Do you want to learn how to speak so that people actually want to listen to what you have to say?
Are you a business owner, entrepreneur, leader, public speaker, or just a regular individual trying to learn the art of effective communication?
How often have you had to speak to people and you were overwhelmed with the feeling of not getting the attention of your audience?
How often have you tried to convince someone about something but despite your efforts it seemed like all your words fell on deaf ears?
It can be a very painful experience when you speak but no one seems to be listening.
The world is such a noisy place.
The internet, business, work, and life generally are seeking the attention of individuals all at the same time.
With all these factors mentioned above, it can be quite difficult to really get the attention of people on certain issues.
Getting people to actually want to listen to you either as a business owner, entrepreneur, public speaker or just a regular individual can be tough but it’s not impossible to achieve.
In this blog post, we share expert tips on how to speak and get the attention of your audience so that they want to listen.
Read on till the end.
How To Speak So That People Want To Listen
When it comes to effective communication, you have to ensure that your audience is not just hearing you talk but actually listening to you.
There’s a huge difference between hearing and listening.
In very simple terms, hearing is the act of receiving sound waves through your hearing sense organ: the ear.
On the other hand, listening is the act of hearing a sound, paying attention to the sound, and understanding the sound.
Listening is an intentional act while hearing is merely a response to stimuli which is most of the time not intentional.
So, whether you are speaking physically to your audience, or speaking through a media channel; your aim should be to get your audience to listen to you and not just hear you.
Before we move on to discover how to speak so people want to listen, let’s consider why people speak and people don’t listen.
Reasons Why You Speak And People Don’t Want To Listen To You
The reason people don’t listen to you when you speak could be as a result of some bad speaking habits you might have.
In other words, these are the habits that stop you from communicating effectively.
These can be regarded as habits or things to avoid when speaking and they are;
Research shows that we weigh up peoples’ character or behavior within the first instance of meeting with them.
So consciously or unconsciously we tend to form the habit of judging others.
This habit also finds its way into the way we talk.
Hence, making you sound judgmental when you talk.
Nobody likes to be judged or made to feel different in a bad way.
If you make people feel like you’re are better than them in a certain way when speaking to them, they’ll feel judged and would lose interest in listening to you.
So when speaking to people avoid sounding judgmental.
This is a major turn off when engaging in conversation.
Sounding authoritative is a huge communication turn off.
People don’t like to be pushed around or told what to do.
Talking to people in an authoritative tone takes their mind off listening to you.
It’s important to note that there is a difference between speaking confidently to give your words authority and speaking because you feel superior to your audience.
You can speak confidently by speaking in a bold and polite manner without being bossy in your speech.
So, when speaking to people either as a leader, public speaker, or just a regular individual, instead of using an authoritarian tone, use an appealing and a subtle tone.
Also, remember to speak with confidence so that you’ll be taken seriously.
Speak with firmness when you need to; but be careful of being authoritarian.
Negativity is another bad habit that prevents people from listening to you.
When you are in the habit of always speaking from a negative point of view, it’ll become very hard to listen to you.
This is because negativity has a way of bringing people’s spirits down or demotivating them.
Hence, no one would want to listen to you if by doing so, they’ll end up with negative emotions or feeling demotivated.
They’ll want to avoid you at all costs.
So, when speaking to people, avoid negativity or speaking from a negative point of view.
When you have the habit of complaining about everything and anything people will find it difficult to listen to you.
People have a lot of things that they struggle with daily.
Listening to your complaints would only add to their worries.
Hence, they’ll do everything possible to avoid you.
Thereby, making it difficult for them to want to listen to you.
So, if you want people to listen to you when you speak, you’ll need to find a better approach rather than complaining.
Another bad habit you’ll have to avoid if you want to speak so that people listen is exaggerating.
Exaggerating points you want to say just to make it appealing to your audience would only lead to lying.
Furthermore, no one wants to pay attention to lies.
So, if you are in the habit of exaggerating facts; you’ll pass off to your audience as a liar.
Thus, making it difficult for them to want to pay attention to you when you speak.
Dogmatism is simply the act of believing only your own principles without consideration of facts, or other people’s opinions.
Effective communication entails an exchange between you and the other party or parties involved.
In other words, there’s an exchange of ideas, facts, and opinions.
So, if you are in a habit of seeing things only from your own point of view without regard to the opinion of others, no one would want to listen to you.
No one wants to engage in a conversation where their opinions or ideas would not be valued.
So, if you want to speak so that people listen to you, avoid dogmatism.
Speak confidently, state your facts but keep an open mind to what your audience/ other people have to say.
Now, you’ve identified with some of the bad speaking habits that make people don’t want to listen to you.
Let’s dive in to learn how you can speak in a way that people would want to listen to you.
Expert Tips On How To Speak So That People Want To Listen
Apart from knowing the bad speaking habits to avoid, let’s take a look at some expert advice on how to speak so that people want to listen to you.
Expert Advice on How To Speak So That People Want To Listen From Julian Treasure
Julian Treasure is a sound and communication expert.
He is also an author who is passionate about helping people and organizations communicate better.
Furthermore, “he aims at creating a world that listens consciously and can express itself beautifully”.
In his TED talk titled how to talk so that people want to listen, he shares some secrets on how to communicate effectively.
According to him, the best way to talk so that people want to listen to you is embedded in this four-letter word H.A.I.L
He calls them the powerful cornerstones to help you make your speech powerful and to make a change in the world.
