agarwal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent recommendation to anyone who's shy at social gatherings or while keeping up a conversation with people, known or strangers. Gives some really potent tips and tricks, and points some common mistakes made while talking to people.
Easy and good.
Stacyj
Sep 04, 2013 Stacyj rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Solid tips on small talk and networking. The subject is presented thoroughly with many examples and take-aways. An interesting, quick read.
Stephanie
Very remedial. Good for people that are really shy and need social skills 101.
Tiffany
May 04, 2008 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
I loved all the suggestions she give to get over your fear of small talk
Manuel
Jan 28, 2009 Manuel rated it did not like it
pfuuuuu chiant
Michael Reyes
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 place.

Small talk is the Icebreaker that clears the way for more intimate conversation, laying the foundation for a stronger relationship.

This 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 sha
...more
Esther
Dec 12, 2016 Esther rated it liked it
Quick simple read on the basics to practice daily on starting conversations with strangers.
Joey Nguyen
Jul 07, 2016 Joey Nguyen rated it really liked it
1. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
While you can hope for the best, don’t expect too much from any given chat. If you come to cocktail hour hoping for nothing more than a good restaurant or book recommendation, you can relax and enjoy yourself, and be pleasantly surprised by anything else that happens. Relaxed people are, incidentally, more enjoyable for others to be around too.

2. HAVE SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT.
"I never approach a meeting, an industry function, or a networking event without at least three
...more
Dominica
Jun 30, 2012 Dominica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, non-fic
There are a few comments I have to make about this book. I'll start of saying that I finished reading it with a smile, because of the humour in the final chapter, relating to The Wizard of Oz.

I read books like this because, whilst I've somehow managed to form some pretty amazing friendships, I don't really understand how I've done that, or how to replicate it. I'm generally horrendous when it comes to talking to strangers. I've previously read How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Succ
...more
Kiet Huynh
Jan 18, 2017 Kiet Huynh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Đối tượng người đọc: từ bỏ nỗi sợ (mở đầu) giao tiếp, người bị động, người muốn xây dựng mối quan hệ.

Small Talk có vai trò rất lớn trong kết nối giữa con người. Small talk không là thảo luận nghiêm túc nhưng tuyệt đối không phải là gossip, chit chat. Giá trị của nghệ thuật Small talk nằm ở lợi ích của người giao tiếp nhận được: cả 2 ít nhất đều đạt được nhu cầu giao tiếp - những thông tin, kinh nghiệm cá nhân, sự thỏa mãn về chia sẻ đều phân phối đều cho cả 2 nếu họ nắm bắt được những quy tắc cơ

...more
Rizal Yusoff
Nov 20, 2016 Rizal Yusoff rated it liked it
Overall, it is an okay book. Nothing bad about it as Debra Fine suggested a fair amount of good advises on how someone could be better at networking and meeting people. From business meeting, casual parties to dating, I believed she has covered all type situations in this book. But what upset me, there is nothing extraordinary about it either. I bought this book expecting that she perhaps has written about some unique techniques or something, but I found that most of the stuffs that she mentione ...more
Emme
Jul 14, 2008 Emme rated it really liked it
Fine shares ideas about elements of relationship-building conversation. I like this book a lot and took notes in every chapter. Some things were not new, but I appreciated the examples and reinforcement. Other concepts were a wonderful discovery for me of where I have fallen short in the past with building rapport or how I could better show love and respect to those I care about. I found it to be a meaningful book in a readable, simple format. Like the other book I read on communication and netw ...more
Mina Soare
First of all, I heard her speak and it's better. And second, while I started with the feeling that she resembles me very much most of the advice she gives sounds eerily like a bad fourth grade "back from holiday" essay prompt. She stresses open-ended questions, but the examples used are clumsy and none of the people I know actually speaks like that (could be a cultural thing)

Nonetheless, between the talk(recorded) and the book, she makes some good points.

1. There is no perfect line - people eit
...more
Barry Davis
Feb 16, 2016 Barry Davis rated it it was amazing
A small but very practical book on networking and communication from a self-described “enginerd.” Ms. Fine found herself in a career she did not relish, painfully shy and newly divorced. She determined to learn how to be a conversationalist, transforming herself into a nationally recognized speaker and trainer on communication.
The book is divided into short, practical chapters on topics such as starting the conversation (take the
plunge, shoulder the burden of starting, says Fine, most people ar
...more
Perry
May 10, 2015 Perry rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Found a few of the techniques / tips useful in this book, but overall could have easily been shortened to an essay. There are some stock ice breakers which can come in handy. Also a long section on small talk in the dating scene which won't be of much use if you're using this for business purposes. My takeaways:

-Take the risk, host the convo: be willing to take the risk of starting a convo every time with a smile and introduction and at least initially act as host (eg make sure the other person
...more
Noah
Feb 11, 2017 Noah rated it did not like it
Read like a eHow article that had been stretched into a book. Worth skimming, perhaps. But not worth more than an hour.

Some of the suggested opening lines were rip-snorting. Example: "That sweater complements your eye color well." Okay then.
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“The truth is, most people don’t want advice—they want empathy and compassion.” 2 likes
“Small talk is the verbal equivalent of that first domino: It starts a chain reaction with all kinds of implications for your life.” 0 likes
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