Posted on: July 2nd, 2010 by Jen Mueller

The answer to that question screamed in my brain last night as I was driving home after spending 2 hours at a networking event.

  1. Most people don’t know how to carry on a conversation.
  2. Many of the conversations were awkward, and at times offensive.

To be fair, I met several great people with great communication skills, but I was shocked at the number of people who missed the boat when it came to networking.  The key to that event was creating a relationship in a short amount of time.  That’s what leads to opportunities.  You’ve got about 5-7 minutes to make your pitch and make a good impression.  That’s not much time unless you’ve got a hook, like sports.

Take this example for instance.  I talked to Bob, a gentleman who has been interviewing for jobs in the area. Just recently he sent a round of follow-up emails, but didn’t mention a thing about the job posting.  Instead, Bob remembered that each of the recruiters he’d interviewed with had a connection to a Pac-10 school.  The follow up email simply asked “What do you think about the failed expansion to 16 teams?”  The response rate – 100%.  Not only did each person answer the question about the Pac-10, but each asked about Bob’s job search and offered an update on the position for which he was a candidate.

That’s pretty impressive work on Bob’s part.  It’s also one of the most compelling reasons for Talk Sporty to Me.

I talked to another gentleman who took a different, less effective approach. We’ll call him Joe.  Joe loudly informed a group of people he was a former collegiate athlete from Florida.  For that reason, he didn’t talk local sports.  In his opinion, Northwest teams rated so poorly in his mind that they weren’t worth talking about.  I walked away offended.  He took every opportunity to downplay the athletes I work with every day.  Joe didn’t even get a chance to hand out his card because so many people were put off by his attitude.

There you have it, the good and the bad and the real reason you need Talk Sporty to Me.

Don’t know where to start?  Try reading a headline.  Or pick an hot topic you heard while flipping through the TV channels.  All you need is a conversation starter. Check the website for more ideas and stay posted as to how you can inspire conversations and confidence through sports.