Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
The conversation you need this week might not be the one you expect. In fact, it might be a conversation so small you almost overlook it or skip it altogether.
Small talk is the building block for relationships. It’s also why I say the conversation that changes your career or your life isn’t the one you think. It’s the not “big” conversation regarding a new job, raise or promotion it’s the one that started the relationship in the first place. It's the interaction that opened the door. The small talk you’re tempted to overlook.
Instead of skipping it use these sports topics to engage with others this week.
Conversations come easy to me. They always have. (Just ask every teacher who commented on my report cards.)
Sports talk has always been a natural conversation starter for me and it comes with the territory as a sports broadcaster. I often tell people sports fits my personality and sports broadcasting fits my skillet.
I am ultra competitive. I am also passionate about effective communication and winning in small moments - both of which are part of my day-to-day job in locker rooms and how I got into sports broadcasting in the first place.
People were not exactly jumping to give women jobs in sports when I graduated college. I learned quickly I had just a few seconds to make a great impression and land my message. It's why I started using Success Statements and why I've been talking about them ever since.
Success Statements have helped me get a foot in the door, given me a way to advocate for myself and allowed me to effortless stay on the radar of key decision makers. I...
Interviews in Spring Training are the norm this time of year and essentially the questions I formulate are a set of conversation starters. It’s questions like:
Nearly every answer comes with a story and I’m frequently caught off guard by unexpected responses. While I never know what I’m going to get, it is my reminder to not make assumptions.
It’s the same reminder I’m going to offer you this week. Don’t assume women don’t like sports or that all men love sports. Don’t assume you can predict your colleagues’ answers. Don’t assume you understand where someone is coming from.
Keep an open mind and enjoy the twists and turns small talk can bring. These sports topics can help you get the conversation going.
Super Bowl conversations dominate small talk for a couple weeks following the big game. They game itself will get plenty of mentions during the upcoming NFL Combine, as the Draft gets underway, when mini camps start and when Training Camps open in July.
The long and the short of it is, the Super Bowl generates a lot of conversation. Sports fans and sports media focus on the outcome, matchups, coaching decisions and stats, but you can use a number of talking points to join conversations. You can even spin off new ideas that spark business conversations.
Here are 5 Super Bowl takeaways to help you think Outside the Box Scores with sports talk:
Just a reminder, no one needs to talk as much as Tony Romo. Take a break. Be okay with a pause or even a little silence in conversations this week.
When you're ready to re-engage these sports topics make great talking points this week:
The informational interview. A well-intentioned idea that’s often poorly executed.
It makes sense to talk someone who already works in an industry or position you’d like to be in. A conversation with someone who has ‘been there are done that’ can be helpful in planning your own success
I know how valuable those conversations can be because I’ve counted on informational interviews throughout my career as a sports broadcaster and business owner.
These days I’m frequently asked to participate in informational interviews. As someone who’s benefited from them I want to help others and provide valuable information.
But the information you get is only as good as the questions you ask.
I’m happy to answer a wide range of questions, but what I really want to do is...
For years the first question people asked about my job as a sideline reporter was “What is it like in the locker room?”
Over the years that question has been supplanted by a new No. 1: “How do you know what to say?”
Here’s the short answer, I always go in with a game plan. I can’t be at a loss for words in my job. You don’t want to be at a loss for words in conversations because it creates awkward interactions and missed opportunities.
Each week I write the list of sports conversation starters with you in mind. They’re straightforward with a little context and nugget of information that you can add to a conversation. Which means you’ll know exactly what to say in small talk this week.
And just like every week there are a number of topics to choose from:
How do you lead a team?
How do you captivate an audience and mobilize your message?
How do you build culture?
How do you develop trust?
These are all questions that were discussed in great detail during hiring season in the NFL. They're the important, big questions that you ask when hiring a head coach or GM. They're critical for finding the right fit and winning games. And not a single one of those questions can be answered with a stat or a win-loss record.
They can't even be answered by looking at a resume. Those questions get answered in interviews because they all come down to communication skills.
If communication skills weren't the differentiating factor every team would have wanted to hire exact same coach and they wouldn't have needed an interview to make their decision.
Your skillset is important. Your results are a factor. Your communication skills are the differentiator.
Your resume serves a purpose, but it's not likely to close the...
Super Bowl prop bets are a favorite conversation starter for me leading up to the big game. For as much as I enjoy talking about the game itself, the prop bets take the conversation in an entirely different direction.
If you’re not familiar with a prop bet its side wager on parts of the game that have nothing to do with the final outcome. For example, you could place a bet on who will be the Super Bowl MVP, the first song performed at halftime, the length of the National Anthem or whether the coin toss will be heads or tails.
It’s the questions around the coin toss that can lead to interesting conversations with colleagues and reveal their approach to things like project management and productivity.
I realize it might sound like a stretch, (after all, how much strategy comes into play when making a decision with 50-50 odds?) but the conversation is less about heads or tails and more about what happens next.
On game day the team that wins the coin toss can...
I totally play favorites when it comes to sports. If you’re a fan I guarantee you do too.
I don’t share the same affinity for every team, every sport or even every conversation starter.
I’m sure you have favorites too whether we’re talking about the Super Bowl matchup or this list of sports conversation starters. And here’s the most important part, it’s not about being right or wrong it’s about being proactive in the conversation and offering up a piece of information that creates a productive interaction.
There are plenty of sports headlines to talk about. This time of year I will always lean toward football because it really does create the most opportunities with the most amount of people, but any of these topics will work this week.