Posted on: April 16th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

Jen Mueller America's Expert TalkerYou have something to say.

You know this and I know this.  Do the people around you know?

It’s important to your success that you speak up and make your opinions, ideas and, at times, concerns known.  If you don’t speak up, you forfeit a lot of choices that will impact your future success.  It can be difficult to just start a conversation and let someone know what’s on your mind, especially if you don’t feel comfortable around your coworkers.  Being able to get the ball rolling in a non-threatening way is a great way to have a conversation, build rapport and open the door for you to express yourself.

If you’re looking for a way to start the conversation this week, try the sports topics listed below.  You don’t have to spend much time talking about them, but it’s a great way to break the ice.

MLB – We’re just a week into the regular season baseball schedule and there’s trouble brewing in Boston.  New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine appeared to call out a veteran player by saying that Kevin Youkillis wasn’t as committed to the game.  Valentine apologized, saying the comments were taken the wrong way.

  • Is this something that should be handled with the team and not made public in the media?
  • There was a backlash from the rest of the players in the way Valentine handled the situation, is he already at risk of losing the clubhouse?

NBA – LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant has missed 5 straight games with a bruised shin.  Kobe says he’ll definitely return for the playoffs.  In Kobe’s absence, Andrew Bynum has put up better numbers.

  • How does Kobe’s injury impact the team as it tries to lock up a playoff spot?
  • Kobe is averaging more than 28 points a game and could end up winning his third NBA scoring title, but Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is gaining ground in the race.  Who wins?

NFL – There’s lots of talk about the NFL draft which takes place the last weekend of April.  We’ll look into that more next week, but for this week – Tim Tebow made headlines for being at a baseball game and doing nothing at all.  It was the fan reaction that made it news.  He was booed by fans in New York, which could signal trouble since he was recently traded to the NY Jets.

  • Why do things like this make news when it doesn’t seem to be a news story?
  • How do you think Tebow will handle being in New York?

NHL – The Stanley Cup playoffs are underway and we mentioned last week that #1 seeds have had trouble advancing.   The Vancouver Canucks are finding that out first hand.  The Canucks nearly won the Stanley Cup last year and now they’re on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.

  • Can Vancouver come back from a 3-0 playoff deficit against Los Angeles?
  • Which team looks the strongest in the first round?


Talk Sporty to Me, America's Expert TalkerJen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work.  She’s also helping them climb the corporate ladder through her program “What Do I Say?” Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join the conversations, sound intelligent, and understand how their communication skills can make ’em or break ’em 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 for more information and read more at