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How to speak to be heard?

One person can speak publicly just pronouncing particular words. But a good speaker tells not just to be listened but to be heard. Everyone should possess a skill to speak clearly and persuasively: a young man that comes to a job interview for the first time, a mum who has to explain to her child basic rules of behavior in the society, a scientist that made a discovery and seeks to tell his colleagues about it. As you see, making yourself heard is a necessity. Any entrepreneur will confirm that without the skill of persuasive public speaking you cannot achieve success in any business.

Unfortunately, at school we learn only how to read and write, but none of us is taught how to listen and to express thoughts efficiently. That is why many adults face an issue of not being able to speak in public. In a modern world with its crazy pace of life many would prefer to communicate virtually in messengers losing a habit of communication in real life.  And when we must contact someone personally such people feel discomfort. They cannot express themselves so the others would hear them and not just their nod their heads as a sing of politeness.

Experts on communication studies attach great importance to the people`s ability to influence others by using the instrument everyone possesses – their voice. But not everyone can use it properly and effectively. On the one hand, we find ourselves among sounds. But nevertheless, we cannot properly benefit from the voice that was given by nature so we could convey some sense.

Julian Treasure and his findings

Jiulian Treasure is one of the key experts on public speaking techniques. He dedicated numerous books and lectures to this issue. Treasure claims that there are at least three reasons why the audience does not listen to the speaker.

- Negativity. Some people see every aspect of life in a negative way, and they try to spread this feeling among others. Such people are hard to communicate with. One can hear speakers like this only with a very big effort.

- Excuses. People that are difficult to communicate can be those who are constantly accusing everyone – their parents, neighbors, the government and so on. If their behavior is also characterized as ordinary nagging, complaining about life it is not surprising that others do not listen even ignore such any kind of interaction with them.

- Embroidery. When a person tries to embellish reality, he or she is very likely to say a lie. And lying is by no means attractive for the auditory.

But there are a few traits that draw attention to the speaker. They are sincerity, honesty, and desire to be yourself. According to Trager, what people are most influenced by is the voice. And this is of utmost importance when you must convey something really relevant.

The researchers demonstrate that the perception of certain speeches depends on the parameters of the speaker`s voice, such as:

- Most people prefer deep, warm, and soft voices. Such sounds are pleasant to listen to. While harsh voices are very likely to entail negative emotions.

- Speech’s pace. If one speaks too excitedly, quickly, the auditory will perceive the tension. This can engender anxiety and will obstacle normal information perception. On the contrary, if the speaker talks slowly, he or she can improve the speech by making it calmer and more understandable. The pauses will help to place emphasis appropriately.

- Timbre. Scholars noticed long ago that people are more prone to put their trust into those who have a low voice, that is why they are attracted by people with such a voice. If one wants to express confidence, authority he or she speaks in a lower voice.

- Volume. By making music sound more or less loud we not only convey a part of the information massaged but also express our own attitude.

In his book “TED talks: speaking, listening, hearing” Treasure gives his own advice regarding how to speak brightly, persuasively so that others want to listen to you. The skill can be taught by making a row of relatively simple exercises and developing the voice`s paraments. As many experts think one should start fixing communication mistakes by fixing his own mistakes.

Voice is the instrument of emotions

In order to make the audience want to listen to your speech you should have certain tools in your arsenal. Before speaking it is better to verify if you have all the necessary stuff and define your strong and weak points. The speaker will be heard if his voice expresses emotions, feelings, internal energy. Besides, the speech must reflect what people think and have a positive influence on them.

By controlling your energy, your voice soundings and by using the right timbre, volume, and pace you can avoid monotony in your speech. Your emotions will help you to convey the necessary sense. Moreover, a person is known to be given information not only verbally but also reads universal signs such as gestures, facial moves, manner of speaking and so on and so forth. Thus, helps listeners to understand better what you are saying.

In order to convey exactly what you want use your voice – know the breathing techniques and know how to place emphasis. Improve your voice`s characteristics, enlarge your vocabulary and try to have a new experience in communications with the audience. You can learn everything if you control how your voice sounds through the day and what emotions it expresses. The key aspect is to have a desire and be ready to practice.

Why is it important to have a proper voice?

I do often come across people who ask me to teach them how to speak so they are heard. The skill they need for their professional and everyday activity. During personal or business talks it is essential to be able to convey the right sense.

In order to be heard it is of utmost importance to be able to benefit from all capacities your voice possesses. You should know how to play with the voice and control how you sound. You can achieve that by defining what exactly you want to make people know, what emotions you want to express and what feedback you intend to produce. Such a preparation, and it is not important whether you speak in front of your colleagues or only one person, puts you into special conditions which will be conveyed through the voice and the audience will listen to you actively.

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Ekaterina Kardakova

Hello everyone! My name is Ekaterina Kardakova. I am an opera singer, vocal and presentation coach. Learn more about me and my work.

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