Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Talking sports is my job. I love looking at the matchups, stats and storylines. I also love how often sports intersects and corresponds to business situations and conversations.
Sports always goes beyond sports if you’re Thinking Outside the Box Scores, which also happens to be the title of my new video series on YouTube. Every week I’ll post a short video that draws a correlation between sports and business.
For example, that project debrief you’re tempted to skip… that’s like a team not going back and looking at film of their game. You can see that video here and while you’re there go ahead and subscribe to my channel (there’s some fun stuff coming up!) And of course make sure you’re using topics like these to spark small talk this week.
I often mention that more than half of all Americans identify as sports fans. The World Cup helps highlight the magnitude of sports on a global scale because more than 5 billion people are expected to watch the tournament. That means more than half of the global population will be watching. (Insert mind blown emoji here.) Here's a great summary of the talking points around the World Cup.
If we’re being honest, I probably won’t be one of the billions of fans watching World Cup games, but I will follow headlines and highlights so I can talk with people who did. It’s part of using sports to connect with others. Even a passing interest can spark interesting conversations. So can these sports conversation starters.
Travel. See the world. Use sports to connect.
Okay, I’ll admit I’m a little biased and still riding the high of being in Germany with the Seahawks. I have missed overseas travel immensely the last couple years. During the few days I spent in Germany I did my best to soak up the culture before working a football game Sunday.
Sports was the connection point. Every Uber driver knew there was a big game in town. Every server knew there were football fans around. The buzz sports created gave me a chance to connect. I learned about national sports from four different countries and answered questions about American football. It was amazing to find similarities with people in another part of the world.
It was also a reminder that we are all connected. Through sports. Through life. Through struggles. When I connect with people I see life in different ways. I see similarities instead of differences and I see a clearer path for better communication and stronger...
I’ve spent a lot of time texting with family members the last couple days about the World Series and the Houston Astros. I grew up in Houston. We went to games as a family. My brother and I frequently text about baseball during the season and now my niece and nephew are fans.
For me baseball isn’t just part of my job as a broadcaster it’s something that connects me to my family. That’s the power of sports. It’s the connections and the memories.
Give a sports fan to share some of those this week by using these conversation starters.
No tricks only treats for sports fans Monday because it’s the second Sports Equinox of the month. That means all four major sports leagues are in action on the same day.
The World Series continues in Philadelphia, Monday Night Football takes place in Cleveland and there’s a slate of regular season NBA and NHL games.
All of this means you don’t have to go far to find a sports conversation. Heck, you could even use the Sports Equinox as a starting point. It’s just the 28th occurrence ever. We saw the previous occurrence October 20th and here’s a fun fact, the first Sports Equinox occurred in 1971.
If you’d prefer to talk more about the actual games there’s a full list below.
Compared to any other time of the year this is the busiest stretch of sports, with the most variety of sports being played. That means it’s not hard to find a sports headline or encounter fans talking about their favorite sport from football to soccer, hockey, basketball and baseball - they’re all in action now.
You don’t have to be up to speed on all the headlines. Fans will be happy to tell you what’s on their mind if you give them the opportunity to engage in the conversation. These conversation starters could help you get the ball rolling.
I had predetermined how the conversation was going to go, and I didn’t do a good job of listening or asking questions.
It’s happened a few times during the busyness of the last couple weeks. I’m not proud of it, and when it happens in small talk it’s not polite but the bigger issue is when it happens in bigger conversations. Over the weekend I caused unnecessary tension and an argument because I didn’t do a good job of listening or asking clarifying questions. I know better. I know how to communicate effectively and even I need a reminder and re-set in doing it.
Small talk is a great place to practice. It doesn’t require a large expenditure of time and training yourself to be a better listener can save you time in the future.
Use these topics to practice in small talk this week.
Drama comes in many forms and sports has just about every kind you can think of. Unpredictable finishes, unlikely outcomes, tension between teammates, and even personal drama that makes it into the tabloids.
It's why fans talk about sports as being the best reality show on TV. I happen to agree.
If you're not interested in talking about the game itself you can talk about the drama around the team. It all counts as sports talk and it's just another way to connect with the people you encounter every week. Here are a few topics that work this week.
After watching the Seattle Mariners clinch a playoff spot for the first time in 21 years, I was reminded of how much sports means to fans. Sure they celebrate wins, but they're also creating memories that span generations.
Don't overlook the value of a little bit of sports talk this week or what these conversation starters can do for you.
Following results of every single game can be time consuming… and depending on the team you follow – tedious.
If you’re not the type of person who enjoys tracking daily or weekly results, you might appreciate lifetime achievements. Heck, who couldn’t appreciate career accomplishments that reflect a lifetime of hard work?
This is another example of how sports conversations can springboard to other business topics. You can use popular sports topic to start a conversation and then transition to something else, like the accomplishment you’re most proud of in Q3. (And if you think you shouldn’t, can’t or won’t talk about your personal accomplishments… keep an eye out for a blog on that this week.)
There are a couple career accomplishments in this week’s list of conversation starters plus a few other topics to talk about this week.