Recently, I attended an event along with 9 other service professionals whom I had never met before. On arrival, the usual coffee and open networking took place before we got down to ‘business’.

The first point on the agenda was for each attendee to spend 2 minutes introducing him/herself to the rest of the group. In 2 minutes, we were to provide an account of our professional history and a summary of our business and our services/specialisms.

And what followed reminded me of why I don’t attend too many events! 9 attendees spoke for OVER 10 minutes! I was the only person not to exceed the requested time. The longest was a staggering 14 minutes.

Why do people like talking about themselves? When asked for a brief introduction, why is it that some people feel compelled to provide a detailed account of every career move and decision they have made in the past 20 years? Honestly, it was like listening to 9 CV’s. As a result, an entire agenda point had to be removed from the session.

Perhaps it’s a lack of self-belief?

Is it because they feel they need to ‘out-do’ the previous speaker?

Or is it because they are simply rude?

Yes, I stuck to the 2 minute timescale because, well, that is what I’d been asked to do! Speaking for more than that would put pressure on the rest who had yet to speak, and threaten the timings of the sessions, which I feel is unfair. I don’t feel that I need to justify my appearance at the event, nor do I feel threatened by individuals who languish in every single achievement since learning to walk.

We are all professionals. We all have something to offer. There’s nothing wrong with self-confidence. But over-confidence is just, well, rude.

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