What’s worse than someone who talks your ear off on the phone?
A co-worker or family member who drones on and on in person can be a busy communicator’s worst nightmare.
It could be the neighbor who corners you in the front yard or the guy in line with you at the bar at a networking event. And then there’s the family get-togethers and the work holiday party—prime settings for long and awkward interactions.
How can you politely and professionally excuse yourself in a face-to-face conversation? There’s always the classic: “Is that the restroom? Please excuse me for a moment.” However, if you want to let yourself off the hook with a little more finesse, try these:
- “I need to go inside and start dinner. It was great talking to you.”
- “I need to check and see what the kids have done to the house.”
- “I’m going to say bye for now. I want to be sure and catch the opening remarks.”
- “I told my co-worker I would bring him a drink. Please excuse me.”
- “I think I need to go in and find a seat. I’ll see you later.”
- “It was great to meet you. And thanks for [the book recommendation, your advice, the information on . . .]”
- “Can you please excuse me for a moment? I need to call home [before the kids go to bed, to check on my dog . . . ]”
- “My friend just walked in. I need to go say hello to her.”
- “I have a question I want to ask the speaker before she leaves. Please excuse me.”
- “I think I see dessert over there. I’m going to see what they have.”
- “Thanks for spending time with me. Would you like to connect on LinkedIn?”
- “I had no idea you knew so much about [football, soybean farming, spelling . . .] It was great talking to you.”
- “I want to make sure I say hello to everyone here. Enjoy your evening.”
- “I see Jack from the office. Would you like me to introduce you?”
- “I think the host might need some help [in the kitchen, cleaning up, with the TV . . . ] I’ll see you later.”
- “I made it a goal to meet three new people here tonight, so I’d better get going.”
- “The line at the bar seems pretty short now. I think I’ll grab a drink. Would you like to join me?”
- “It’s time for me to say goodbye. I want to get on the road before [it gets dark, traffic gets too bad, the bad weather hits . . .]”
- “I’m going to check out the buffet. Would you like to come with me?”
- “I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. We’ll have to do this next Thanksgiving, too.”
Are there any others that have worked for you, PR Daily readers?
Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor and a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com .