Posted on: October 21st, 2011 by Jen Mueller

Read the sports headlines.

It’s the number one tip I give people looking to beef up their sports knowledge or engage in a sports conversation.  The headline provides the basic gist of the story and more than enough useful information.  Here’s why that’s important.  When you have information to offer, you become more valuable.


This concept applies to business meetings, but also the small talk that precedes business meetings.  Making conversation is a lost art for some.  It can be awkward, unproductive and uncomfortable.  If you can provide a solution, you become more valuable because no one wants to stand in uncomfortable, awkward silence.


I usually sort through the newspaper, grab the sports page, scan the headlines and take it with me to read later.  Just yesterday, I was rushing to get to a Board of Directors meeting for the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue, and happened to run across a headline that read:

  “Mora will Call Hawks game in Cleveland.” 

That was followed by a sub-headline that read:  “Broadcast Booth: Jim Mora is the analyst for the Hawks-Browns game, a bridge between two eras.


As someone who’s followed the Seahawks for a number of years, this means something to me.  It became particularly relevant when I walked into the meeting and Jim Mora was there. He was standing with a couple other board members and I was able to assist in the conversation by commenting on his upcoming travels to Cleveland.   A few of the others, hadn’t read the headlines so this was new information to them, which made me valuable in two ways: providing new information and a conversation topic.


Similar scenarios play out in boardrooms and workplaces around the world every day. Take the time to scan the headlines to increase your value, leverage and, ultimately, your opportunities at work.


CEO Talk Sporty to Me, Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is the Founder and CEO of Talk Sporty to Me, as well as a 12 year sports broadcasting veteran. Jen is committed to helping business professionals engage in more effective communication and reap the rewards of productive conversations.  She’s available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact for more information and read more at