This is the Scenario.: You are at a conference, and of course one of your main objectives is to make contacts with a lot of people. Everything goes well, you are having nice conversations about topics of mutual interest until you meet him: The Talker.
This guy (Yes, I always only experienced this with guys) keeps talking about absolutely everything and their mom. It’s all about him. Not only does he manage to jump from one topic to another, nothing that he is saying has the slightest overlap with your life. Even when you say something like “Cough, get me another coffee” or “I think my phone just rang”, he will stay at your side.
What to do in such situations?
The method I personally found to work best is actually quite counter-intuitive: Try to be genuinely interested in what he is saying. Ask questions. When his topics don’t align with your interest, then your questions will automatically be absolute beginner questions. If the fact that you are asking questions does not interrupt his flow of words, the type of questions will. The chances are good that this will start a real conversation. He might just be nervous, for whatever reasons. Conferences can be awkward, especially if you don’t know anyone.
If this however doesn’t stop his monologue, keep asking questions and he will eventually be the one who has this urgent phone call.
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