Posted on: August 6th, 2010 by Jen Mueller

I call myself an expert talker, and while my family and friends will back me on the title, I couldn’t be an expert talker without also being an expert listener.  I get plenty of opportunities to do both working as a sports reporter in Seattle.  Take this example for instance from Seahawks Training Camp this week.  

Post-practice interviews are somewhat a free-for-all during camp. There’s a rush of guys coming off the field at the same time, dozens of media members trying to catch up with a handful of players, and questions flying everywhere.  To get the most out the interview time, it’s best to bounce between players.  Often I end up picking up an interview midway through and end up just listening.  I feel it’s better to rely on the expertise of those around me, like media members who have covered the team for 20 plus years and the players and coaches themselves.  My role during those interviews is to listen, take notes and learn. 

Participation is a key principle of Talk Sporty to Me.  You choose the way you want to participate.  You can either talk and ask questions or actively listen to the conversation.  Here’s another example from a sports talk show host and ESPN analyst in the Seattle area.  I’d like to thank former Seahawk Ray Roberts for sending along this story about Brock Huard.  Ray is a regular guest on the Brock and Salk show on 710am ESPN radio in Seattle.

I’m at the Senior Open and we have already completed one segment of the show. One of the volunteers walks up and starts talking to Brock.  Brock starts asking him about volunteering. The gentleman informs Brock there are 3,000 volunteers working the event and that they actually pay $125 to volunteer but all the proceeds go to charity.

 I finish my hour and head home.  While I’m in the car I turn on the radio and hear this exchange.

 Brock: So Mike Salk, it takes a lot of passionate people to put on an event like this.

Salk: Absolutley. I can’t imagine how many. (Mike has no idea that Brock just had this conversation)

Brock: Did you know that there are 3000 volunteers and they all pay $125 all of which goes to charity. You talk about passion. They pay to work and the only perks they get are free food, parking and an occasional run in with a golfer. Now that’s passion. I take my hat off to all 3000 of those volunteers.

 Brock couldn’t have spoken like an expert without first taking time to actively listen and participate in the conversation with the volunteer.   This is a great example and success story of how you can take a little piece of information and turn it into a conversation.

Want to know more?  Check out the Talk Sporty to Me Happy Hour August 26th at The Hawks Nest Bar and Grill.  This one’s a freebie so you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot of great conversations to gain.