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Over Talkers

What Is Over Talking? Stopping The Over Talker
Help For The Over Talker Telling Them of The Problem

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Stopping The Over Talker
Getting Off The Phone
In Person
Teaching/Training/People In Groups

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What Is Over Talking?
For the most part, over talking has little to do with how much you're
saying.  Rather it's more about being unfair with the other person's time.

We've all talked with a close friend for hours and lost track of the time. 
Time didn't matter to us because we were equally free to respond, change the subject or just get off the phone. And so our conversation flowed and no one was hurt or angry.

But even one minute with an over talker can seem like an eternity.  The reason is because
we're very conscious of our time whenever
the conversation is one sided, or whenever we feel our needs or opinions are being ignored.  So if the conversation has no give and take, you can bet there's over talking.

The Signs of a Good Conversation
A good conversation has give and take.  It involves both people talking, both
people listening and both people responding.  Everyone feels included.  And everyone
can get a word in, or change the subject, or even choose to end the conversation.  For any reason.   

Both sides get something out of it.  And because there's mutual respect, the conversation can
last for hours. No one leaves upset and no one feels violated. 

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Help For The Over Talker

Do You Talk Too Much?



    • Get so lost in your own point that you ignore the signs of your listener losing interest.
    • Try all at once to spill out whatever is on your mind-Remember the 30 second rule.
    • Devote most of your mental energies on what you will say next (LISTEN!).
    • Interrupt.
    • Find excuses to stay on the phone when the other person wants to go.
    • Demand to know why the other person must get off the phone. (They'll dread
      ever talking to you again).

What Good Listeners Do

How To Avoid Over Talking At Job Interviews
Be Clear and Concise. Be honest and succinct with your responses. Tell the truth in as positive a manner as possible, and don't discuss things or events in a negative fashion. Long answers are less effective than concise responses and tend to make interviewers suspicious. Stay on topic and avoid tangents.  If you are talking more than 90 seconds without interaction with the interviewer, you may be giving them more detail than they want. If you feel you may be talking too long, just stop and ask the interviewer a question like, “Am I giving you the level of detail you're looking for?” This prompts a response and promotes an open exchange of information. Besides, if you're putting the interviewer to sleep with your long-winded answers, asking a question will wake them up.
For More See

Help For Those Who Talk Too Much and

Become A Better Listener

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Getting Off The Phone (For More See About.Com)

Don't Think You Can Just Multi-Task While They Ramble On.
Multi-tasking is sometimes unavoidable and certainly a little is OK.  But the studies show no one really multitasks well.  And when you're not really listening, it's a disservice to both you and your caller.  So why enable them with a bad habit and then resent them for taking up your time?  Instead, here's how you can free yourself from unwanted conversations and give your caller the respect they deserve.


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Talking In Person

For Strangers Co-Workers & Acquaintances

How Can I Tell My Friend She Talks Too Loud?
Say to Her: "I'm interested in what you're saying. But I start to blank out when you talk so loud. If I need you to talk lower, is there a way I can tell you so without hurting your feelings?" Most people will say just tell them so, or that you can give them a hand signal if they need to turn down the volume. Either way, you've set the ground rules so it will be easier next time.


Your friend probably doesn’t realize she is on over-volume. Say to her in a very nice way “I’m so sorry, but you probably don’t realize your voice is carrying over loudly.” Then just smile, and continue the conversation in a volume that is acceptable. You might even prevent embarrassment that would be caused if a third party said something. (this excerpt is from Protocol & Business Etiquette.)

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Teaching/Training/People In Groups

Try these tips to discourage over-talkers and encourage others to participate.

Also, if a participant is taking over by talking too long, too much, feel free to interrupt between thoughts, and clearly say "We need to move on, so everyone gets an opportunity to express their concerns in the time allowed."

Dealing With Difficult People (Links & Articles)
Mostly on teaching or training or doing seminars.
Also has good general tips.

Over Talkers In A Group Or Training Session (See Talking it Out-Last Paragraph)
An overly talkative person can ruin an entire meeting or training class. Use the following strategies to create an atmosphere in which everyone can participate.

Difficult Audiences
Responding to the Dominator, Eager Beaver, Expert, Rambler and Complainer.
The 3D Strategy: Depersonalize, Detach, and Defuse.

Kind Ways To Diffuse or Manage Difficult People (See P34)

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Telling Them Of The Problem

Be good rather than nice. If there's a problem, your friends and family deserve to know.

Keeping silent will hurt both of you because over talking is the type of problem that only gets worse unless something is done about it. Usually, the over talker is completely oblivious to the harm he's causing. So they will unknowingly cross over your boundaries, again and again. Your anxiety will mount, and sooner or later you will punish them for it. Whether this means by avoiding them or just by smoldering inside, you will resent them, and they will feel betrayed.

Friends should be told gently that they're talking too much. For example you may say,"Look, I’ve spent too much time on the phone and I’m getting off.  We’ll talk later."  Then, as soon as you can, follow up with an email or explain the problem in person.

For example: “John, I like talking to you but sometimes I fear we never get off the phone. I want the freedom to say I have to go now. I also want to know my wishes will be respected.  Yesterday I said I had to go three times. But for some reason you kept talking. What should I do next time?"

Or, "Sue, when we talk, I feel sometimes like I'm just a prop. Yesterday I couldn't get a word in edgewise and I felt very left out. Almost like my thoughts didn't matter to you. I know you don't feel that way, but I want to be included too. I also want to know I can end a conversation without hurting your feelings or being asked to explain why. If this happens again, what should I do?"

For Coworkers and Acquaintances

If you know someone who rambles, don't assume they know it themselves. Sadly, even if they do know, they probably don't know how to stop, or they would have already. You can help. Approach them respectfully and non-judgmentally and try to say something as close as possible to the following: "Sometimes when you talk for more than a minute or two without stopping, I feel frustrated. I need more focus." [Or, "I need to move along faster."] "Can you try to talk for only a minute or so at a time, then ask me what I want to hear about before you go on?" If you don't have their attention yet, ask them how important it is to them, and to their organization, that they be clearly understood. When you think you have their attention, discuss the one minute tool with them.

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