The vendor had hardly sat down when the deluge began. We had asked his company for a proposal on a modestly-priced piece of equipment. When we met, however, it was as if he felt he had to blurt his entire proposal in 90 seconds or it would somehow evaporate.
But it wasn't 90 seconds...it continued, unabated, for 10 full minutes. My head hurt. I wondered what I could do to gain some clarity.
"Can I draw a picture of what I think you are saying?" I finally asked, pretty much interrupting the spiel. He wasn't quite sure what to say.
I flipped a page over and sketched a bell curve based on data he presented. I slowed my pattern of speech and asked some short, specific, yes/no questions. We finally got clarity.
The simple drawing altered the communication pattern. It stopped the talking. The drawing helped sort reality from hype. It slowed the mind well enough to ask good questions of the essential facts.
Our eyes are keen sensors. Fast talking only uses the ears. Better to use both.
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