You go to an event. It may be a lecture by some distinguished person or a panel discussion of experts. Perhaps it is a workshop and training. There is usually a question & answer session afterwards or even an open discussion.
I don't know if it's bad luck or what, but it seems every time I go to one of these things there is always somebody from the audience who gets up and proceeds to talk. And then talk. And talk. They go on and on and on. And on and on and on and on.
And I watch with both horror and intense curiosity, like watching an accident happen in slow motion. I just can't find it within me to understand how these people just don't know how inappropriate they are. We didn't all come to this event to listen to them. At one talk I attended recently, one of the keynote speakers was allotted 10 minutes for his piece, and yet an audience member later took at least 5 for his own "presentation"! I know I sound judgmental as hell, but how could they not know how unwelcome this is? The sheer rudeness leaves me dumbfounded. Often, these people are just rambling without a coherent thought, without taking a breath--no specific question or anything. And we all sit there prisoner to them.
The rest of us feel awkward as hell. Tell me how logical this is: It is rude to interrupt an event to give your own uninvited presentation. But yet the audience feels it is even more rude to interrupt that person! I just want to stand up and say, "You need to stop." This is where a good facilitator should step in and temper these folks.
This happens not just in lecture-type settings. I've also been in groups where this same phenomenon occurs: There is a round table discussion among equals, yet one person doesn't hesitate to absolutely dominate the discussion and go off on a 10-minute monologue. Do they not realize what they are doing? Or do they feel their opinions are so important in relation to everyone else's?
You can try to be sympathetic and say that maybe they just don't understand verbal cues or the phenomenon of taking turns in a conversation. Maybe they are innocently babbling. But I will assert that they are masters of these verbal cues. They speak in such a way as to never give anyone a chance to step in. They don't trail off, use concluding words or show hesitation in places where it would be natural for someone else to pick up the conversation. They aren't just naturally exuberant, they are planful to all get out, and they offer no quarter. The only way to step in is to forcibly interrupt them--which they know we won't do. Sheer obliviousness just does not apply. They work hard to maintain their place in the conversation. This is not an accident.