7 TIPS FOR MANAGING A TALKER

 

1.   Wait for them to pause.  Sometimes a person who's inclined to be overly talkative in meetings isn't aware of what they're doing--or maybe they're nervous.  If they stop to take a breath you can quickly jump in.  Thank them for their input, summarize one or two points they've made, and say "let's move on and hear from someone else".

2.  Be more direct.  Set ground rules at the start of the meeting.  "Let's get one idea from each person so that everyone gets a chance to talk".  Get everyone to write down a couple of ideas on paper.  Then go around the table and ask for one idea at a time from each person.

3.  Interrupt them.  When they keep talking, stop them. You don't want to be too abrupt or bossy.  "I don't mean to interrupt you", or "Sorry to cut you off.  Let's keep moving around the table so we hear what other people think".

4. Ask someone else for their opinion"We've heard some good points from Bill. Thanks Bill.  Now we'd like to hear from someone else.  How about you, Beth?  What do you think?"

5. Re-direct the group's attention.  "We've heard a lot of good ideas from this side of the table.  Now let's move to the other side.  Any ideas from the other side of the table?"

6.  Use body language.  Hold up your hand while you say "I've got to stop you there, BIll.  We want to let some other folks get a chance to add their ideas.  Thanks."

7. Speak to the talkative person in private.  During a break ask to speak with them alone.  "I wanted a minute to talk to you , Bill.  I'm not sure if you've noticed that you're doing a lot of the talking.  You've got some good ideas. But I want to give everyone a chance to contribute.  How does that sound?" 

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