When you are at a party, there is usually a way out if you get pinned in a dull conversation—you can get a drink, go to the bathroom, spot a friend you ‘must’ to talk to etc. However, sometimes there is no way out. A few years ago, I had a cast on my leg and went to a party and sat on the couch. All was good till a friend of a friend sat down beside me and started to talk about the composition of sand at various beaches around the world. This wasn’t a 1 minute talk—he was 20 minutes in and on a roll. I was done. I looked around but there was no relief in sight.
It was then that a light bulb went on. I needed to take control and move the conversation along to something I could handle instead of listening and politely trying to talk. I started to fire questions at him about many aspects of travel and even beaches—I interrupted him whenever his answer went over 15 seconds. Remember that dull people who talk on for hours are used to being interrupted so that the usual social rules need not apply to them.
The question technique will usually allow you to keep the conversation moving—even if you are stuck on a couch with a 20 lb cast on your leg.