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I'M ONE TO TALK

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

Tips for Tough Conversations

I talk to losers.

It is literally part of my job.

When people find out I work in sports broadcasting they automatically jump to the cool parts of the job like being on the field and talking to players after a win. But that’s only part of my job. I talk to players and coaches win or lose. I talk to players after making spectacular plays and after they dropped a pass that could have been the game-winning touchdown.

Not all interviews are fun. Not all interviews are easy. Sometimes those conversations are tough and ones that I would rather not have, but as I mentioned it’s part of my job.

It’s also part of your job to have tough conversations and address mistakes, errors and shortcomings. I know you want to avoid them. I also know it’s better if you don’t. As someone who’s forced to have these conversations on a weekly (if not daily) basis here’s what I know to be true: Being direct and straightforward is the kindest and often easiest way to...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Aug 28, 2022

Are you bored by your colleagues’ small talk every Monday?

Tired of hearing what they did over the weekend?

Not interested in seeing another video of a kid’s baseball tournament?

If you don’t like the topics they bring to the table, beat ‘em to the punch with a conversation starter of your own. If you don’t want to think too hard about it, use one of these sports topics to get the ball rolling and steer the conversation to where you want it to go.

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Sports Conversation Starters For Your Workweek

conversation starters Aug 22, 2022

College football starts this week, but what I hope you're starting this week is a new relationship as a result of small talk. 

Purposeful small talk can help you do that. These sports conversation starters can get the ball rolling. 

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Small Talk Checklist

A quick search about small talk and effective small talk reveals lists of questions, articles on the “necessary evil” of it and hacks to make it easier.

What if you tried to personalize it instead of trying to avoid it? Instead of arming yourself with a list random questions or looking for an easy way out, what if you prepared for the conversation and walked away from the interaction having accomplished something? 

If you consider small talk a necessary evil of course you’re going to try and avoid it. If it’s always awkward you’re not going to initiate it and if you think it’s a waste of time you won’t bother putting yourself in position to have the conversation in the first place.

Small talk can be all of those things. Often because it’s not the conversation we prepare for.

We prepare for the big moments and the “real” conversation. We think small talk is something we endure or blow off altogether.  

...

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Sports Conversation Starters For Your Workweek

conversation starters Aug 14, 2022

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.

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Sports Conversation Starters For Your Workweek

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:

  • “Satisfied I crushed my interviews today.”
  • “Excited about the...
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Talk Sporty 101: How to Read a Baseball Box Score

This post was originally written as a guest blog for Alumna House, a company redefining women's game day apparel. The baseball box score and game were taken from early in the 2022 MLB season, but the overall strategy is the same all season long.

You’re a fan, but you only caught part of the game or maybe you didn’t watch it at all. I get it. Life is busy and even if you love watching baseball sometimes you just can’t fit it into your hectic schedule.

Just because you didn’t watch a game doesn’t mean you can’t talk about the game like a pro. Trust me, I am one. I’ve worked in sports broadcasting for 22 years and spent the last 15 years on the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. I watch sports for a living, but even I don’t have time to watch every game in its entirety or see every highlight. Sometimes a quick glance at a box score is all I need to figure out what happened.

A baseball box score is packed with...

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Sports Conversation Starters For Your Workweek

conversation starters Aug 01, 2022

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.

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Talk Sporty 101: Ugh! Bandwagon Fans

I understand the reaction. I know it can seem annoying. Fans (and I know you don’t want to call them that) who only become fans after a team gets good. Fans who don’t understand the pain of losing seasons, unmet expectations and disappointment or the angst that goes along with being a life-long fan. It’s tempting to write off bandwagon fans and believe they’re not “real fans.”

Wrong. There’s no right or wrong way to be a fan. You were new to sports once too. Everyone starts somewhere. And sometimes the winning team, the team that’s making the most headlines, the team that’s being talked about most, is the easiest place to start. You can’t blame a fan for buying into the hype created by winning team and engaged fanbase.

Here’s what you can do, help newcomers grow their fandom and move past being bandwagon fans into more interested, engaged fans. 

  1. Engage in a conversation. Short conversations count. You...
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Sports Conversation Starters For Your Workweek

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:

  • What are you most excited about heading into camp?
  • Which player are you looking forward to seeing most?
  • What’s your prediction for the season? 

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:

 

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