Photo from Pixabay, Agdas666
Discussions are opportunities for everyone to sit down and talk about ideas or topics, and broaden the perspectives of the speakers and the audience. Be it in a class, or a panel discussion, formal events, or broadcast media, there are always people who can bring down a well prepared event. Here are the four types of speakers who can interrupt your discussion, and how to deal with them:
- The Silent Type
They defeat the purpose of class discussions because they shy away from talking. For whatever reason, they will do their best to stay away from the lime light. To deal with these people, it is best to shoot them the easier questions. Ask them questions that you know they know the answer to. This way you can engage them into the conversation and build their confidence at the same time. Do not force them to answer when they are not comfortable about the question, or is not comfortable about the discussion at all.
- The Chatterbox
They just love to voice out everything that comes to their mind. Talking in discussions is alright, but they sometimes talk too much. It is important to keep in mind that you only have a limited time to discuss your topic, and if you won’t keep them at bay, they will talk the time away. To deal with these people, it is necessary to be blunt sometimes and ask them for the gist of what they want to say. Trim down all the unnecessary details of what they want to say, and negate the convoluted sentences. Encourage them to express their point, but do so without sacrificing too much time.
- The Arguer
The arguer is someone who likes to counter and rebut all the points expressed by the panel. They don’t seem to stop until they have persuaded everyone in the room. Much like the chatterbox, they may tend to stray away from the topic. To deal with these people, you might want to ask them to summarize what they want to say, just as how you’d deal with a chatterbox. But also this time you might want to be tact about them. You might need to tell them facts and counter-rebuttals, but you must also keep in mind that you only have limited time. Two or more arguers arguing in the discussion can lead to new insights and perspectives, but time is scarce. During these situations, you might want to ask questions to the Silent type, just to cut the arguer politely.
- The Echoer
They seem to repeat the points raised by other members of the panel. This redundancy can sometimes be very wasteful of time. They may be unaware that what they are trying to say has already been raised, or they might have come up with the same idea, but was not able to way it earlier. To deal with them, you can remind them that the idea was already discussed, and ask the Echoer to further elaborate on what he wants to say. By repeating an idea, but discussing it in another perspective, they might be able to dig deeper into the discussion.
Other things to keep in mind:
Always give your speakers the benefit of the doubt that they too may have something to offer. If you are the moderator, you must keep in mind about the limited time that you have. Be wary about the topic and be quick to react when the speaker strays out of that topic. Be blunt, but tact and polite.
I hope this blog helps you in your future speaking events!