Honesty means being true in what you say.
Furthermore, it means being straight and clear.
When communicating it’s best, to be honest, and open about your ideas, opinions, or stories.
As said earlier, no one likes to be lied to.
When people know you for being honest with what you say, they’ll trust you more.
By being honest when you speak, it would be a lot easier to create a bond of trust between you and your audience.
Thereby, making it easy for them to want to listen to you when you speak.
Julian, however, warned that you shouldn’t go about hurting people’s feelings with honesty.
For example, stating the fact that someone is actually ugly wouldn’t be a good way to put honesty to use.
In essence, honesty should be tempered with discretion and love.
Another golden nugget on how to talk so people would want to listen to you is authenticity.
Authenticity means being original or being yourself.
It’s okay to learn from others, however, in a bid to do this, you shouldn’t lose yourself in the process.
When speaking to people be your true self. Don’t try to imitate someone else.
People would be more open to listening to you if you be your real self instead of being fake.
Integrity requires you to be true to your word.
In other words, it is being what you say, doing what you say, or practicing what you preach.
Integrity helps to build trust.
No one would want to listen to you if you don’t do what you tell them to do.
So, if you want people to always want to listen to you when you talk; always be your word.
This is the last cornerstone for delivering powerful speeches that Julian shares in his TED talk.
This is not the romantic kind of love.
Rather it is the kind of love that lets you wish your audience well.
In other words, it’s the kind of love that lets you have their best interest at heart.
When people know that whatever you say to them, you say it with their best interest at heart, they’ll be open to listening to you.
Thus, making them want to listen to you each time you speak.
Julian also made mention of what he refers to as the toolbox that helps to increase the power of your message and they are;
Toolbox For Speaking Powerfully And Meaningfully
This defines the texture of your voice when you speak.
Speaking from the chest area tends to give your voice more depth and power compared to when you speak from the nose.
Furthermore, this makes you sound confident, hence making people want to listen to you when you speak.
This defines how your voice feels.
According to him, research shows that people prefer voices that are rich smooth, and warm.
Hence, in other to make people want to listen to you when you speak, use a voice tone that is warm and appealing to the ears.
Even if you have a coarse voice, you can learn to speak more softly through various voice training/exercises.
This is the metalanguage that we use to impact meaning to a conversation.
In other words, it is how you use stress and intonation in your speech or conversation.
This has to do with the rhythm with which you say what you say.
For example, if you use a rhythm that makes your statement sound more like a question, then you aren’t communicating clearly.
Hence, when you speak ensure to place your stress on words correctly and use the right rhythm.
This is so that your message can be clearly understood.
Hence, helping you speak so that people want to listen to you.
This has to do with the manner or speed at which you speak.
According to Julian, the pace at which you speak can show your intentions and emotions.
For example, speaking really quickly can show emotions of excitement when you speak.
On the other hand, speaking at a slow pace can be used to show your intentions to emphasize something.
Silence/Taking a pause
Most of the time when we speak, we can get really caught up with getting our point out that we forget to take a pause.
According to Julian, there’s nothing really wrong with a little bit of silence and this can be very powerful.
When speaking, taking a pause gives your audience time to digest something you’ve said.
Thus giving your speech/message more power and meaning.
So, when next you are speaking, give your audience a little bit of time to digest what you’ve said before you go on.
The volume with which you speak matters a lot when you speak.
Speaking really high or really low can greatly influence the meaning of the message we are trying to pass across.
For example, a high volume can be used to pass across a message of excitement.
Likewise, a low volume can be used to pass across a serious message and get the attention of your audience.
Overall, these tools can help to make your speech sound powerful and more meaningful if you use them accurately.
Additional Tips To Keep In Mind On How To Speak So That People Want To Listen
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when next you have a talk to help you pass your message across.
- Know your audience
- Keep it simple: Use simple terms and avoid using a lot of technical jargon.
- Speak confidently
- Maintain frequent eye contact with your audience
- Diversify your delivery (use visual aids where necessary)
- Make your talk or speech conversational (Don’t just lecture; talk to each other)
- Do some vocal warm-ups/exercises before your speaking engagements
Finally On How To Speak So That People Want To Listen To You
There are so many factors that serve as barriers to effective communication either in business or interpersonal relationships.
Some of these factors could be language, culture, age, level of education, the environment among others.
Also, the way we speak, what we say, and how we say it can also hinder effective communication.
This is what we have tried to establish in this blog post.
How you say what you say and the way you say what you say can greatly impact the power of your speech.
As said earlier, getting peoples’ attention to want to listen to you can be quite difficult.
This is partly because of the so many issues seeking the attention of individuals as well as the noisy nature of the world we live in as Julian Treasure pointed out in his TED Talk.
Hence, to speak so that people want to listen to you; you should H.A.I.L.
In essence as a business owner, entrepreneur, leader, public speaker, or just a regular individual, to communicate effectively ensure;
You speak honestly, be authentic in your speech, speak with integrity and love.
This way, you’ll be able to avoid all the bad speaking habits that make people don’t want to listen to you when you talk.
When next you have a speaking engagement or just a regular conversation apply these tips and you’ll notice a difference in the attention you get from your audience.
More so, these tips can also be helpful to you if you are writing to your audience.
You can apply these tips to help you deliver your message to your audience clearly.
Apply these tips and tell us all about your experience in the comments section below.