You’ve made enormous progress improving your listening skills (because of course you read my previous blog post). But no matter how good a listener you’ve become, there are times when you will confront one of those long-winded people – in a meeting, a networking group, or a social situation – who simply will not stop talking.
So what can you do to short-circuit them?
Here are Jim Charette’s six clever ways to remedy a boring speaker:
- Take your cell phone out of your purse or pocket, pretend it was on vibrate, stare at it momentarily, then excuse yourself saying, “Sorry, but I must take this.”
- If you’re standing or sitting with a group, ask a question of someone else.
- Introduce the conversation hog to someone else.
- When the bore comes up for air, try saying, “That’s great” and move the conversation along.
- Try changing the subject by saying, “That’s really interesting, and it reminds me of …”
- If all else fails, make eye contact with the person speaking and put your index finger to your lips while saying that it’s (name the quietest person in the group) turn to speak.
Bonus: In a business situation, one tactic that works really well is saying, “So let me summarize where I think we are and what we should do.”
If all else fails, sometimes it’s best to just bolt for the restroom.