• The Fine Art of Small Talk

  • How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills - and Leave a Positive Impression!
  • By: Debra Fine
  • Narrated by: Debra Fine
  • Length: 3 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Business & Careers, Career Success
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (539 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

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? Does 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 Fine Art of Small Talk. With practical advice and conversation cheat sheets, The Fine Art of Small Talk will help you learn to feel more comfortable in any type of social situation, from lunch with the boss, to an industry event, to a business networking opportunity or even a cocktail party where you don't know a soul. This fast paced, informative audio program offers concrete tools to:

  • Strike up conversations and keep them going
  • Master introductions and remember names
  • Come across as composed and self-assured when interacting with decision makers, clients, and colleagues
  • Develop rapport with anyone
  • Become an "active" listener
  • Overcome communication barriers
  • Handle awkward situations
  • Come up with topics to discuss
  • Avoid conversation "killers"
  • Prepare for successful conversation
  • Exit conversations with grace
  • Feel more at ease at award receptions, banquets, receptions and networking events

©2005 Debra Fine (P)2004 Debra Fine

What listeners say about The Fine Art of Small Talk

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!!!

Gentle instructions of how to become a skilled small talker. The most important skill I have learned so far. I noticed immediate change, thank you!!!

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Exactly What I Expected

I spend a lot of time alone, both at work and at home, so my social skills are dismal to say the least. Every now and again, I feel the need to remind myself that such things are exactly that: skills. They can be improved and practiced. It's just a question of getting the basics fresh in your mind. Building a solid foundation is the always the most important part.

And that's the entire nature of this book. Most of it is common sense to those who are have built the skill set, and even for people like me, it makes sense. Anything more than what this book covers is going to come down to personality. Some things you just can't get from a book. For what this audiobook offers, it's worth the listen if you're inclined to to give it a go.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

worth the time even if you "think" you know how.

at first, I asked for a refund because the first few chapters I do natural. however, I continued listening and came across a lot I didn't realise myself and a lot of mistakes I have been making and why. thanks a lot Debra Fine :- )

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great advice, awful monologue.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Fine Art of Small Talk to be better than the print version?

Minutes after listening to the audio book, I started thinking that the print version would have been better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A there's only one character as far as I know.

What didn’t you like about Debra Fine’s performance?

She just wasn't engaging enough. At lot of times I got lost and had to listen to a chapter again because I got distracted.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Nope.

Any additional comments?

Don't get me wrong, the book is really good but it'll be better with another narrator. She might be good with small talk but audiobook narrating is not her strong suit.

11 people found this helpful

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Not very helpful...

The book's ideas were pretty basic and very business oriented and the narrator was a bit boring.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Helpful but not entertaining

This book is for introverted people who need help with approaching and talking to people. It offers good advise, but it's a little more florid than it needs to be and, as with most books, it would be better if it was read by a professional and not the author.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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An absolute struggle to get through this one.

Debra should've hired someone to narrate. Gave two stars because I learned a few things.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great for me. Great for my kids. Outstanding!

If you could sum up The Fine Art of Small Talk in three words, what would they be?

I wanted something that I could listen to in the car... With my teens. My kids are more introverted than I am, and I just starting playing this recording w/o asking them in the car. What a success. If the recording was horrible, my plan never would have worked. But this is beyond great. Great information delivered very well.

By the way, though I bought this to play for my kids, I picked up tons of great advice and tips that more than pay for the investment in time and the cost of the recording. Such a no brainer; just buy it and listen to it. Awesome.

What did you learn from The Fine Art of Small Talk that you would use in your daily life?

Conversation skills for all of us. How to not be intimidated by a group of outgoing people.

Any additional comments?

Great listening. Listen with your partner and/or kids. Such great stuff. Besides...it gave us something to talk about ... Which is both ironic and helpful. Fun recording. Such a great buy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DI
  • 04-26-21

"asking random questions to Strangers"

This book was a bore to listen to and I don't feel like I came out with a lot of useful information. I most of the time her suggestions made me think that I don't want to sound anything like that. A better title to this book would be " Asking random Questions to Strangers until you annoy them" If someone came up to me and just started asking questions she suggests, i would not be interested in talking at all And then she goes off in one section about crimes of communication or something that was full of metaphors and hard to follow and seems out of place with the rest of the book. I would not recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Barley worth my 10 min fast forward.

the reader is fine just the story irritates the life out of you. I felt like an engineer sat down and tried to be creative.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • James Hurr
  • 10-06-16

Badly paced, not great to listen to.

The content seemed quite good, but the narrator speaks too fast and sounds awkward, almost shouting at the listener.

2 people found this helpful

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  • qwerty
  • 09-22-16

Load of crap

Learnt nothing. I think Debroah Fine was bored so decided to write a book, badly

2 people found this helpful

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  • Juan Fandino
  • 08-26-16

Useless unless you are a hermit

Defintely give her credit for managing to get published with this. As my title says, unless youhave lived in a cave for your entire life, this shows you nothing. It makes you feel like a fool for even wasting some time on it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • omid
  • 04-17-21

Awful

I am so sorry for the time that I wasted to listen to this.
I found it :
#too personal and all about her life
#Almost no useful knowledge/information or....
I believe I could learn more by going to a bar and ask an old drunk man to give me some tips about life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Niro M
  • 01-17-21

I found it useful

it's not for those seeking detailed tools on advanced conversations. it is very good however in laying the foundations for a good conversation.

I needed this myself and as an engineer like the author, her story felt very similar to mine.

overall its a great way to start overcoming small talk anxieties

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  • dreemuk
  • 07-05-19

Genuine book on the subject matter

Beware! There are many fake audiobooks on this subject on Amazon that are poorly ghostwritten and published by marketers that teach you absolutely nothing. After having to return a few other audiobooks it is refreshing to get Debra Fine's book which is genuine and from a real expert on the subject matter. This book met my expectations and I learned many new things tips and techniques from it that I can practice with.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Maurizio Stella
  • 01-25-19

Few good tips that I will now put in practice.

This was my first Audiobook ever. I liked the experience and learnt few good tips that I will now try to put in practice in my daily life. Not everything can be put in practice, you need to revise the suggestions and adapt them with your own personality and life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • FMB
  • 02-21-18

Positive guidance

positive and clear but perhaps more applicable to those in the US or established career professionals

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 02-21-18

Good start for a variety of circumstances

The story is told through genuine depictions of situations that are relatable and varied enough to capture a wide audience (thus actually emphasising the underlying point she is making).
The book concludes with a series of guidelines to practice to increase confidence in this area. Booking my next social event to practice now! Thanks Debra!

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  • Jolita
  • 07-11-16

A must read

Anyone interested in improving small talk skills should surely benefit from suggestions in this book. However it presumes that you have all you need already and the issue is that you dont know how to 'get out of your shell'. It gives quite a few good tips, but the list and conversation examples are not exhaustive, so it could be a little more practical. To conclude however its definately worth a read. information is presented in a nice clear manner.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-20

Listening to Debra's voice 😭

I couldn't handle Debra's voice for more than 10 minutes, it really got under my skin.