The buffer for stutter

Here’s an interviewing technique I’ve seen used to great effect by Tim Ferriss, among others, that our more talkative friends should follow for the sanity of those around them.

If you love to talk, that’s fine. But spare a thought for the people who don’t, who are tired of being suddenly thrust into the conversation, which up until that point was basically a one-way barrage.

I know you think that by asking our opinion you’re showing you care about what we think, but instead of speaking like a machine gun, and then saying ‘what do you think, Tim?’, place a little buffer between the mention of our name, and the actual question.

If you listen, you’ll see that Tim Ferriss is very good at this. You know when a question is coming, and you have an idea of what the question will be either because he’s plain said it and then continued speaking, or because he’s made it obvious through speaking before asking it.

This buffer gives as time to collect our thoughts, which is not always possible when you’re speaking at breakneck speed and you instantaneously call on someone. It means we can give better answers, but it also means the conversation flows much better, and is therefore more beneficial for all involved.

/rant over

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