MSN Canada

MSN Canada

November 18, 2009 09:18 ET

Don't Underestimate the Gift of Gab This Holiday Season

8 out of 10 Canadians judge a person based on his or her "social currency," according to an and Harris/Decima survey

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2009) - With holiday parties and festive staff functions on the horizon, it may be more important than you thought to be up to date on your current events. In fact, a survey released today by and Harris/Decima revealed that 79 per cent of Canadians judge one another based on their knowledge of what's happening in the world around them.

Since the holidays are a time filled with various social gatherings, Mary-Ellen Anderson, Executive Director/Producer for, believes it's a crucial time to ensure you're up-to-date on the information you need for all your conversations. This is because 40 per cent of Canadians are deeply interested in collecting information and knowledge on various topics, while 37 per cent consider themselves "Connectors" - bringing people together and spreading information.

Unfortunately, not all Canadians have as much general knowledge as they would like. Almost half (47%) of Canadians have frequently or sometimes wished they knew more information on a particular topic so they could actively participate in a conversation happening around them.

"The holidays are a time of giving, but this survey reveals if there's one present you should give yourself it's the gift of information," said Mary-Ellen Anderson. "Whether you are on your way to see your family or heading to the office party, is Canada's one-stop shop for the latest news, politics, movies, music and celeb gossip. Not to mention what's the coolest gadget to buy that special someone."

According to Debra Fine, conversation expert and American best-selling author, being that 'go to' person for current events and reliable information can really raise your status or 'social currency' among co-workers. This is also important in social circles - people will respect you more if you are 'socially current' and knowledgeable on a variety of topics.

Debra suggests the following tips and tricks for impressing colleagues and friends with your socially current knowledge:

Get More Information For Your Conversations: Since 79 per cent of Canadians are apt to judge one another on their 'social currency' and 90 per cent feel it's important to be up to date on what's happening in the world, a great trick is to skim all the latest headlines for each genre of news i.e. - news, autos, entertainment, finance, etc. You'd be surprised how knowing a little bit about each topic will make you look like the star of the holiday party.

- Find Common Ground: Almost nine-in-ten (86%) Canadians consider themselves to be 'in the know' on a variety of subjects. This is great news because chances are you'll be able to find conversation topics that interest both you and your friend/cousin/colleague etc. For instance, if you know your boss is a car fanatic, check out the Autos Channel on to truly connect with him/her.

- Get Addicted: For almost two-in-five Canadians (38%), a day without their news source is like a day without their morning caffeine fix -they function much better with it. Become a News Junkie and get high on information. You will crave "being in the know" and being the one everyone comes to for socially current conversations this holiday season. conducted this survey in support of its recent Talk MSN Campaign. The site recently launched its own independently run and is currently the #1 most visited portal in Canada (according to Experian Hitwise, Most Popular Websites in Computers and Internet, Portal Front Pages, ranked by Visits for the week ending November 7th). The site boasts exclusive columnists, trusted experts and amazing content partners.

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About the Survey

Harris/Decima surveyed 1,013 Canadians from October 8th to 11th, 2009 through teleVox, Harris/Decima's telephone omnibus. Results for a sample of this size are considered accurate +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Contact Information

  • For more details regarding the survey results
    or to speak to Debra Fine please contact:
    High Road Communications
    Elisa Wegenast
    High Road Communications
    Meghan Neufeld