Friday, April 28, 2017

Core Netiquette Principals Of "Small Talk" In Email Via Netiquette IQ

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As an author on the principals and policies of Netiquette (see the books below) and electronic communications, I have written about how polite "fillers" should be used by email  senders, particularly business emails.The article below reflects person to person "small talk" which can easily be adjusted to use in email. To do so effectively, will certainly improve the quality and attentiveness given to email writing.
6 Steps to Master Small Talk

Updated April 26, 2017
The ability to make 'small talk' is highly valued. In fact, many English students are more interested in making effective small talk than knowing correct grammar structures - and rightly so! Small talk gets friendships started and 'breaks the ice' before important business meetings and other events.
What is small talk?
Small talk is pleasant conversation about common interests.
Why is small talk difficult for some English learners?
First of all, making small talk is not difficult only for English learners, but also for many native speakers of English.
However, small talk can be especially difficult for some learners because making small talk means talking about almost anything - and that means having a wide vocabulary that can cover most topics. Most English learners have excellent vocabulary in specific areas, but may have difficulties discussing topics they are unfamiliar with because of a lack of appropriate vocabulary.
This lack of vocabulary leads to some students 'blocking'. They slow down or stop speaking completely because of a lack of self-confidence.
How to Improve Small Talk Skills
Now that we understand the problem, the next step is to improve the situation. Here are some tips to improve small talk skills. Of course, making effective small talk means lots of practice, but keeping these tips in mind should improve overall conversational skills.
Do some research
Spend time on the Internet, reading magazines, or watching TV specials about the type of people you are going to meet.
For example: If you are taking a class with students from other countries, take time after the first few days of class to do some research. They will appreciate your interest and your conversations will be much more interesting.
Stay away from religion/strong political beliefs
While you may believe in something very strongly, beginning conversations and making small talk about your own personal convictions may abruptly end the conversation.
Keep it light, don't try to convince the other person that you have the 'correct' information about a higher being, political system or other belief system.
Use the Internet to gain specific vocabulary
This is related to doing research about other people. If you have a business meeting, or are meeting people who share a common interest (a basketball team, a tour group interested in art, etc.), take advantage of the Internet to learn specific vocabulary. Almost all businesses and interest groups have glossaries on the Internet explaining the most important jargon related to their business or activity.
Ask yourself about your culture
Take time to make a list of common interests that are discussed when making small talk in your own culture. You can do this in your own language, but check to make sure that you have the English vocabulary to make small talk about those subjects.
Find common interests
Once you have a subject that interests both of you, keep to it! You can do this in a number of ways: talking about travel, talking about the school or friend you have in common, talking about the differences between your culture and the new culture (just be careful to make comparisons and not judgments, i.e., The food in our country is better than the food here in England").
This is very important. Don't get so worried about being able to communicate that you don't listen. Listening carefully will help you understand and encourage those speaking to you. You might be nervous, but letting others state their opinions will improve the quality of the discussion - and give you time to think of an answer!
Common Small Talk Subjects
Here is a list of common small talk subjects. If you have difficulties speaking about any of these topics, try to improve your vocabulary by using the resources available to you (Internet, magazines, teachers at school, etc.)
  • Sports - current matches or games, favorite teams, etc.
  • Hobbies
  • Weather - boring, but can get the ball rolling!
  • Family - general questions, not questions about private matters
  • Media - films, books, magazines, etc.
  • Holidays - where, when, etc. but NOT how much!
  • Home town - where do you come from, how is it different/similar to this town
  • Job - once again, general questions not too specific
  • Latest fashion and trends
  • Celebrities - any gossip you may have!
Good Netiquette And A Green Internet To All!  ===================================================================== 
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In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

Anyone who would like to review the book and have it posted on my blog or website, please contact me

In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.

Additionally, I am the president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a “best of breed” reseller of products for communications, email, network management software, security products and professional services.  Also, I am the president of Netiquette IQ. We are currently developing an email IQ rating system, Netiquette IQ, which promotes the fundamentals outlined in my book.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology market.

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