Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
I don’t think about myself as working in a male dominated environment. Which sounds odd coming from someone who’s spent 20 years inside sports locker rooms as a sideline reporter and sports broadcaster.
I get lots of questions about what it’s like in a locker room. Here’s what I see: Talented and skilled people who want to excel and succeed at a high level. People who can deliver in pressure situations because of the hours they spend training and preparing.
There are two things you should recognize about what I just described:
When I take these things into...
There’s a concept in improv comedy called “Yes, and…” It’s used to introduce new topics or scenarios. The performers agree to the premise before expanding on it.
But there’s more to it than just saying “Yes, and…” The key to making the concept work is letting go of expectations in that moment. Performers shouldn’t use “Yes, and…” to shoehorn their preconceived idea into the skit because the outcome is never very good. In fact, Jonni Ressler, improv comedian and CEO of Eleven 11 Solutions, says often it leads to confusion.
Performers need to drop their expectations of what they thought would happen on stage and be open to what is happening in the moment. And here’s where we find a business and leadership correlation.
Leaders can create confusion when they incorrectly apply the “Yes, and…” technique. For example, let’s say you call your team together for a...
You don’t have to watch a game to talk about the outcome. Just like you don’t have see a TV show to know what it’s about. And you don’t need to follow an actor’s entire career to enjoy a little celebrity gossip (if that’s your thing.)
Here’s what you do need: enough information and confidence to have a conversation.
Whether you’re skimming the latest version of People magazine (which I actually did while on vacation this weekend) or glancing through these sports conversation starters. Don’t discount how much you don’t know without realize that you probably know more than enough to make small talk for 30-60 seconds, and that’s all it takes.
Here’s something else to consider: the process is the same for building your knowledge base whether you’re talking about sports, music, entertainment, bitcoin, etc…
With so many sporting events happening over the weekend this is the perfect chance to sit back and let sports fans take the lead in small talk this week.
We’re not just talking “Big 4” sports (football, basketball, baseball and hockey.) Tennis, soccer, racing, horse racing and golf are in the headlines this week. And don’t forget about little league, softball and other youth sports taking place right now. A lot of things fall under the sports umbrella. Think bigger when you start the conversation and let the sports fan you’re talk to run with it.
In-person conversations are making a comeback and chances are you’re a little rusty at those interactions after a year of working from home and virtual gatherings. People are finding that what worked before the pandemic like asking “What’s new?” or “How are you?” isn’t effective. And to be honest, it wasn’t a good approach to begin with.
People are finding it’s harder to start a conversation and keep it going than before the pandemic. Three conversation strategies can dramatically increase the quality of those interactions and reduce the stress of trying to figure out what to say.
Introductions need context. Your name isn’t enough. Your job description or title isn’t interesting. Tell people why you’re having the conversation in the first place.
Prepare an answer for “How are you?” You know you’re going to get the question. What you might not realize is your answer unlocks the potential of the...
Being fluent in sports isn’t necessary. Being conversational is.
There are way too many sports fans to ignore and if avoiding awkward small talk and making a good first impression is as easy as mentioning a few sports headlines, why wouldn’t you do it?
You don’t have to have all the details. You don’t even need to watch the game or the sporting event. All you need to be conversational is a few talking points like the ones you’ll find right here in these sports conversation starters.
Here’s a TV pro tip for making your eyes and your entire face look less tired – wear a dark or brightly colored shade of lipstick. The pop of color draws attention away from your eyes (and the dark circles or bags underneath them) and helps off-set a lack of sleep.
I’ve done this many times and I can tell you from personal experience it’s a small thing that makes a big difference, not only in what the audience sees, but in how I see myself that day.
Showing up is half the battle as that quote goes, but as an on-air personality the way I show up counts. As a leader it’s not enough to show up. The way you show up is part of your brand and the message you communicate to others.
It’s up to you to own your space, or as former professional tennis player and past USTA president Katrina Adams would say “Own the Arena.” She joined the Learn from a Leader series to talk about her new book and the many leadership lessons she learned...
Your favorite athlete is part of your personal brand. There’s a reason you were drawn to that athlete. There are things you appreciate about the way they approach their craft, or show leadership or show up in the community. Favorite athletes are not accident. It’s not a name you drew out of a hat.
Your favorite athlete says something about you which is why it’s part of your personal brand.
It’s another example of how sports conversations are more than stats and scores. You can convey messages about who you are and what you value in the way you talk about a game, athlete or outcome – as long as you’re strategic and intentional in your messaging.
Spend a few minutes thinking about what you want to communicate this week. See if you can tie it into one of these topics that are already making headlines and enhance your personal brand using sports small talk.
The NFL schedule was released yesterday. I love schedule release day. I actually enjoy most schedule releases because it allows me to plan, prepare and map out the future.
Unlike my own schedule, the NFL schedule only changes in minor ways. Teams don’t flip-flop days or change their bye weeks. They play the game on the schedule. When it’s time for the season to start there is no option for a team to push back their season opener a few days because they don’t feel ready. It’s go time.
The start of the NFL season (August for preseason, September for regular season games) will also be go time for many people returning to an office building or transitioning to a hybrid work environment. The actual date might not be as locked in as the NFL schedule, but it’s happening.
Now is the time to prepare for that schedule change, the transitions that will take place and the communication skills you need to make it all work. That’s the skill you need to focus on...
It should not come as a surprise to you there are topics you shouldn’t be talking about in casual conversation at work: politics, money, religion and sex. Common sense should tell you those are polarizing topics.
Common sense doesn’t always win out. Passion often does. Passion mixed with hot-button topics leads to disagreements, fights and issues at work. It’s not just the disagreement that causes problems it’s what you think about your colleagues and how they perceive you after the fact. That’s why some companies have banned talk of politics at work.
Every conversation is part of your personal brand, whether you see it that way or not.
Here’s the problem when you move away from those hot-button topics, it feels like you’re limited in what you can talk about… and the weather isn’t worth talking about.
Here’s the solution – sports small talk.
You can have a passionate, lively conversation that reflects...