How to speak so people will listen


There’s an old saying; it’s not just what you say but the way that you say it. How something is said is as important as the words being spoken. We can use exactly the same words in different ways and we will deliver completely different messages. How something is said also has an impact on whether people listen to us or not. In the video included here Mr Julian Treasure offers some excellent insight into how to speak so people will listen.

His underlying message in the video is that we must learn to speak with power if we are to get our messages across to other people.

Julian Treasure suggests there are a number of habits we must avoid if we are to speak with power. He says in his view there are Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking, albeit he does note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. The deadly seven are:-

  1. Gossip: Speaking in an unkind way about other people.
  2. Judging: People unlikely to listen if they feel they’re being judged.
  3. Negativity: It’s hard to listen to people with a negative attitude.
  4. Complaining: It’s hard to listen to a moaner too.
  5. Excuses: You won’t be taken seriously if blame is always elsewhere.
  6. Exaggeration: This can border on lying and who listens to a liar?
  7. Dogmatism: Where facts are confused with opinions.

So if we suffer from all or some of these deadly sins, can we change? Yes, of course but it takes a little work and a better understanding of how improvements can be achieved.

In the video Julian explains that there are four cornerstones to powerful speech. He uses the mnemonic HAIL to explain these as follows:-

  1. Honesty : Being clear and straight
  2. Authenticity : Being real and being yourself
  3. Integrity : Being true to your word
  4. Love : Wishing people well. We all like to be appreciated.

However understanding these cornerstones is only the beginning of the process because, as stated earlier, how you say what you’ve got to say is important too.

Julian then discusses aspects of speaking such as Register; Timbre; Prosody; Pace; Pitch; Volume; and the use of Silence. To address many of these issues you may need the help of a voice coach of course but knowing about them is a good start.

Julian also suggests some simple voice warm-up exercises for you to use before you give a speech. They’re so easy you can use them immediately.

Being a TEDTalk you’d expect this video to be both interesting and useful and it doesn’t disappoint. I found Julian Treasure’s ideas fascinating and if you’re someone who regularly speaks in front of an audience, large or small, then I am confident that you’ll find this video helpful.

This video has had almost 14 million views on YouTube so clearly Julian Treasure’s ideas have resonated with a significant audience already.

Other Articles:

What is the key to success?

Visibility: Does it matter?

Life is short and it’s later than you think

Powerful words change lives

11 tips for improving quality of life

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.


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