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Debra Fine the Fine Art of Small Talk

Small Talk Matters for Solo Moms

Nancy Sharp | Posted 03.09.2016 | Women
Nancy Sharp

Force yourself to talk to at least three strangers a week. Consider the neighbors at the mailbox, parents on the soccer sidelines, or a new person on the job. The best way to become good at conversation and rapport building is to do it. Make it a task each week, and the rewards of friendship, community, and business networks will come.

8 Ways to Be a Great Host

Debra Fine | Posted 06.25.2016 | Business
Debra Fine

There's plenty of information on how to be a great guest. But being a great host is a true skill. Sure, the right mix of music, food, drink, and lighting is key (I could talk for days about light dimmers. I won't. But I could.), but how do you become an amazing host? Here are some tricks.

Five Ways to Be a Better Listener (Hint: Shhh!)

Debra Fine | Posted 06.29.2015 | Business
Debra Fine

By demonstrating good listening skills, you are showing another person that you think they matter, that you value their opinion, that you find them interesting, that you adore their pantsuit.

Spur of the Moment Speech? Here's Help.

Debra Fine | Posted 05.12.2015 | Business
Debra Fine

If you have an engagement coming up and you are nervous about it (and you probably are because everybody is), there are ways to ease the anxiety. Preparing, practicing, exercising, breathing, medication and even donning a pair of lucky socks can help. But what if you are under a surprise attack?

What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say

Debra Fine | Posted 04.21.2015 | Business
Debra Fine

Stepping into the puddle means offering our "heartfelt presence, caring concern and participation" when others need it most. And even when they don't.

Rehab Camp -- It's Not What You Think (It's MUCH Better)

Debra Fine | Posted 03.29.2015 | Business
Debra Fine

I, like many parents of middle-schoolers, sent my kids to camp. Each time, seeing them off left me with mixed emotions. Euphoria was the big one (sor...

Lose Five Pounds in Less Than a Minute With This Simple Trick

Debra Fine | Posted 03.09.2015 | Technology
Debra Fine

By ridding ourselves of the laptop, and smartphone, and e-reader, and tablet, and ear buds, and Go Pro camera, and selfie stick and charger (and backup charger and solar charger) and whatever else may qualify we can experience instant weight loss. Like magic. Try it: Toss all your devices and get on the scale.

Body Language Speaks Loud and Clear: Eight Tips To Getting It Right

Debra Fine | Posted 12.22.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

While I believe small talk is BIG, non-verbal communication is small-talk's best friend. As the saying goes: "Actions speak louder than words." And it's a saying that rings true.

Why Shaking Hands Is Still Better Than Fist-Bumping

Debra Fine | Posted 12.07.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

I have asked a handful (pun intended) of adults why they fist-bump and most of the time the response is something along the lines of: Well, it seems to be the trend. AHA! This is not a good reason to forgo the time-honored handshake!

6 Ways to Be a More Present Parent

Debra Fine | Posted 11.15.2014 | Parents
Debra Fine

Why are we so surprised that the teens in the world are attached to their smartphones? Addicted to their devices? Aren't we, too, "just checking Facebook" or "sending a quick text" or "making a call" when we are with our children? Aren't we teaching them by example?

Three Simple Ways to Prepare Your Child For the Complications of Life

Debra Fine | Posted 10.26.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

Allowing children to hone the skills needed to become productive members of society may cause a few bumps in the road now, but by doing so, they will be able to successfully navigate the twists and turns of the future so they, too, can enjoy the ride.

9 Back-to-School Tips To Avoid Flunking Fall

Debra Fine | Posted 10.06.2014 | Parents
Debra Fine

Because the summer usually offers many freedoms -- later nights, lazier mornings and space in between to just be a kid -- the structure of a fall schedule can be a bit jarring for the under-20 crowd.

Three Ways to Stop a Conversation Monopolizer

Debra Fine | Posted 08.25.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

If you have had enough of listening to someone else's stories about their children, their renovation, their vacation and their stock market success, try to steer the conversation into a more general direction, like current events.

Teaching Teens the Fine Art of Making a Meaningful Impression

Debra Fine | Posted 08.12.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

We teach our children so many things over the years: how to hold a cup, tie a shoe, ride a bike or share a toy are all building blocks to the future. Learning tasks at an early age prepares children for the big, bright future, right?

Teens and the Summer Job

Debra Fine | Posted 07.19.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

I've read articles knocking the teen sector for their lack of willingness to find a summer gig; but every young person I've encountered wants a summer job because they want money. The two sort of go hand-in-hand, yes?

8 Steps to Teaching Teens How to Make Conversation

Debra Fine | Posted 06.30.2014 | Teen
Debra Fine

No matter how advanced technology becomes, landing a scholarship, job interview or fiancé will still require some form of verbal communication.

How to Correct Someone When They Call You the Wrong Name

Debra Fine | Posted 06.03.2014 | Good News
Debra Fine

She sees me and says Jen! Love those shoes! Come on over here and let me see them! But my name is Nicole. I never corrected her -- for two years!

Three Steps to Savvy Sales

Debra Fine | Posted 05.12.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

There is an incredible amount of information out there on customer care, and trying to synthesize it all here would be impossible. Still, there are simple strategies that anyone, even the non-Steve-Jobs of us, can adopt.

Business Etiquette - Or Just Basic Training?

Debra Fine | Posted 03.30.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

Attention! There is some big news coming out of Colorado Springs. In order to graduate from the Air Force Academy, cadets will have to pass inspection in decorum. Yes, you read that right.

The Holiday Collection: How to Get Out of a Conversation

Debra Fine | Posted 02.21.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

The key is to be authentic. Do not lie. I have heard too many stories of people saying they had to go call the babysitter only to be caught minutes later by the conversation dumpee yukking it up on the other side of the room.

The Holiday Collection: Making Your Way Into a Group Conversation

Debra Fine | Posted 02.17.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

What happens if you don't find a singleton in the room? What if everyone is already grouped together and chatting merrily while you are standing alone, feeling foolish?

How to Small Talk Internationally

Debra Fine | Posted 02.03.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

I travel a lot for work and pleasure. Striking up a conversation has allowed me new experiences and lasting memories.

Ten Things Not to Say at the Table

Debra Fine | Posted 01.26.2014 | HuffPost Home
Debra Fine

"Your son looks just like you and your daughter looks like she could be from a different family? Is she the milkman's baby?"

5 Ways to End a Friendship in a Friendly Way

Debra Fine | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Debra Fine

However the conversation ends, remind yourself that you put time and thought into your decision and did what was right for you. You may be sad or angry or frustrated, and that's normal. But if you were able to speak from the heart and be kind and gracious in the process, you will be okay.

Keeping It Real at Reunions

Nancy Sharp | Posted 01.23.2014 | Women
Nancy Sharp

With so many people to see, so many lives to catch up on, so many long-ago acquaintances to rekindle if only for the weekend, how exactly does one master the fine art of small talk?