Silence the Chronic Interrupter

By Blog

There always seems to be that one person in the room that is constantly     disrupting you. While working at the local zoo, I had given numerous presentations to preschool age students and there was always that one kid that would never stop raising their hand or interrupting me. It’s a common problem among all ages, buy what can you do about t?

It’s usually not personal. Especially if the interrupter cuts everyone off, maybe they just have a lot to say or they are super smart and their brain works faster than the average person. They want to keep everything moving at a faster pace, so often they will interrupt to ensure that happens.

Chronic interrupters might be overly excited and impatient to make their point. Perhaps they just want to engage in the conversation by verbally exploding. Maybe they just think the presenter is conveniently finished, or they just have no courtesy.

When dealing with an interrupter, sometimes it’s better to stop it before it begins.  You may sweetly ask to finish what you are saying. Tell the entire audience to “Bear with me, there are several items to get to”. You might also tell the crowd that you want them to hear the entire story before I’m ready to take thoughts and questions.

Depending on the severity of the interruptions, it might be best to continue talking over the interruption. It has been suggested that continuing to talk in a lowered voice while keeping an even pace might disarm an interrupter and force them to cease talking and listen. Don’t stop, be ready to move directly to your main point immediately after the interrupter halts so all hear the key point of the communication.

One last strategy might be to ask for input from the remainder of the audience. If you are at a good stopping place, you might ignore the constant hand in the air and call on others for input.Take it from someone who learned while doing, it doesn’t come easy but does require patience. Have patience and good luck!

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