• Scott Stiefvater

Tend to be long-winded? Here's how to stop.

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Your long-winded habit is probably hurting you more than you know. It's likely that at least some of your listeners are walking away feeling that you are somewhat egocentric and lacking self-control. And, to an extent, they are right.

Strive to be more other-based and less self-based.

We are all self-based some of the time. It's natural to put ourselves before others. It's not necessarily a conscious decision. It's a setting that we often slip into. For me, it feels like a slumber. I suddenly wake up realizing that I had forgotten that my listeners were there. I had put ME and what I was saying ahead of THEM and the value they were deriving from the conversation.

Put your listeners ahead of you and what you are saying by adopting a generous intent. The ideas you are trying to give them are gifts that will add value to their lives. When you force a gift on someone, it ceases to be a gift.

Raise your awareness of your listeners.

We tend to think of speaking as an instinctual behavior so most of us are fairly unconscious as we speak. But speaking is a skill not unlike playing a sport or performing in dance. To perform well – to be in control – you must raise your awareness and keep it up.

Raise your awareness of how your listeners are processing what you say. Listen to them with your eyes. Absorb their face and body language. If you sense they aren't getting you, resist the instinct to speak more words out at them. Ask, "What are your thoughts?" Think listen.

With sustained awareness and an other-based intent, you will gain control of your long-winded habit. It takes effort, but you can do it.


© 2021 by Scott Stiefvater,

(anti) Presentation Coach


Tel: 925-586-3517

San Francisco Bay Area


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