Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
The conversation you need this week might not be the one you expect. In fact, it might be a conversation so small you almost overlook it or skip it altogether.
Small talk is the building block for relationships. It’s also why I say the conversation that changes your career or your life isn’t the one you think. It’s the not “big” conversation regarding a new job, raise or promotion it’s the one that started the relationship in the first place. It's the interaction that opened the door. The small talk you’re tempted to overlook.
Instead of skipping it use these sports topics to engage with others this week.
Interviews in Spring Training are the norm this time of year and essentially the questions I formulate are a set of conversation starters. It’s questions like:
Nearly every answer comes with a story and I’m frequently caught off guard by unexpected responses. While I never know what I’m going to get, it is my reminder to not make assumptions.
It’s the same reminder I’m going to offer you this week. Don’t assume women don’t like sports or that all men love sports. Don’t assume you can predict your colleagues’ answers. Don’t assume you understand where someone is coming from.
Keep an open mind and enjoy the twists and turns small talk can bring. These sports topics can help you get the conversation going.
Just a reminder, no one needs to talk as much as Tony Romo. Take a break. Be okay with a pause or even a little silence in conversations this week.
When you're ready to re-engage these sports topics make great talking points this week:
For years the first question people asked about my job as a sideline reporter was “What is it like in the locker room?”
Over the years that question has been supplanted by a new No. 1: “How do you know what to say?”
Here’s the short answer, I always go in with a game plan. I can’t be at a loss for words in my job. You don’t want to be at a loss for words in conversations because it creates awkward interactions and missed opportunities.
Each week I write the list of sports conversation starters with you in mind. They’re straightforward with a little context and nugget of information that you can add to a conversation. Which means you’ll know exactly what to say in small talk this week.
And just like every week there are a number of topics to choose from:
I totally play favorites when it comes to sports. If you’re a fan I guarantee you do too.
I don’t share the same affinity for every team, every sport or even every conversation starter.
I’m sure you have favorites too whether we’re talking about the Super Bowl matchup or this list of sports conversation starters. And here’s the most important part, it’s not about being right or wrong it’s about being proactive in the conversation and offering up a piece of information that creates a productive interaction.
There are plenty of sports headlines to talk about. This time of year I will always lean toward football because it really does create the most opportunities with the most amount of people, but any of these topics will work this week.
Sports fans once again made television history by watching Kansas City defeat Buffalo in the divisional playoff game.
More than 50 million people tuned into the game making it the most-watched divisional playoff game in NFL history and the first divisional playoff game to top 50 million viewers.
Kansas City won the game and advanced to the AFC Championship game for a sixth straight year, but two of the biggest storylines and talking points among fans had nothing to do with stats from the game.
Last week I read an article about journaling and loved the idea of this journal prompt: What story-worthy experience happened yesterday?
Essentially it’s a different way of asking, “Did you do anything interesting yesterday?”
As a journal prompt it’s a great question. As a conversation starter it’s probably a non-starter. So is every other weirdo, off the wall, out of left field question. Catching people off guard in small talk doesn’t lead to conversation. It leads to confusion and an awkward interaction.
Here’s what I recommend -ask a question you know they’ll have an immediate answer to. Something like “Did you watch the playoff games?” “Did you see who won the golf tournament?”
Even if the answer is “No” the follow up is much easier than trying to redirect a conversation that was sidetracked before it got started – especially if you brush up on these sports topics making news this...
I have seen and experienced all range of emotions in the last week as both a sports fan and someone who works in sports.
The passion I’ve seen is a great reminder as to why sports small talk can be a powerful way to connect. Fans care about sports. This isn’t the weather. It’s not just something to fill the time between getting off work and going to bed. Sports fans are invested. When you tap into that passion you’re not just talking about sports. You’re learning about what interests, drives and motivates the people around you and that’s critical for communication, leading and being productive at work.
Don’t overlook small talk as a way to connect especially when you use these sports topics this week.
Whether you created goals, resolutions or intentions for 2024 I’m willing to bet that meeting them and following through on them require communication skills. Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum and your talent and want-to are part of the equation, so are your communication skills.
So with that in mind use small talk to build the skills you need for bigger conversations. Be intentional with how you approach small talk and what you want to get out of interactions because all of it can help you reach your goals/resolutions/intentions this year.
These sports conversation starters can get the ball rolling this week.
Records were made to be broken and every streak comes to an end.
Last week was the first time in more than decade I didn’t post a version of conversation starters. It was somewhat of a last minute decision and an opportunity I’d been looking for.
I pride myself on consistency, but I wanted a little bit of a break and I wanted to alleviate the pressure of keeping a streak alive.
Here’s something to consider as we start the new year focused on new habits, goal-setting and creating new opportunities - the streaks you stop are just as important as the ones you start.
And here are few sports topics you can consider in small talk this week.