What to Do When You Talk Too Much


Do you talk a lot? Do you use more words to express yourself than other people you know? This might not be problematic in your home life, but it can be a huge problem in business, particularly when you run your own company.

People are busy and want you to get to the point, but that can be hard when you have ADHD. It’s not nice for you either when you sense someone getting impatient, or backing away when you start a conversation (as they know once they engage they will be there for a while).

I remember hiring one very chatty service provider who I would avoid phoning at all costs. A telephone call with them was never shorter than 60 minutes. That’s a lot of extra time when purpose of the call could have been resolved in 5 or 10 minutes! I would email instead, even when it would have been better for me to pick up the phone and speak to a real person.

You don’t want to repel clients because you talk too much! It is possible to keep conversations (either on the phone or in person) short and to the point.

Here is how:

Before approaching your client, employee or heading into a meeting:

  1. Grab a piece of paper and write the title of the topic you want to talk about. This keeps you on topic.

  2. Underneath, jot down the key issues you want to address, no more than 5.

  3. Under each key issue, write the relevant points.

  4. If linear thinking is hard for you, use a mind map to brainstorm the points. When you have it clear in your mind, transfer the information to a list. Lists make you look more professional (I know! But that is a whole other topic).

Taking time to do this simple plan will allow you to talk briefly and succinctly and keep you on task. It will make you look and feel professional and organized. You might even say to the person, “I want to have a quick conversation about X and these are the 5 things I want to cover.” This helps them to gauge the length of the conversation.

If you are thinking, “Well that is ok if I have warning, but  what if a client phones unexpectedly, and I don’t have time to do a plan?” For the next 30 days, let your voice mail take a message. You can listen to the message, write you plan, and call them back.

Good luck!

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