NSA 15 Year Member National Speaker Association

Conversation Skills Lead to Fellowship
By Debra Fine

Do you dread meetings, parties and events where you do not know anyone? Does attending another open house make you want to run inside your own and lock the door? You’re not alone. Many of us feel apprehensive about these situations because most of us hate entering rooms where we don’t know anyone in them. Keeping a conversation going during social occasions can be an ordeal. Everyone learns technical skills required of their jobs, but not everyone places importance on conversational skills. The ability to talk easily with anyone is a learned skill, not a personality trait. Learning this will help you develop rapport with people and cultivate true fellowship.

Next time you attend a civic meeting, charity event or after church or synagogue services, look around the room. Reflect on the following poem before moving on to the rest of your day:


Thoughts from a New Member:
I see you at the meetings, But you never say hello.
You’re busy all the time you’re there
With those you really know. I sit among the members,
Yet I’m a lonely gal. The new ones feel as strange as I,
The old ones pass us by. Darn it, you folks urged us to join
And talked of fellowship, You could just cross the room, you know,
But you never make the trip. Can’t you just nod your head and smile
Or stop and shake a hand, Then go sit among your friends?
Now that I’d understand. I’ll be at your next meeting,
And hope that you will spend the time to introduce yourself,
I joined to be your friend.

My book “The Fine Art of Small Talk” is a guidebook for conversation from the icebreaker to the exit line. Here are a few tips you can use to improve your small talk skills:

Every encounter involves risk. As long as you keep looking for new people to meet, and you show an interest in other people, you can make friends and enjoy lively conversations.

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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?


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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