Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Last week I told you about my goal to not respond with “Busy” when someone asked, “How are you?” Update: I mostly succeeded. But I also caught myself giving 1-word answers that weren’t very helpful in sparking conversation. I was also guilty of delivering a half-hearted response and not being present enough in some of my interactions to ask the obvious follow up question or make a real connection.
So the goal will stay the same this week.
I talk for a living, but even I need to prepare for conversations and remember to stay in the moment. Every interaction, including small talk, is more gratifying when you do that. Here are a few sports conversation starters to help you prepare for those moments this week.
This week I’m making it my goal to not say “Busy” in response to a question like “How are you?” or “How are things?”
It’s accurate to say that I’m busy, but that’s not an interesting answer. My life is always busy (especially when sports season overlap this month) and everyone is busy too.
Telling people we’re busy isn’t a great conversation starter. I understand that sometimes we really are too busy to talk, but often I give that answer because I haven’t taken the time to come up with a better one. (Because I’m busy, of course.)
So here’s what I’m going to do: This week, I’m going to try to answer the question “How are you?” accurately and in a way that could prompt a conversation, or at the very least make for a more interesting exchange.
Here’s what I’ve workshopped so far:
Saying hi is easy.
The sentence that comes next is the one that can trip you up. If it’s always “How are you?” you’ll probably find yourself following the exact same script for every single conversation and you might also notice you’re not getting very far in the conversation.
Avoid the conversation road block by have an actual question or conversation starter at the ready. These sports topics could work.
NFL Training Camps get underway this week. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, not just because I love football, but because of the networking opportunities in football conversations.
This week is a great time to check in with football fans and ask questions like:
Here’s the important part – you actually need to listen to their response because they’re giving you an easy way to “circle back around” in a month when training camp ends and later in the season.
That’s when small talk becomes beneficial, when you make a connection and create follow up opportunities. There are a number of topics you can use this week:
“What’s your favorite season?”
Today I’m borrowing a little inspiration from a scene in Schitt’s Creek.
Of course, Moira Rose answered the question with “Awards Season.” My answer would have something to do with my favorite sports season.
I’ll admit it’s a more interesting conversation starter than I initially thought when I laughed out loud at the scene. There are two things here: If you’re not specific with your small talk question you will potentially get a random answer and sometimes you need to think outside the box to spark a conversation.
With that in mind, here are a few sports topics you can use in striking up small talk conversations this week.
Lazy summer days are for lounging and breaking out of your normal routine. Don’t stray so far from your conversations that you forget how to talk to people in person or start avoiding all small talk.
Make it a point to have small conversations throughout the week. You might be surprised at how much enjoyment it adds to your day and how easy it is when you’re prepared with sports conversations starters like these:
It’s the easiest sports(ish) conversation starter of the year: How many hot dogs could you eat?
In case you’ve forgotten (and how could you?) July 4th is the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Competitors have 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs and buns as they can. Joey Chestnut is the world’s No.1- ranked eater. He topped his own record last year by consuming 76 hot dogs and buns. Miki Sudo is the top-ranked female eater in the world and set the women’s record of 48.5 hot dogs and buns in 2020.
Probably more than you’d like to know about competitive eating, but it can be a fun conversation starter with family and friends of all ages. Especially if you throw in questions like these:
Have some fun debates during your holiday...
Welcome to sports conversation starters designed to meet you where you’re at with your schedule, knowledge base, comfort level and interest level this week.
Sporting events don’t always fit into busy schedules. If you’ve only got time for the highlights and high level talking points this list is for you.
Each week I pick a handful of topics I’m confident will get the most coverage so you’ll be growing your sports knowledge base and getting useful nuggets for small talk. So dive in, take a chance and Talk Sporty this week.
Summer is here (although it doesn't feel like it in the Pacific Northwest!) and you're probably busy relaxing.
It's unlikely you're wasting gorgeous summer days in front of your TV, but there's a good chance you're out and about talking to people. If you need something to generate conversation or introduce a new topic (because you really don't need to see vacation photos from anyone else) here are a few sports topics making news this week.
It’s much harder than I expected. I never thought I would feel so tired after talking to people in person every day. I talk for a living for crying out loud! It turns out I’m not the only person in my sports media sphere who feels that way. I had a conversation with a colleague recently who noted how unusually tired he is after small talk in baseball clubhouses.
Small talk is a part of our job. We talk about more than sports with athletes. It’s how we build relationships and get to know people. That’s actually the purpose of small talk. When you approach small talk with intention it’s very beneficial. And here’s what I want you think about – what are you bringing to the conversation?
This is one of the things my colleague and I talked about, the feeling that conversations require more effort now than before the pandemic. We feel pressure to draw out the stories, tidbits and conversations that further the relationship. And we also...