How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure

The human voice: It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound
in the world, probably. It’s the only one that can start a war
or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak, people
don’t listen to them. And why is that? How can we speak powerfully
to make change in the world? What I’d like to suggest, there are a number of habits
that we need to move away from. I’ve assembled for your pleasure here
seven deadly sins of speaking. I’m not pretending
this is an exhaustive list, but these seven, I think, are pretty large
habits that we can all fall into. First, gossip. Speaking ill of somebody
who’s not present. Not a nice habit,
and we know perfectly well the person gossiping, five minutes later,
will be gossiping about us. Second, judging. We know people who are like this
in conversation, and it’s very hard to listen to somebody if you know that you’re being judged
and found wanting at the same time. Third, negativity. You can fall into this. My mother, in the last years of her life,
became very negative, and it’s hard to listen. I remember one day, I said to her,
“It’s October 1 today,” and she said, “I know, isn’t it dreadful?” (Laughter) It’s hard to listen
when somebody’s that negative. (Laughter) And another form
of negativity, complaining. Well, this is the national art of the U.K. It’s our national sport. We complain about the weather, sport,
about politics, about everything, but actually, complaining is viral misery. It’s not spreading sunshine
and lightness in the world. Excuses. We’ve all met this guy. Maybe we’ve all been this guy. Some people have a blamethrower. They just pass it on to everybody else and don’t take responsibility
for their actions, and again, hard to listen
to somebody who is being like that. Penultimate, the sixth of the seven, embroidery, exaggeration. It demeans our language,
actually, sometimes. For example, if I see something
that really is awesome, what do I call it? (Laughter) And then, of course,
this exaggeration becomes lying, and we don’t want to listen
to people we know are lying to us. And finally, dogmatism. The confusion of facts with opinions. When those two things get conflated, you’re listening into the wind. You know, somebody is bombarding you
with their opinions as if they were true. It’s difficult to listen to that. So here they are, seven deadly
sins of speaking. These are things I think we need to avoid. But is there a positive
way to think about this? Yes, there is. I’d like to suggest that there are four
really powerful cornerstones, foundations, that we can stand on if we want our speech to be powerful and to make
change in the world. Fortunately, these things spell a word. The word is “hail,” and it has
a great definition as well. I’m not talking about the stuff
that falls from the sky and hits you on the head. I’m talking about this definition, to greet or acclaim enthusiastically, which is how I think
our words will be received if we stand on these four things. So what do they stand for? See if you can guess. The H, honesty, of course, being true in what you say,
being straight and clear. The A is authenticity,
just being yourself. A friend of mine described it as
standing in your own truth, which I think is a lovely way to put it. The I is integrity, being your word, actually doing what you say, and being somebody people can trust. And the L is love. I don’t mean romantic love, but I do mean wishing people
well, for two reasons. First of all, I think absolute honesty
may not be what we want. I mean, my goodness,
you look ugly this morning. Perhaps that’s not necessary. Tempered with love, of course,
honesty is a great thing. But also, if you’re really
wishing somebody well, it’s very hard to judge
them at the same time. I’m not even sure you can do
those two things simultaneously. So hail. Also, now that’s what you say, and it’s like the old song,
it is what you say, it’s also the way that you say it. You have an amazing toolbox. This instrument is incredible, and yet this is a toolbox
that very few people have ever opened. I’d like to have a little rummage
in there with you now and just pull a few tools out that you might like to take
away and play with, which will increase
the power of your speaking. Register, for example. Now, falsetto register may not
be very useful most of the time, but there’s a register in between. I’m not going to get very
technical about this for any of you who are voice coaches. You can locate your voice, however. So if I talk up here in my nose,
you can hear the difference. If I go down here in my throat, which is where most of us
speak from most of the time. But if you want weight, you need to go down here to the chest. You hear the difference? We vote for politicians
with lower voices, it’s true, because we associate depth with power and with authority. That’s register. Then we have timbre. It’s the way your voice feels. Again, the research shows that we prefer voices
which are rich, smooth, warm, like hot chocolate. Well if that’s not you,
that’s not the end of the world, because you can train. Go and get a voice coach. And there are amazing things you can do with breathing, with posture,
and with exercises to improve the timbre of your voice. Then prosody. I love prosody. This is the sing-song, the meta-language that we use in order to impart meaning. It’s root one for meaning in conversation. People who speak all on one note
are really quite hard to listen to if they don’t have any prosody at all. That’s where the word
“monotonic” comes from, or monotonous, monotone. Also, we have repetitive
prosody now coming in, where every sentence ends
as if it were a question when it’s actually not
a question, it’s a statement? (Laughter) And if you repeat that one, it’s actually restricting your ability
to communicate through prosody, which I think is a shame, so let’s try and break that habit. Pace. I can get very excited by saying
something really quickly, or I can slow right down to emphasize, and at the end of that, of course,
is our old friend silence. There’s nothing wrong with a bit
of silence in a talk, is there? We don’t have to fill it with ums and ahs. It can be very powerful. Of course, pitch often
goes along with pace to indicate arousal, but you
can do it just with pitch. Where did you leave my keys? (Higher pitch) Where did you
leave my keys? So, slightly different meaning
in those two deliveries. And finally, volume. (Loud) I can get really excited
by using volume. Sorry about that, if I startled anybody. Or, I can have you really pay attention
by getting very quiet. Some people broadcast the whole time. Try not to do that. That’s called sodcasting, (Laughter) Imposing your sound on people around you
carelessly and inconsiderately. Not nice. Of course, where this all comes
into play most of all is when you’ve got something
really important to do. It might be standing on a stage like this
and giving a talk to people. It might be proposing marriage, asking for a raise, a wedding speech. Whatever it is, if it’s really important, you owe it to yourself
to look at this toolbox and the engine that it’s going to work on, and no engine works well
without being warmed up. Warm up your voice. Actually, let me show you how to do that. Would you all like to stand
up for a moment? I’m going to show you the six vocal warm-up exercises
that I do before every talk I ever do. Any time you’re going to talk
to anybody important, do these. First, arms up, deep breath in, and sigh out, ahhhhh, like that. One more time. Ahhhh, very good. Now we’re going to warm up our lips, and we’re going to go Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba. Very good. And now, brrrrrrrrrr, just like when you were a kid. Brrrr. Now your lips
should be coming alive. We’re going to do the tongue next with exaggerated la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la. Beautiful. You’re getting
really good at this. And then, roll an R. Rrrrrrr. That’s like champagne for the tongue. Finally, and if I can only do one, the pros call this the siren. It’s really good. It starts
with “we” and goes to “aw.” The “we” is high, the “aw” is low. So you go, weeeaawww, weeeaawww. Fantastic. Give yourselves
a round of applause. Take a seat, thank you. (Applause) Next time you speak, do those in advance. Now let me just put this
in context to close. This is a serious point here. This is where we are now, right? We speak not very well to people who simply aren’t listening in an environment that’s all
about noise and bad acoustics. I have talked about that on this stage
in different phases. What would the world be like if we were speaking powerfully to people who were listening consciously in environments which were
actually fit for purpose? Or to make that a bit larger, what would the world be like if we were creating sound consciously and consuming sound consciously and designing all our environments consciously for sound? That would be a world
that does sound beautiful, and one where understanding
would be the norm, and that is an idea worth spreading. Thank you. (Applause)


