“I just don’t have anything to contribute.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
These are the two most comments I hear most often when it comes to business professionals who don’t know how to handle sports conversations at work.
As a result, there’s a temptation to ignore the conversations altogether, but before you do, understand there’s more going on that just the sports talk. Those conversations are actually a great way to build rapport with colleagues, and give you an opportunity to get to know the people you’re working with. In addition, the sports part of the conversation only lasts a relatively short amount of time. The conversation will eventually turn to work and you want to be there when it does so that you’re not left out of potentially important conversations.
So how do you take part and contribute in sports conversations if you’re not a huge fan?
Read this blog and get the cliff notes version of several hot topics being discussed among fans this week. The short summary provides tidbits of information you can drop in conversation and the questions are designed to spark conversation so use them to get the ball rolling. If you want even more help, make sure you check out the resources on the website.
MLB – The Giants win the World Series! And they did it in dramatic fashion. San Francisco swept the Detroit Tigers winning the Series in 4-straight games. It’s even more impressive when you consider the Giants were a game away from being eliminated in the previous series and had to win 3 straight games just to get to the World Series. The Tigers bullpen struggled throughout the Series and their offense couldn’t get anything going.
- How much to do you think the long rest for the Tigers played into their lack of momentum against the Giants?
- Pablo Sandoval hit 3 home runs in Game 1 of the Series and was named World Series MVP. But who else was deserving of the award for the Giants?
NFL – The question gaining traction on the big sports giant Monday morning is this “Which quarterback deserves to be benched more, New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez or Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick. It’s sparked a lot of debate because of the struggles of both of those teams and the fact that those QB’s have been on the hot seat plenty of times in their career.
- Do you think it’s time to bench either one of them? How do you change the momentum of a struggling team?
- The Atlanta Falcons remain unbeaten at 7-0 after a win against Philadelphia. How much longer can their unbeaten streak continue?
College Football – Notre Dame jumped two spots in the BCS standings to #3 after beating Oklahoma to remain unbeaten this season. Notre Dame has played one of the toughest schedules in the country and still faces its share of critics who can’t believe the Irish are for real. Quarterback Everett Golson is coming off his best game of the season and linebacker Manti Te’o is one of the best defensive players in the country.
- The big question for college football fans, is Notre Dame for real?
- Kansas State moved up to #2 in the BCS rankings (the poll that determines which teams will play for the National Title) and Oregon dropped a spot despite the fact they score a ridiculous amount of points. Do you agree with Oregon’s drop in the BCS rankings?
NBA – The season starts Tuesday, but the Oklahoma City Thunder made news over the weekend when they traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets. Harden is considered one of the best 6th men in the league (That’s the first player to come off the bench.)
- How will this impact the Thunder’s chances of repeating as Western Conference Champs?
The Lakers might be without Kobe Bryant when they open the season Tuesday against Dallas. He hurt his foot a week ago and hasn’t practiced in a week. Meanwhile fans are looking forward to seeing Dwight Howard in a Lakers uniform to start the season. He was part of a blockbuster trade during the off-season.
- What do you think the injury to Kobe means to the Lakers? Which team will you be rooting for this season?
NASCAR – A win from Jimmy Johnson at Martinsville over the weekend erased Brad Keselowski’s Sprint Cup lead and gave Johnson a two-point lead in the standings. The Sprint Cup is NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. There are 3 races remaining in the season. It looks like it will be a fight to the finish between Keselowski and Johnson.
- Who do you think will win?
- Johnson is a five-time Sprint Cup champion winner. Do you think that will give him an advantage down the stretch?
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work. Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join in, sound intelligent, and understand how to leverage sports conversation in business. Her conversation strategy comes from her 12 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. Jen is available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com