Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
You already know I think of sports conversations as a way to connect. I also think of them as a way to practice skills I know I need in other areas of my life.
If you're looking for ways to shine in big moments you should be finding ways to practice in small ones.
Accepting change or leaning into change is something I could always do better. And you know what? I've done that in the last couple weeks and if you're a baseball fan so have you! Almost 3 weeks into the season you've not only heard about the new rules across the major leagues you're probably already used to them. That's change management. That's accepting and leaning into change. Gold star for you!
If you're not quite there, this reminder from the Spring Training for Your Career series could help.
As for this week's conversation starters, there's no need to change a good thing. Here's the list you can use to get the ball rolling in small talk.
Golf is not a sport I watch with a lot of intensity, but I'll often watch the end of a tournament and the fanfare of the final few holes. Which got me thinking outside the box scores about how to approach a finish line, whether it's a golf tournament, sporting event or a project at work.
If you're not a sports fan, "running out the clock" is something a football team could do. A team that has the lead, the ball and very little time on the clock might do the bear minimum (almost like going through the motions) until the clock ticks down to zero. There's no reason to give extra effort. There's no reason to run an extra play. The game has already been decided and both teams are just waiting until they can leave the field.
It doesn't work that way in golf. The outcome might have been decided on Hole 16 or 17 but the round is still 18 holes. The winner, and everyone else for that matter, has to play out the round, and there is incentive and pressure to finish strong.
After 20 minutes of responding to fans on Twitter I gave up. There was no point. I’m not a huge fan of engaging in “conversations” on Twitter to begin with and when the interactions involve frustrated fans it’s usually an exercise in futility because I can’t actually gauge the reaction.
Words on a screen don’t mean nearly as much as talking to someone in person.
Maybe that’s a personal preference, but there is definitely something lost in translation between typing a response and hearing a response in person. This is your encouragement to stop reading between the lines and start having in-person conversations. These sports conversations starters can help with small talk this week.
Women watch sports. Women play sports. Women are sports fans.
Typically, I use this space to give subtle reminders about ways to be strategic with small talk and sports conversations. Today it’s a straight up, ALL CAPS, reminder –WOMEN ARE SPORTS FANS.
I have worked in sports 22 years, and yet, I still encounter people who are surprised to discover there are women who passionately follow sports, not to mention work in sports.
So, allow me to offer these reminders…
And with that, I’ll step off my soap box and allow you to continue.
Opening Day and the start of every sports season brings unrivaled optimism that "This could be the year..."
The promise of Spring Training, the hype around new players, and a win-loss record that hasn't yet reflected the actual talent on a team, gives fans hope. Even if there is misguided optimism and unrealistic expectations (most) fans enjoy the feeling that anything is possible for the season.
As a fan you've probably rolled your eyes a few times at friends who insisted their team had a legit chance to win the championship as a long shot. You might have even argued the finer points of expected wins, off-season moves and games lost to injury. But you can't deny the optimism that exists at the start of every season, when each team starts with a clean slate and anything seems possible.
Let me ask you this... when was the last time you felt the same about your career or your business?
We laugh, roll our eyes and dismiss the enthusiasm of fans, but we should...
Every conversation has the opportunity to be productive... if you're strategic and intentional. When you go into a conversation with a plan you're more likely to meet your objective.
This weekly list of sports conversation starters isn't just to help keep you in the loop, it helps me plan for conversations and think through the types of small talk I know I'll encounter. It's not about how much sports you've watched (which for me this weekend was zero because I spent time with my grandparents) it's about the connections you're willing to make in a conversation.
I didn’t think it was a big deal and quite honestly I wasn’t sure why anyone else did either.
Being part of a TV broadcast is nothing new for me and something that happens every single day during the baseball season. Being part of an all-female broadcast team during Spring Training this season was a new experience.
Heading into the broadcast I was most excited to work alongside very talented women I call friends. At dinner the night before the game I expressed my dismay that people were making a big deal out of it. After all, I pointed out, we go to work every day and do the same thing we’ll be doing tomorrow. It shouldn’t be a big deal that we’re on a broadcast together. Except it was. And here’s what drove that point home the day of the game – every single voice I heard, both on the air and behind the scenes, was female.
Here's why that was so significant, in college I was told that men don’t want to hear women...
I got it wrong, but so did everyone else. It’s kind of the beauty around the men’s NCAA Tournament this year. Everyone is in the same boat. No one has a perfect bracket, at least not among the more than 20 million submitted in major online games.
I would give mad props to anyone who correctly predicted all the upsets in the first two rounds, but sports small talk isn’t about being right. It’s about connecting.
Sports gives you an avenue to do that win or lose. You can use these Sports Conversation Starters to get the ball rolling this week.
It will go down as one of the wildest weekends in Men's NCAA Tournament history.
For the second time ever a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed (which busted plenty of brackets) but that's not all. There were upsets throughout the bracket and by Friday night, two days into the tournament, zero perfect brackets remained out of more than 20 million submitted in major online games. Zero.
That means there's a lot of folks talking about upsets, Cinderella's, busted brackets and NCAA Tournament games. Which gives you a lot of chances to connect because Misery Loves Company.
Sports conversations don't have to focus on game outcomes. In fact, in a business setting I think of sports as a way to find common ground in building relationships. I don't care about the scores nearly as much as I care about making a connection.
If you're new to sports talk it can feel overwhelming to jump into conversations with sports fans. The Talk Sporty 101 series offers strategies to...
March Madness gives you an advantage in small talk and relationship building for the next three weeks.
Spring Training can be a reminder about getting the right folks on your team and in your corner.
Sports is more than stats and scores… if you allow it to be. With that in mind here are sports topics worth using in small talk this week