The Fine Art of Small Talk
By Debra Fine
Self Published - 2001
ISBN: 0-9711322-0-8 - Soft cover
Self-help / Personal Development

Reviewed by: David Leonhardt,
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I am sure the pun is intended --The FINE Art of Small Talk, by Debra FINE, in case you missed it. Debra Fine has written an engaging and clever manual to address one of our biggest fears: facing a room full of strangers.

Those of you who have been reading my reviews know that I have my own fear: facing a book full of non-stop text. Fortunately, this is not one of them. This book is short (111 pages) and to the point, and the text is broken up with both useful lists readers can use and cartoons to keep readers entertained. Some of those lists include: ice breakers to kick-start a conversation, topics to avoid so the conversation does not stall, questions to ask to keep a conversation going, and, bless her soul, Fine even gives us tips on how to make a graceful exit from a conversation we no longer enjoy or find rewarding.

Perhaps the most entertaining chapter is "Crimes and Misdemeanors", where she describes the FBI agent, the braggart, the monopolizer and other difficult conversationalists. She then gives us tools for disarming these "Conversational Criminals Most Wanted". This really is a must-read chapter for anyone dealing with human relations in an office place, too.

Overall, I give The Fine Art of Small Talk top marks for being, useful, easy to read and even entertaining.

David Leonhardt is the author of Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: The 9 Habits of Maximum Happiness.

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