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Small Talk, Big Results: Chit Chat Your Way to Success! Paperback – October 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Small talk isn't rocket science! 
It is a learned skill that can be greatly improved with practice.  And, like many skills, the better you get at it, the more fun it is and the more fun it is, the better you get at it.  Got that?

It is my hope that by reading and re-reading this short book from time to time that you will increase your ability to chit chat your way to success!

I have tried to write a book that is interesting, practical and concise.  I didn't want to write one of those books that have a lot of "fluff" just to make the book seem more "important."  I'm pretty sure most people could read the whole book in an hour, but will want to review it from time to time, or target in on specific skills.

About the Author

Diane Windingland, founder of Small Talk, Big Results!, speaks for organizations that want to help their people have better conversations and ones that matter most.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 76 pages
  • Publisher: Small Talk Big Results (October 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983007802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983007807
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Business Owner. Speaker. Author. Speech Coach. Youth Speech Instructor. Engineer. Salesperson. Wife. Mom. Grandmother. Daughter. Friend. Home Educator. Karate Instructor.

In Diane's many roles in business and other aspects of life, there has been one constant: communication. She has found that the most meaningful, and often the most difficult, communication has been face-to-face conversation.

A resident of Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes and 10 billion mosquitoes, Diane lives with her husband, Kim, in the Twin Cities area.

Please connect with Diane and share your small talk success stories!
Diane's speaker website:
Diane's presentation coaching website:

A little bit about Diane's philosophy of "small talk:"

Imagine a world where people feel accepted, valued and understood and everyone is approachable and open to making small talk that leads to closer relationships and more significant results (more commitment, more collaboration, more sales, and less hate, less prejudice, etc.).

This perfect world is based on the beliefs that all human beings are unique and have and give value. Face-to-face interactions are important and can not be completely replaced by technology-enabled communication. Small talk is not just a means to an end; it is a way to make people feel accepted and free to connect without judgment.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By M. Webb on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
"I used to hate small talk. To me, it was nothing more than blah, blah, blah...I thought it was a waste of time. And, I wasn't very good at it."

Anyone who thinks the opening line of Small Talk, Big Results! describes them, raise your hand. You can't see it but I'm sitting here waving my hand in the air! In theory, I knew about networking. I had the business cards, the firm handshake, and the sparkling smile. I just didn't know how to get people to talk about more than where the bathroom was or how nice the weather had been. So Small Talk, Big Results! is the book I'd been waiting for all my life.

Two words say it all: small talk. This book not only tells you why small talk is important but it gives you some concrete lessons: what to say, how to say it, some examples of what NOT to say directly from conversations Windingland eavesdropped on, how to get yourself out of trouble when you say something stupid. Introductions, memory tricks, business cards, body language, international rules--it's all there.

This book is divided into short chapters each focusing on a necessary skill. Windingland has filled the book with funny, personal stories and easy tricks that make this a quick read that you actually remember after you've closed the book. She takes a big idea like "make a personal connection" and breaks it down into practical steps. She also brings up things you may never have thought about before such as body language. I'm giving this book to my college aged daughter and think everyone high school aged and older should read it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Carstensen on December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm somewhat of an introvert--it's really hard for me to go somewhere and start talking with people. I am really big into online networking through social media. Offline networking sort of scares me. Then I got this great book and realized my problem was simply that I did not know what to do.
I read the book within 24 hours and then the next time I was out in public, I started doing the easy steps that Diane lays out in her book. Wow! I found #1 that I was not nervous, #2 I had great energy because I felt I knew what to do, and #3 because of that it seemed liked people wanted to talk to me. I did not really have to sit lonely and not know what to do. It was a 180 turn on how I felt and what I accomplished compared to some past offline networking experiences.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Scott Huizenga on February 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes if one has nothing nice to say, perhaps one should say nothing at all. So, I will start with the nice things. This book provides some nice tips for starting and keeping a conversation rolling and how to tell a story. Windingland explains how to use conflict and how to limit unnecessary background to keep a story compelling. Empathy and asking open-ended questions can keep a conversation fresh. And, Windingland also provides some handy acronyms for networking. But, good luck remembering them when you are in the game.

Most of the advice, however, was mundane, incorrect, or outright painful. For example, "So what's the big secret to getting other people's business cards? ASK!" Gee, thanks. I think even the most introverted among us can get that far. And, sorry pop-psychology fans, but folding one's arms is not inherently a sign of defensiveness or indifference. Some people just like to fold their arms. Finally, her advice to use the "name game" at networking events is just shy of outlandish. Can one imagine walking into a business mixer, grabbing 10-20 random people, and sitting them down so that you can play the name game to memorize their names? Good luck with that.

The book's quick read is the main saving grace. One should be able to remember a few quick tips before a networking event by browsing the book without trying too hard. The book may work well in conjunction with Windingland's speaking events. It seems trite and a bit shallow as a standalone effort. I had high hopes, but it left me wanting much more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amundsenhouseofchaos on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Wow there is so much information packed into this book! Diane starts out the book by explaining why she thought small talk was a waste of time. She was a new engineering graduate in the 1980's in a new engineering job and married to an engineer! She was surrounded by people who didn't know how to network or how to small talk. Over the years she learned several tips and tricks and has compiled this all in this fun easy to read book.

There are acronyms for helping you and chapters like Be NOSE-y! and I'm Sorry...What was your name again? Have you ever forgotten someone's name? You won't after reading that chapter.

My favorite chapter is "It's all in the cards - Getting and using other people's business cards". I wish I had read this chapter before I attended the Casual Bloggers Conference last May. I went all by myself (A big, no a HUGE step for me!) and didn't know anyone. Thankfully I met some very nice people and made a lot of contacts. The only problem was I had no system for all the business cards I received. I still have a stack of cards that I can't remember anything about the person who gave them to me. If I had read this chapter before I went I could have used it to my blogging advantage.

Small Talk Big Results is a great book for anyone who has interaction with another human being. It's not just for people in the work force. There are very valuable tips especially if you blog. Maybe you are on Twitter and Facebook those are great places for small talk too.
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