[Image by 9883074 from Pixabay]

In last week’s blog, titled The Art of Interrupting, I promised to offer guidance this week to those of us who are frequently being interrupted.  If you read last week’s post, you know that sometimes it’s reasonable to interrupt a speaker and I suggested how to do this.

Now let’s turn things around and look at pointers to consider if you’re the speaker and find yourself interrupted by other people.  We all understand how distracting this can potentially be so that’s what will be addressed. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Set your intention before you speak to someone.  Determine what outcome you’re seeking.
  2. Practice being less longwinded and become more succinct by not including every detail.
  3. Use verbiage readily understood as opposed to technical lingo or industry jargon.
  4. Give yourself a chance to hear what you want to say before saying it.  You can record your message on your phone, laptop or any device with which you feel comfortable.
  5. Time yourself and then let the other person know approximately how much time you’re requesting so they may plan accordingly.
  6. If you have details you want to share, think about doing that in advance to help others feel more prepared and to be able to easily reference what you said.
  7. When speaking in-person or virtually, observe and pay attention to the listener’s non-verbal language.  This will be an important clue and welcome feedback for you.
  8. When speaking by phone, listen to extended silence from the person on the other end of the phone as this may signal that he or she is multi-tasking and not paying full attention to you.
  9. Learn to periodically pause and give your listener a chance to comment or absorb.
  10. Occasionally ask open-ended questions to gauge your effectiveness.
  11. Summarize or recap your message and if appropriate, state your call-t0-action.

By following these 11 guidelines, you’re far more likely to reduce if not eliminate being interrupted.  Remember, communication requires ensuring that what you intend to send is what others receive.  You’re welcome to contact me to discuss this further 518-664-6004 or dale@profitablespeech.com