Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Happy Monday! Although depending on who you were cheering for in the Super Bowl (and how long that party lasted) you might be feeling anything but happy.
I totally get it.
Here’s what else I get. Whether you liked the outcome of the game. Agreed with the play calling. Placed bets on who won the coin toss or have already wagered on next year’s odds – the Super Bowl is a huge conversation starter this week.
It’s a sports story, human interest story, entertainment and business news all in one event. If you’re not talking about it, you’re probably missing out on huge opportunities to build relationships… or you’re talking about the other sports topics making news this week.
Sports is more than sports.
Tragic events like the death of Kobe Bryant remind us of that.
Former teammates weren’t reacting to the points he scored. Fans weren't thinking about the championships he’d won or the All-Star games he participated in. They were thinking about and reacting to what Kobe, the man, meant to them.
Sports is powerful. It connects fans across the world.
It’s a useful tool in connecting with people, including the ones you work with.
If you're starting your week with a holiday then it will likely take a little extra time to get back in the swing of things this week. Any time you change your schedule it can cause you to feel out of sorts - like me all weekend.
It was the first time all season I watched football without a vested interest in who won. (I’m an NFL sideline reporter with the Seahawks and usually working weekends.) I was just watching the games and the commercials – there are a lot of commercials. (There are no commercials in stadium, and I spend every time out working to hear what the coaches are saying.)
Here’s the point – there’s plenty of time to talk while watching games. There’s also a case to be made for not watching games, since it can feel like a large waste of time. It’s one of the reasons I post this list every week.
To make sports conversations useful in business, you need to be able to see past the stats and scores. Certainly, the outcomes of games can be conversation starters, but there’s more to talk about and relate to when watching games.
For example, you could:
Of course there’s always using these sports conversation starters to give fans a platform to talk, share and connect this week.
Did you know the average NFL game in 2019 was watched by an average of 16.5 million people?
Maybe that stat intrigues me because I’m an NFL sideline reporter or maybe it’s because that’s a significant number of people invested in football games.
Those are the same people you see at work, bump into getting coffee and meet at networking events.
And that’s just one of the reasons you should be using sports small talk to your advantage. Sports fans are primed to talk about their favorite teams, the outcome of games and prolific performances. Give them the platform. Develop rapport and once you have their attention, transition to business.
Use these conversation starters this week:
Get a jump start on those New Year’s resolutions by committing to at least one productive small talk conversation a day this week.
What makes small talk productive?
It should allow you to learn something about the person you’re talking to that could be used in a follow up conversation.
Here’s my general rule of thumb: sports works, weather does not. I mean, how many times can you ask about rainy weather, cloudy weather, winter weather… you get my drift.
Here are a few sports topics you can use this week.
Happy Holiday week!
I’ll keep this short and sweet since you’ve got a lot on your plate. Don’t forget that sports topics make good small talk options around family and friends. Debate if that’s your style but keep it light enough to avoid huge fights.
You should be connecting with people not alienating them.
“How do you get a coworker to trust you, especially if you’re younger and don’t have as much experience?”
That question came from a high schooler attending a leadership panel I facilitated last week. It was a great question and great awareness for an emerging leader. And I’m not sure I provided the answer she wanted. I told her there’s no one thing you can say to anyone in a single conversation to get them to trust you. It’s true for the athletes I cover and the colleagues I work with.
It takes showing up consistently and multiple interactions to develop trust. Those interactions don’t have to be lengthy. It can be a short exchange in passing, which is why small talk is so important and why should be using these sports #ConvoStarters this week.
It’s officially the Christmas season and I’m finally on board with Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas shopping and my Christmas pajamas. It’s only a matter of time before I watch Christmas Vacation (again and again.)
Until I brush up on those one-liners I’ll rely on sports as my go-to small talk conversation starters.
And you should too.
Sports is always in season and a way to connect with millions of sports fans.
Happy Thanksgiving Week!
You know I'm a big advocate of small talk, face-to-face conversations and building relationships through daily interactions.
HOWEVER... If you'd like to minimize or altogether avoid talking to some of your family members this week. I get it. You might want to take a look at this list on how to be part of family gatherings without talking before Aunt Trudy shows up with her jello salad.
Of course there's plenty of sports to talk about this week and big football games on the horizon. Take a look at this list use the topics with family and friends this week.