February 8, 2006

News & Opinion: Small Talk -- Practice Makes Perfect

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 5:14 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I'm always in awe of those who have perfected the art of small talk. The people who can make it seem as casual as a conversation with your best friend.
Fast Company has an interview posted with Debra Fine, who wrote The Fine Art of Small Talk a few years back. In the interview, she shares a few tips on small talk. Here's a piece of it:
FC: What do you say first?
Fine: A good conversationalist has to assume the burden of other people's comfort. If I forget your name, whose problem is that? It's uncomfortable for me, but your comfort comes first, so I say, "You know, I forgot your name, and I'm embarrassed."
FC: What are some good icebreakers?
Fine: My favorite, if I've met you before, is: "Bring me up to date on your life."

She tells people to be sincere and show an interest. You can read the rest here.
You can also check out another author's tips here.