Is this you? To honestly answer this question requires self awareness, which many people lack. We all know that person, the one you meet in a business or personal setting who cannot stop themselves from dominating a conversation or room. At the end of the conversation they think it went well while you hope not to run into them again.
When that type of conversation is over, you know too much about them (most people like to talk about themselves). At the same time they didn’t let you speak enough to learn about you to have anything substantive to remember. They may not even remember your name
I recently revisited an article about annoying personalities you find on display at all networking events. That author had nicknames for various types of characters. It made me think of different types of people. The person I describe above can be referred to as the “Chatterbox.” The Chatterbox may be that way for a number of reasons such as (1) ego; (2) lack of self-awareness; or (3) social awkwardness. The reason doesn’t matter, but what you should do does: exit the conversation because it will provide no value for you. Positive conversations are shared experiences, not a one-sided monologue.
When meeting someone for the first time make sure you try to learn more about their background and their business versus what you speak about and share. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share about you and your business. If you focus on asking questions and learning about them, you will put yourself in a place to make a possible connection. There is a better chance they aren’t walking away thinking you talk too much and don’t really care about what they do or have to say.
I read another article on this subject a few years ago and I revisit it at times to keep its premise top of mind. The author of the article wrote about what he referred to as the Traffic Light Rule. It is another method to use to avoid talking too much. The idea is that the light is green the first twenty seconds you are speaking, yellow for the next twenty seconds and at the forty second mark the light turns red. If you talk through that red light you are talking too much.
The next time you meet someone new or are networking try to put these ideas into play. Don’t be a Chatterbox or run red lights. If you focus on the other person and not just on what you want to say you will put yourself in a better position to have meaningful interactions and make positive connections.