Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
“What’s your favorite season?”
Today I’m borrowing a little inspiration from a scene in Schitt’s Creek.
Of course, Moira Rose answered the question with “Awards Season.” My answer would have something to do with my favorite sports season.
I’ll admit it’s a more interesting conversation starter than I initially thought when I laughed out loud at the scene. There are two things here: If you’re not specific with your small talk question you will potentially get a random answer and sometimes you need to think outside the box to spark a conversation.
With that in mind, here are a few sports topics you can use in striking up small talk conversations this week.
Lazy summer days are for lounging and breaking out of your normal routine. Don’t stray so far from your conversations that you forget how to talk to people in person or start avoiding all small talk.
Make it a point to have small conversations throughout the week. You might be surprised at how much enjoyment it adds to your day and how easy it is when you’re prepared with sports conversations starters like these:
It’s the easiest sports(ish) conversation starter of the year: How many hot dogs could you eat?
In case you’ve forgotten (and how could you?) July 4th is the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Competitors have 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs and buns as they can. Joey Chestnut is the world’s No.1- ranked eater. He topped his own record last year by consuming 76 hot dogs and buns. Miki Sudo is the top-ranked female eater in the world and set the women’s record of 48.5 hot dogs and buns in 2020.
Probably more than you’d like to know about competitive eating, but it can be a fun conversation starter with family and friends of all ages. Especially if you throw in questions like these:
Have some fun debates during your holiday...
Welcome to sports conversation starters designed to meet you where you’re at with your schedule, knowledge base, comfort level and interest level this week.
Sporting events don’t always fit into busy schedules. If you’ve only got time for the highlights and high level talking points this list is for you.
Each week I pick a handful of topics I’m confident will get the most coverage so you’ll be growing your sports knowledge base and getting useful nuggets for small talk. So dive in, take a chance and Talk Sporty this week.
Summer is here (although it doesn't feel like it in the Pacific Northwest!) and you're probably busy relaxing.
It's unlikely you're wasting gorgeous summer days in front of your TV, but there's a good chance you're out and about talking to people. If you need something to generate conversation or introduce a new topic (because you really don't need to see vacation photos from anyone else) here are a few sports topics making news this week.
It’s much harder than I expected. I never thought I would feel so tired after talking to people in person every day. I talk for a living for crying out loud! It turns out I’m not the only person in my sports media sphere who feels that way. I had a conversation with a colleague recently who noted how unusually tired he is after small talk in baseball clubhouses.
Small talk is a part of our job. We talk about more than sports with athletes. It’s how we build relationships and get to know people. That’s actually the purpose of small talk. When you approach small talk with intention it’s very beneficial. And here’s what I want you think about – what are you bringing to the conversation?
This is one of the things my colleague and I talked about, the feeling that conversations require more effort now than before the pandemic. We feel pressure to draw out the stories, tidbits and conversations that further the relationship. And we also...
Sometimes it’s not what you say that makes the most impact, it’s what you do.
Take San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler for example. His frustration over the school shooting in Texas last week and the number of shootings in the United States has led him to skip the National Anthem and stay in the clubhouse when it’s played before baseball games. You can read about how other managers around baseball are responding here.
It’s easy to “stick to sports” when talking about weekly conversation starters that could be helpful in small talk. There’s a reason I typically avoid highlighting sports topics that are controversial or emotionally charged – that’s not usually a productive approach to small talk.
But this week I want remind you that sports is more than stats and scores because games are played by human beings with feelings.
You don’t have to agree with Kapler’s response. You don’t have to watch baseball...
How’s this for a conversation starter: “Can I tell you something that will make your day?”
A colleague actually used that to start a conversation with me a couple weeks ago. That’s a heck of lead-in! If you’re ever in a position to say that, I would highly recommend it. It’s one example of a thoughtful and intentional start to small talk, but you can be intentional with all kinds of conversation starters when you plan for small talk.
Don’t let small talk catch you off guard this week. You know there will be opportunities. Prepare ahead of time and consider using these sports topics as your conversation starters this week.
The NFL Draft dominated headlines during the weekend. Most of what you heard was stats driven. “Experts” using athletes’ career numbers to project how they’ll fit in and impact their new teams.
As someone who spent part of the weekend covering the draft from Seahawks headquarters, it’s always the communication skills that stand out to me. Here’s what happens in the media room after a selection is made: we all look at the pre-draft write ups and career stats, then the player calls in and we get 10-15 minutes to ask questions.
It’s amazing how that first impression can lead to loving a selection or having doubts as to if they’ll be successful in Seattle.
In theory their college careers should be enough to convince the scouts, front office, media and everyone else they’ll be successful. But that’s not the way it works. The way they show up in a conversation is critical to the impression they make and how people...