How to End a Conversation When Someone Won’t Stop Talking

Thank you, Fast Company magazine for including me in another article.Fastcompany jess media training

The topic…How to End a Conversation When Someone Won’t Stop Talking

Here are the quotes:

If an individual continues to talk, refer back to the agenda, suggests Jess Todtfeld, president of Success in Media, a communication and media training firm. “It’s okay to say, ‘Sorry to interrupt; I just want to bring up timing so we can keep the meeting on track,” he says. “Then bring up parameters. People work better with structure.”

It’s also a good idea to give a heads-up near the end of the allotted time, adds Todtfeld.

“Give a warning so people know to wrap up soon,” he says.

Check out the full article at this link.

Below I’m adding some more information on this topic. It’s not usually what we teach in our Presentation Training or Media Training programs. But I think you might find it helpful.

Ending a conversation with someone who won’t stop talking can definitely be a challenging task. However, it’s important to be polite and assertive in these situations.

Here are some tips on how to end a conversation gracefully.

  • Be polite and make eye contact: Start the conversation by thanking the person for talking with you. Make eye contact to show that you are engaged and interested in what they are saying.


  • Offer an excuse: Use a polite excuse like having to meet someone, an appointment, or a prior engagement. Explain that you would love to continue the conversation, but you need to go.


  • Give them a signal: Sometimes, people don’t realize they are talking too much and may not understand that you want to end the conversation. Give them a signal like checking the time or looking at your phone.


  • Redirect the conversation: If the person is still talking, try to redirect the conversation by asking them a question or bringing up a different topic. This can shift the focus of the conversation and help to end it.


  • Be assertive: If the person is still not getting the hint, be assertive and tell them that you need to go. Use a firm but polite tone and make it clear that you have to end the conversation.


  • Offer to continue the conversation later: If the person is still talking and you can’t get away, offer to continue the conversation later. This way, you can end the conversation gracefully and avoid offending the person.


Ending a conversation with someone who won’t stop talking can be a delicate task. Use polite and assertive techniques so you can end that conversation gracefully and maintain a positive relationship with the person.


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