in a world of noisy static troublesome cacophony of sounds. we automatically label it as background noise. feed your ears with beautiful music and out comes sunshine.

I cannot stop looking at his shinny, bold, egg-like head, small eyes and his small-time-swindler appearance… and I wonder – who listens to what THIS man has to say?!?

Мен секилди субтитр арқылы қараған, көрген адам барма? Қазақша тусинсен лайк.

This is interesting. I was always the one who people don't listen quite carefully, but not in a negative way, just… "you are not interesting enough at this very moment". I mean, even the closest family and friends who really love me and who I really love.

Now, I don't gossip, judge or lie, but when I saw this list of "important" things, I do tend to display light cases of negativity, complaining, and dogmatising.
I tend to start the conversation with the "jerk who cut me off in the traffic", or "did you hear about that murder case yesterday".

Also, I don't think about the register, pitch or volume, although people often don't understand me, even though I'm not mumbling and I try to speak "clear".

This video is quite helpful, it addresses the things I wasn't paying attention to.

One "sin" is missing in the list (which I tend to practice sometimes as well) – repeating yourself, over and over. You make the listener bored, and you show him/her, since you forgot yoy've already said something, that you don't really care about your conversations.

Excellent talk!  I attended an event recently where the key speaker was completely monotone  w/ the same low volume. OMG – Talk about incredibly boring. I thought I was at a funeral.

In my opinion, these 5 habits are very effective but very difficult.
1: Respect others without benefits
2: Honesty
3: Authenticity
4: Integrity
5: Love

I disagree. Complaining has a value , as does gossip..which can be hugely funny and inclusive , even for the person who is being gossiped about !
I'm not sure I want to be talked to by a self-appointed saint imposing his own standards of communication on me. Its end result might be that we self impose restraints on our freedom to talk if there aren't enough doing that already.

