Day 2 - Small Talk & Nail Care @ Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 2 - Small Talk, Voice & Nail Care

There isn't much to say other than small talk (inc complimenting) was meh, and I was disappointed with the nail care. We learnt the basics (filing, moisturize, massage cuticles + pushing them back) but not much else. I was hoping we'd learn how to do the perfect french manicure, how to paint nails (which I fail at, it clumps and is too thick, or I touched something) and how to use those stamping plates. Because I play sport and music, and type, I find it's hard to have crazy long nails, plus it drives me crazy, so I always have short nails. I prefer either red or just a simple french mani (though I've never achieve it, even with the entire kit). Because I haven't gotten a chance to shop for a new hand cream yet, they've been neglected and a bit scary - but I am going to go to go shopping tomorrow, to try out some.

We started by making a list of characteristics of people with nice voices, famous and not. My fav voice would have to be Kelly Sheridan aka Barbie (though after the Mermaid Tale, she was replaced *sad*). And Mark Hidreth (Stefan in Rapunzel, Daniel in Swan Lake & Dominic in Princess Pauper), he has such an amazing voice. Except in the Tudors where he plays a Cardinal, and PoTc. and  For my real life example, it was mr health - who is an amazing communicator. We listed the things that made us like them e.g. emotion/enthusiasm, positive and pretty much sometimes you can hear a smile.


Vocal habits to avoid:
Shrill or whining tone
Loud dominating tone
Too soft timid tone
Monotonous pitch

Speech habits to avoid:
Talking too fast and slurring words together
Lack of enunciation
Slang phrases
Filler sounds - uh, um, you know, like
Use of off color language or swear words

Make a list of the poor vocal and speech habits you need to work on to correct. Then start listening to yourself as you talk during the day. Become more aware of what you are saying and how you are saying it. It also helps to listen to others around you and privately analyze their vocal patterns. You'll soon learn to "hear" and start to naturally correct your poor speech habits.

The best way to work on improving your voice and speech is to read aloud. Choose a quiet time and a private space. Choose reading material that requires discriminative thinking and the full use of your imagination. Try classic poetry or Shakespeare.

Small Talk

Here's a guide to small talk. Small talk is just buff to me, a filler, not really satisfying. Here's an interesting article on The Blandness of Theological Small Talk, where the author says conversation needs 4 things:

1. Unique identities. - everyone is valuable and contributes something meaningful    
2. Owned perspectives. everyone needs to have a perspective on the issue(s) a
3. Respectful pushback. - need to push back if I think you’re wrong or misdirected on some point. 
4. Teachability. - all parties are looking to learn something.

Four ways to create more rewarding conversations:
By Matthais Mehl of the University of Arizona
1. Dare to disclose - involve some personal disclosure. reveal something about yourself
2. Be a full participant - Give your full attention to the person you're talking to
3. Find common ground
4. Embrace your environment - one-on-one or in a group

10 Big Rules of Small Talk

1. Do your homework. Know a little bit about the people you will be meeting before you meet them. This will help you to discuss topics that you know are of interest to them.

2. Greet people appropriately. A first impression really matters, so make it count!

3. Remember names. People subconsciously love to hear their own name. By adding it into a conversation, you will appear much more engaged.

4. Don’t hold back. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and really get to know the person that you are conversing with. This is the only way that you may meet a life long friend.

5. Draw the other person out. Allow the other person to talk freely. Ask questions in order to draw out their side of the conversation.

6. When in doubt, discuss the setting. This is a go to topic that is much more original than the weather.

7. Revive a dying conversation. Look for ways to bring in another person or an interesting subject matter as soon as you see the first signs of a dying conversation.

8. Make proper introductions. When introducing someone, use their full name, a short summary and how you know them. You will not only seem polite, but this type of introduction will create new topics to discuss in the conversation.

9. Diffuse unpleasant situations. Always have an escape excuse ready in case the situation becomes horribly unpleasant. “Excuse me, I need to use the restroom,” is an ancient but classic exit.

10. Make a clean getaway. When you decide that the conversation is finished, explain your reason for leaving, state it was great to meet them, and exit; swiftly!

Great picture. Classic topic: the weekend. Note: the months are for Americans, as we have white snowy winters, and hot Julys - as a oppose to in Australia, with Santa in the backyard BBQing and trips to the beach in the Christmas break.

Nail Care

Here's the guide. You'll need:
  • double-sided emery board (glass is best)
  • old pair of pantyhose
  • 4 way buffer
  • cuticle softener
  • orange stick (made from the orange tree)
  • cotton balls/buds & np remover
  • warm bowl of water
  • towel (not wet wipes)
  • nail recovery/strength "nail polish"
  • top/bottom coats
  • nail polish (rec: Revlon)

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