Do you talk/don’t talk from nervousness?
Picture this: You’re about to deliver a sales presentation to a prospective client. You’re in the reception area at a client’s office. The client greets you. Now, you’re walking with the person to the meeting room (imagine it’s a 20 second journey). Do you talk or not talk during that time?
Many people I ask this question of, say that they would talk. My answer to the above question is this. It depends. What I mean here is that the decision to talk/not talk is not absolute. Instead ‘tune into the rhythm’ of the moment to decide whether to talk or not. If there is something to say or comment on (eg. something you noted about the friendliness of the receptionist, or the intensity of the weather on the day, etc.) do speak up. However, if there is nothing to comment on, don’t talk or feel a need to talk. I observe many people talking, because they are nervous about being silent, or they feel they should say something. But often what they say is odd, or inane or redundant.
There are also people who don’t talk, because of nervousness. They’ll suppress a thought because they worry/’over-think’ whether it is appropriate to speak or not. The best business communicators I observe are unscripted. As mentioned above, they pay attention and tune into the rhythm of the moment and situation, and then act and speak accordingly.
To sum up, the overall suggestion is that you don’t talk or not talk out of nervousness. If there is something to say, say it. If there is nothing to say, be comfortable with the silence.
The ‘how to apply’ for this post: In the next seven days in your walks from the reception area to the meeting room, reflect on what you do and say, and in particular, note if you are talking/not talking from nervousness.