Home » Archive » How to talk to busy people

, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Yesterday I spent too long in a conversation. It was my fault. I wandered, got enamoured with my story, and lost the purpose of my visit. It’s embarrassing and something I need to rein it in.

Brad Feld describes two conversations he recently had: One successful and the other … sort-of. To help myself, and maybe you, here’s a list to review before every important chat.


– Stick to 30 minutes or under (unless a pre-set agenda).
– Provide a reminder of the context for your introduction.
– Describe what you want from the conversation and lay out a mini-agenda.
– Get right to the point of the conversation.
– Hit the end zone with time to spare.
– Thank the other side for the time and offer to follow-up.


– Flounder with the attention of busy people.
– Assume the context is set and explode to the highest levels of the conversation.
– Start the conversation without thinking of your goals for the conversation.
– Fail to hear the sound of the busy person pulling the plug on the conversation.
– Remain sufficiently ungracious as to fight for more time.

Update: Related (albeit much longer) note from Dave “purveyor-of-all-things-tabled-or-graphically-boxed” Pollard.

Technorati Tags: ,
Site Search Tags:

Comments are closed.