Let’s call this talkative meeting participant the rambler. This is the audience member who wants to talk just as much as the presenter. This person tends to go on and on and on during a presentation.
You are the lead presenter and the meeting facilitator. The other meeting attendees are looking to your leadership to take charge, so here’s how you can handle the rambler.
What To Do
- At the first breath, jump in and thank the participant for sharing and call on someone else
- Break eye contact with the rambler
- Call attention to the time and agenda to refocus; in other words, blame the agenda
- Be prepared to step in when the rambling participant comes up for air
- Move the discussion along with a question for someone else
- Summarize the rambler’s comments and move along
What Not To Do
Whatever you do, DON’T hand your personal microphone to a talkative audience member. You instantly lose control of the meeting—and you may never get your microphone back.
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Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes.
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