The truth is that 99% of the people who is watching didnt remember these tricks in few days… we just saw for entertainment..

Awe who cares!!! (joke). Your slant on gossip was wonderful. Somewhere it is written that the tongue is the human body's most dangerous part. Another thing that makes it hard for people to listen, I mean to really HEAR not only the words, but the intent. To do this one must first empty their minds as much as possible. This is called active listening and is, of course, essential to my line of work as a musician. Too often, people are thinking of some comeback, and those "non-conversations" are useless exercises in ego battling. One more thing, one of my favorite bits is, "The loudest person in the room is the most afraid person."

Oh dear, another deluded idiot. He mentions facts as being different to opinions. So what is the strict definition of 'fact'? Many so called 'facts' are simply the result of someone's opinion! Move on folks, absolutely nothing to see – or hear – here.

Strange appearance, he looks like an alien – that shirt was not made on this Planet! So what is the 'take home' message' here? Very forgettable lecture that adds up to zero useful content.

A Brit lecturing to an American audience… he's probably considered a novelty item because of his 'British' accent.

Well the first thing is you need to have knowledge and know what exactly your talking about. Also if your entertaing that helps

avoid these features:
gossip – builds distrust and discomfort; if you can talk about one you can talk about anyone (talk well about somebody only, or nothing at all?)
judging – its hard to talk when you feel judged
negativity – its hard to listen to negativity; it just pulls you down too
complaining – perpetuates misery
excuses – avoiding responsibility; feels dishonest and untrustworthy
exaggeration – takes away genuity of language; feels dishonest and boring
dogmatism – treating your own opinions as truth; hard to open up genuine debate/changing and understanding of beliefs; seems closed and unapproachable

speak with these intentions:
honesty – be clear and straight; accept the consequences
authenticity – be yourself; dont hide what you really feel
integrity – keep promises; to become dependable
love – wish your conversational partner well; only want them to make the best decision and succeed; you cant judge when you love

change these to change nuance:
register – where your voice comes from; nose, throat, chest, stomach
timbre – how your voice feels; soft, smooth, scratchy, grating
prosody – the rhythm and tone of your speech; flat, multideminsional, up, down
pace – the speed of your speech; fast, slow
pitch – the height of your speech; high, low
volume – the size of your speech; high, low of your speech; fast, slow
pitch – the height of your speech; high, low
volume – the size of your speech; high, low

I find that in some culture, people end their sentence with a high pitch and sounds like a question. eg. scottish. I might be wrong

The voice is really a powerful instrument, it is always good to learn and review a little more about communication and vocal techniques. Although the speech of the video is well systematized and easy to understand, the systematization also caused me a little monotony, but the examples were great and broke this mood, were the best part as well as the vocal exercise with the audience, I confess that I followed from home. Finally, I propagate your conviction that the idea of ​​understanding deserves to be spread.

How about just saying the TRUTH? Which DOES include Gossiping, Judging etc. How abt emphasizing that ppl who ONLY tak positive are Pretentious Liars and are NOT Truthful. Like this man- Julian Treasure could be one of them. I am sick of those "Wanna be a Good Human Hypocrites" !! Just be Truthful <3

Human voice and source of distance from electronics gadgets…. Either a tv speaker behind, front or side but what about speakers of mobiles….. Generally headphones soooooo near source

Oh blam through off….. Languages…???..applicable on any language…. gossip/wispering so close to ears due to headphones

The real problem with making sense to other people is.. you tend to piss them off on how ignorant they are, about how you just made sense.. and that they really are as ignorant as they think they are.. surprises them.. to be even more pissed, with how you made sense to them… memory loops and they crash.

Need another video.. how to tell if people are listening to what your saying.. and not just clicking on a random video..some people look like they want to listen.. but really just want you to stop talking.. and will agree with you.. that you think they wanted to listen, is in your own imagination.. just like me.. not watching this video.

You can wish someone well and be judgemental, judgements can be positive, like 'You look pretty today', this is a judgement.

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Honestly, I find it hard to stay away from gossip, whether it's listening or doing it myself. I'm not proud of it, I try to stay away from it but when I socialize, I can't help it especially it's something common to do when I am with other people and I can't just stay alone all the time.

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The problem is, from the listening end, what is an "excuse" and what is a call to empathy? When does dismissal based on the thought that what you're hearing is "excuses", become cover for a lack of empathy?

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