Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Busy, hectic, full... if all of these words could be used to describe your schedule these days, I get it.
I also understand that its easy to skip the small talk and just get down to work. Some days it's the best way to stay on track, but it's also worth remembering that you can have a complete conversation in less than a minute.
These sports conversation starters can help with short exchanges this week.
The NFL regular season is underway and if you need a default conversation topic from now until the Super Bowl on February 12, football is a safe bet. Just consider the TV ratings from last season. NFL games accounted for 75 of the top 100 most watched TV programs in 2021 and the Top 5 most-watched programs were NFL games.
Millions of fans tune in for weekly games. They might not like every outcome, but they generally enjoy talking (or venting) about what happened.
The popularity of the NFL and football in general is why it’s most-often at the top of our weekly Conversation Starters list. You don’t have to go far to find a good talking point but there’s plenty of other options this week too.
A few weeks ago I suggested using NFL training camps to start conversations so you could circle back around with those football fans at the beginning of the regular season. This week marks the beginning of the NFL regular season. Now is great opportunity to circle back around and ask questions like these.
There’s more than just football to talk about, take a look at these topics making news this week.
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.
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.
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.
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: