It’s time for me to unplug for a couple weeks and get recharged for a busy second half of the baseball season, the start of football and fall speaking engagements.
I’m going to step away from the website for a couple weeks, but don’t want to leave you hanging.
Here are a few of the top sporting events taking place in the coming weeks. Think of this as your game plan for July.
- The World Cup ends July 13
- The MLB All-Star Game is July 15
- The British Open Starts July 17
- The Tour de France continues through July 26
- NFL Training Camps open the week of July 21
So What Do you Do?
- Stay relevant by talking about a sporting event that is actually in the news. I’d wait a couple weeks before bringing up the start of NFL Training Camps unless you know the person you’re talking to only follows football.
- Be a casual fan. Every event listed, outside of NFL Training Camps (which marks the start of a season), is stand-alone event. They’re “one-offs” for many sports fans. The British Open is one of golf’s four Majors. Many fans pay closer attention to the Majors without following weekly competition. This makes it easier to follow headlines for a couple days around each event. No need to learn much outside of a couple of names.
- Read headlines. Speaking of headlines, that’s where you’ll get a lot of information. Pick up a sports page from time to time and just read the boldface copy. You can do the same thing online and keep track of which events are making headlines.
- Know what you know. If you look at the sports page in the next couple weeks and only remember a picture of golfer that’s okay. You don’t have to know everything that happened, but you need to position yourself accordingly in the conversation. For example, “Glanced at the sports page this morning and saw that golf was front and center. Didn’t have time to read the article. What’s the latest with the British Open?” You don’t have to make any excuses for why you didn’t read it or explain that you don’t follow golf. This quick conversation will help you engage with a sports fan that can fill in the blanks and keep the conversation rolling.
- Remember your purpose. Talking sports in business is a way to connect with others, build relationships and improve communication. This is very different than talking sports at a tailgate or sports bar. Sports conversations at work don’t need to be long or heavy on the stats or other details. Look for connection points outside of the game itself and follow-up opportunities to continue the interaction at a later date.
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is the sideline reporter for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks. She also works on the television broadcasts for the Seattle Mariners. Jen is the author of Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business.. Her step-by-step process makes sports accessible and practical for relationship building in business. The book is available through Amazon.