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Talk Sporty 101: Help! I don't know what to say

 

Sports headlines are great for building your sports knowledge base and starting conversation, but what happens when you get asked to dive deeper or get asked to weigh in on a topic, game or player you’re not familiar with? Then what do you do?

I get this question all the time. I know it causes a lot of anxiety, but there is a pretty simple way to solve this problem. 

First, don’t panic. Resist the urge to just walk away from the conversation.

Second, recognize it’s not your job to have answers to every sports question. (Sports is my job, but it’s your hobby.)

Third, redirect a conversation that starts with “Did you see…” using the words, “No, but…”

As in:

“Did you see the game last night?” “No, but what happened?”

“Did you see what the Seahawks are doing?” “No, but do you have any insight?”

You don’t have to have the answers, you just need a way to keep the conversation going. This is a big fear among novice fans and fans who aren’t confident in their sports knowledge. But the anxiety over not knowing what to say shows up in many different business scenarios, not just sports small talk. 

When you gain more confidence in your communication skills overall, you’ll worry a little less about know having an answer or not knowing what to say. This is one tool to help you gain confidence in those moments. 

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