How to Speak So That People Want to Listen

Being able to design things is not enough if we can’t communicate it to others. How we speak matters. I watched an inspiring talk from Julian Treasure about how to speak so that people want to listen. He shared about seven deadly sins of speaking (gossip, judging, negativity, complaining, excuses, embroidery/exaggration, and dogmatism), and the positive way so our speech can be powerful and make a chance in the world – HAIL:

  • Honesty – be clear and straight.
  • Authenticity – be yourself.
  • Integrity – be your word.
  • Love – wish them well.

He also shared – not only what we say, but also the way we say matters. There are a few tools that can increase the power of our speaking:

  • Register – where to locate the voice. For weight, we need to go down to the chest. Lower voice is associated with power and authority.
  • Timbre – the way our voice feels. People prefer voices which are rich, smooth, warm, like hot chocolate.
  • Prosody – the sing-song, the meta-language that we use in order to impart meaning.
  • Pace – saying something quickly to show excitement, slow right down to emphasize, and then silence.
  • Pitch – can be used to indicate arousal.
  • Volume – get excited by using volume, or can get people to pay attention by getting very quiet.

Don’t miss the six vocal warmup exercises that he does before every talk he ever does in the video below.

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