How to Stop Over-Explaining Everything

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. – Albert Einstein
Explaining is important but over-explaining can become a negative habit. What’s the problem with it? First, it can make you come off as feeling insecure or lacking confidence.

Over-explaining can make others feel like you are trying to justify yourself or an argument that is not strong enough. Second, it can make your audience more confused. Over-explaining involves offering too much information that people cannot adequately process or assimilate. It also can take too much time and cost you the engagement you would otherwise have. So, how can you stop over-explaining?

Prepare in advance

The first great tips to prepare in advance. Make sure that you lay out your arguments and ideas beforehand. Consider what you want to mention, and have a plan that organizes the flow of your argument or explanation in an effective way.
Don’t attempt to memorize everything. The idea is not to come in with a prepared speech, but just to have a general idea of the points you want to get across.


A common cause of over-explaining is feeling stressed and worrying about other people judging you or being confused. Before launching into an explanation, take a moment for a few deep breaths or a relaxation technique and then start speaking.

Over-explaining is often a side effect of anxiety, so taking a moment to relax can help reduce the impact of nerves and start with confidence.

Let the audience ask questions, don’t anticipate

Another reason for explaining too much is feeling like you should be able to anticipate every possible question the audience has.However, in doing this, you might sature them with information.
Instead, let your listeners take the lead. Invite them to ask questions and answer accordingly. First, provide the basic information that seems essential to you. Then, invite your audience to ask questions and use that as a jumping off point to touch on all the things that have not yet been addressed.

Consider what is necessary to know

Always try to center the basic facts first. Some details and context elements are not as essential. For instance, if you are explaining how to play a game, focus on the rules. Then, if it comes up, you can explain the weird rule exception.
To structure a good explanation, first consider what is the essential information. If you had a minute, what would you need your audience to know? Everything else, explain if and when it becomes necessary.

Treat yourself with kindness

An important way to stop overexplaining is to lower stress, and one of the main sources of pressure is the desire to do it well or the feeling of being anxious, tense. When you treat yourself with kindness, one common effect is that it becomes easier to stop overexplaining.
Remind yourself that you are doing your best; even when you feel you should be doing more or doing better. You are doing well enough. Give yourself the chance to mess up and, actually, overexplain. Give yourself the opportunity to make a mistake. It’s fine.
Paradoxically, allowing yourself to mess up is far more likely to make you feel relaxed and lead to fewer errors.

Get excited

When you overexplain, you might sometimes do it because you worry that you will get judged by those around you for being too excited or too into the topic. But it’s a good idea to let yourself talk freely and show how excited you feel.
Your enthusiasm is infectious and is what truly helps people get engaged with your explanation. It can allow you to focus on what truly matters and also help your audience follow along. Then, they are sure to want to know more and remember what you have already explained.

Overexplaining is not the worst habit, but it can be a source of insecurity in the workplace and in personal relationships. When you master the art of explanation, you are certain to become better at teaching, coaching, and just helping your family understand the rules of Monopoly for games’ night. So give yourself the chance to improve this skill.