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Mastering The Art of Small Talk

Debra Fine special on CBS Channel 4 News. Debra Fine is a professional speaker, best selling author, conversation expert, communication guru, and a nationally recognized spokesperson.

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Covers everything from icebreakers to exit lines. Building business, getting dates, making friends or landing jobs this book is guaranteed to improve conversational skills, mingling ability, and networking techniques.

All the same incredible content, in an all new format. Get The Fine Art of Small Talk for Kindle!

Debra's January 2008 follow up book to her bestseller. The Fine Art of the Big Talk: How to Win Clients, Deliver Great Presentations, and Solve Conflicts at Work.

Feel more at ease at parties, banquets, receptions, and networking events. Use icebreakers that work every time. Engage anyone in conversation with poise and confidence. All In One USB Flash Drive (Mac or PC compatible): ­-3.5 hours
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Beyond Texting: The Fine Art of Face-to-Face Communication for Teenagers
Offering practical advice and cheat sheets Beyond Texting strives to help teens balance their digital and real world image and relationships.

The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills – And Leave a Positive Impression! (Unabridged) Nationally recognized communication expert, keynote speaker and trainer, and best-selling author Debra Fine reveals the techniques 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?

Our group of 500 participants thought you were wonderful. They loved the topic and your wonderfully energetic and amusing delivery. Many people told me we should have given you twice as much time. In the eight years that we have sponsored this conference you have proved to be our most popular luncheon speaker. The response was simply overwhelming"
Melodye A. Turek
Executive Director
Colorado Safety Association

How To Get Through Small Talk at A Funeral Without Wanting to Die

Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2013

The famous Dr. Joyce Brothers recently passed away, and her death caused me to ask myself, “How would Dr. Joyce Brothers conduct herself at a funeral?” She was, after all, one of the leaders in savvy speak.

Death is a part of life, but attending funerals can be tough even for the most gifted small talkers. Typically, there is an abundance of grief and emotion at a memorial service, making conversation more difficult but even more necessary. One of the worst things to do at a funeral or memorial service is to keep quiet. So whether it is the funeral of a business acquaintance, the services honoring a family friend,  or even a celebration of life for the “mother of mass-media psychology” herself, remember these tips to avoid tongue tie:

DO say:

“I’m so sorry for your loss.”  –  This is the standard sentence for good reason; the statement is simple, sincere, and empathetic.

“I don’t know what to say.”  – It’s the truth, and it’s okay to say so.

“My thoughts are with you and your family and friends.”  – Remember that the loss of another human being has  a ripple effect, touching many lives. By saying this, you show you understand how far-reaching this person’s life was and continues to be.

“I will call you (date) to check in, if that’s okay with you.” –  Say it, mean it and do it. Planning funerals and memorials is exhausting, time-consuming, and engulfing. But oftentimes, it’s the quiet days and weeks after a loved one has died that prove the most difficult for the family. Mark your calendar to reach out periodically.

“I feel so lucky to have known (name) – he was such a good friend/partner/bowler/chef/father.” – Sharing specific memories and stories is such a kind and generous gesture.

Do NOT say:

“What happened?”

“How did he die?”

“Who found him?”

“Did he have a will?”

“You poor thing, you look awful.”

“How are you?”

“Where did you buy your dress?”

And the number one thing to never, ever, not in one million trillion years to say at a funeral is:

“I know how you feel.” You don’t, you won’t, you can’t. Death affects each of us in a different way and while your experience with the death of a loved one may have been – may still be – devastating, the “I know how you feel” statement should not be in your repertoire.

Finally, don’t forget that the smallest niceties can make such a difference. Send a card, make a call, schedule a visit or bring by a meal. Bottom line, remember to be a friend and the right words will come when you need them most. I am guessing Dr. Brother’s would approve.




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