Do You Talk Too Much?
Nervous-chatters, over-sharers, and Chatty Cathy & Charlies alike, if you're seeking a job, I beg you to ask yourself this question: "Do I talk too much?" Taking the time to do this type of reflective work could be what lands you your next gig.
What brings me to write this is the many interviews I've had where candidates spoke so much I could hardly get a word in. On multiple occasions, I've been forced to say "excuse me" repeatedly.
From being spoken over to being ruthlessly interrupted during numerous interviews, I've gathered my thoughts about the pitfalls of being overly talkative and how candidates can correct this.
First and foremost, there’s nothing wrong with being a conversationalist, an enthusiastic one at that, because that’s a fundamental element of being a superstar PR person. However, to be a compelling conversationalist, you must know when it is your time to speak and when it is not, how much to share for how long, and when to listen. If you talk nonstop, especially about yourself, and can't stand to listen to another person speak, you’re going to come across as self-absorbed and annoy me, the media, and your boss.
When you're having a conversation with me, the media, or your boss, you should be doing so to elicit a response. Then, shut up and listen. Do not interrupt. Gather your thoughts. Keep calm by truly understanding what the person you’re speaking to is saying.
While you may think you don’t talk too much, everyone should consider working on their listening skills. As fast-paced as many of us are, it can be easy to forget the importance of being a good listener. When you start to work on this, you will begin to see more positive results from your professional conversations.