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Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.

Utilize the Relationships You've Built

Uncategorized Jul 31, 2020

A good friend called me with a question, “A friend and former colleague is recommending for a job at his company. Should I apply for it?” 

Before I had a chance to say, “Of course you should. Why wouldn’t you?” she launched into her pro/con list. The answer still seemed obvious to me, but she remained on the fence.

“Why wouldn’t you trust a friend’s recommendation?” I finally asked. “What’s the point of building relationships if you’re not going to trust them or allow them to be beneficial?” 

My friend joked about her naturally distrusting personality, but the point remains.

If you are going to take the time to build relationships (and you should) you should also be willing to use them.

That means...

Asking for help when you need it.

Seeking honest feedback from mentors.

Brainstorming with colleagues.

Following the advice of a trusted friend. 

Staying on the radar of an advocate. 


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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

Uncategorized Jul 26, 2020

Fans are hungry for sports.

The proof is in the ratings. The Opening Day matchup between the New York Yankees and defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals was views by an average audience of 4 million people. It is the most watched regular season MLB game since 2011.

 And sports fans don’t just want to watch games, they want to talk about them. “Did you see the game last night?” makes a great conversation starter so do these sports topics making headlines this week.

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3 Reasons to Become a Sports Fan Right Now

Uncategorized Jul 23, 2020

Sports is back.

Are you on the bandwagon? Enthusiastic about cheering from home? Or, unsure of what the fuss is all about?

Whether you’re a long-time fan looking forward to nightly games or a novice fan who’s just testing the waters of your sports fandom, there’s a benefit to being a sports fan. Actually, there are a number of benefits including connections and access that allow you to build relationships.

Sports fans talk to other sports fans regardless of job title, education or length of fandom. More than half of all Americans say they’re sports fans. If you put those two statements together you can position yourself to make sports small talk with more than 164 million people in the United States alone. Small talk is how relationships get started and it’s one way to stay on the radar and build relationships over time.  

So if you’re on the fence – or living with someone who’s not as excited about watching sports as you are...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jul 19, 2020

Better communication skills are at a premium right now. Communicating remotely requires more clarity than talking to people in person. You’re not going to get the big stuff right (i.e. hash out differences, get on the same page with a project, communicate the correct timeline or actions) if you don’t get the smaller stuff right – like building relationships using small talk.

Don’t skip the small talk this week. Don’t blow it off as a waste of time. It’s practice for bigger conversation and it’s a way to build relationships so you know how to communicate with clarity to each person you work with.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

Small talk, like every other conversation these days, can feel like a challenge. 

Maybe it’s hard for you to talk, or hear someone talking, while wearing a mask. Maybe it’s because every topic has the potential to become politicized.

I know that small talk can build relationships, but I also know sometimes you just need to take a break and avoid extra interactions.

Even if you don’t plan to use these topics in small talk, read through them to build your sports knowledge base.


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Learn from a Leader: Making and Changing Your Decisions

leadership Jul 08, 2020

Everything is subject to change, including your decisions. 

Don't talk yourself out of making a decision because you're afraid it's going to change. 

It probably will. Leaders change decisions based on new data and new situations. Here's what they don't do - change the process they use to make their decisions.

Steve Singh, Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group, explains how leaders should approach the decision making process in times of uncertainty and crisis. 

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Sports Conversation Starters for your Workweek

conversation starters Jul 05, 2020

I can only imagine how different and oddly familiar it will be to walk into a ballpark today for the first time in more than four months.

Everything about the way I do my job as a sports broadcaster is different. I’m guessing you can say the same thing about your job and the changes you’ve experienced since March.

Here’s one thing that hasn’t changed – our need and desire to connect with people. It might not be in person, it might require masks, it might not be in your preferred setting, but connection is important.

Small talk is part of connecting. Sports can (and I’d argue, should be) part of your small talk conversations. Use these headlines to get the ball rolling in those conversations this week.  

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The Realities of Virtual Presentations During COVID-19

*NOTE: This article is not a commentary on masks, social distancing or other COVID-19 protocols. Please follow the guidelines established by your local and regional authorities.

I’m a sports broadcaster and professional speaker and I hate “thumbnail audiences.” 

I’d rather be talking to myself.

If you knew me as a kid (or realized how much I talk to myself during the day) this might not come as a surprise.

But here’s what came as a surprise to me: it’s 100 times easier to be on live TV in front of hundreds of thousands of people I can’t see than present to a thumbnail audience.

I’d rather be talking to myself.

I’ll admit there is value in using technology to connect. Virtual presentations are the norm these days out of necessity, but you might want to reconsider the impact of those messages. For those struggling to keynote with thumbnail audiences on Zoom, Microsoft Teams or WebEx there’s a reason for that. For those...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

If there’s a three-day weekend on the horizon, but you’re working from home does it feel any different?

Here’s one way to break out the norm – tune into the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating competition July 4. This annual tradition will take place, but like everything else will look a little different. There won’t be an audience. The competition will take place inside, which means competitors get the advantage of air conditioning, and that might be the edge Joey Chestnut needs to break his own record of 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes. The 12-time champion thinks eating 77 hot dogs is a possibility this year.   

If that doesn’t sound exciting to you, maybe these other conversation starters will float your boat.

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Learn from a Leader: Chaotic Decision-making

Choosing not to make a decision is still a decision. 

Even if you made that decision because you were waiting for more information to make the "real" decision. 

Waiting for more information isn't always the best course of action, especially when dealing with the uncertainty caused by a pandemic. The best leaders take action and create options and flexibility. That's as true now as it was when the pandemic started. 

I think it's great advice, but I'm a little biased since it comes from my dad. He knows what he's talking about a number of years in the C-suite. 

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