In his TEDtalk, Julian Treasure speaks about, you guessed it, pubic speaking. If you have ever had the problem of people not listening to what you have to say, or you’re worried about having this problem, Treasure is here to help. He starts off by saying there are 7 things you shouldn’t do if you want to be a successful public speaker or if you just want more people to listen to.
- Gossip – Gossiping is when you say unkind things about someone who isn’t there. It’s hard to trust people who gossip because we know once we leave, they will probably be gossiping about us.
- Judging – When you judge others in your speech, you will make your audience feel like they are under scrutiny.
- Negativity – Nobody likes to be brought down when they are in a good mood. Negativity is something that easily spreads, and no one likes to sit and listen to how bad things are. Don’t rain on other’s parades!
- Complaining – Everyone has troubles they have to deal with, but that does not mean they want to hear about your problems. Complaining, according to Treasure, is “viral misery” and doesn’t do anything but bring people down. Don’t be a drag!
- Excuses – Whether you were late to work, failed to turn in a school assignment, or forgot about dinner plans with your loved one, nobody likes to hear excuses. Own up to what you did instead of being a ‘blame thrower’; throwing blame everywhere else besides yourself.
- Exaggeration – Using exaggerations is misleading. It can also be directly correlated to untruthfulness and no one likes liars.
- Dogmatism – According to Treasure, dogmatism ‘is the confusion of fact and opinion’. It isn’t fun being bombarded with opinions that are presented as facts and most people won’t listen to you out of sheer principle.
After Treasure gets the deadly sins of public speaking out of the way, he goes on to give us four foundational principles we should keep in mind. He gives us an acronym that spells H.A.I.L.
- H – The H stands for Honesty. Being clear and straightforward will make you a more trustworthy person. The truth never lies.
- A – Be Authentic. Being yourself is the best thing you can do when speaking. Covering yourself up with a fake personality will reveal that you are not being honest with yourself or others.
- I – The I is for Integrity. Following up your words with appropriate action will show that you live by your word. Your actions will reflect your trustworthiness.
- L – L is for Love. This doesn’t mean romantic love but you should wish the best for others and humanity as a whole. Genuinely caring for people will make them hard to judge. This keeps your heart open and pure.
Treasure then speaks about how remarkable the human voice is. He describes us as having a toolbox at our disposal that most of us don’t use. He then lists the tools he believes will help increase the power of our public speaking.
- Register – This is the tone or pitch of your voice. No one takes purposely-high pitched voices seriously but Treasure tells us that people with deeper voices usually get elected because humans relate power and authority to depth.
- Timbre– This is the way your voice feels. Most people enjoy smooth and calm voices and if you don’t have one, voice coaches make a career out of helping people with their exact posture and breathing, helping to improve timbre.
- Prosody – This is the way that you talk. The melody that gives your words their more exact meanings in context. Speaking monotone takes the life out of what you’re saying while using repetitive prosody will have you ending every statement as if it were a question. Good prosody will keep your listeners captivated.
- Pace – Saying things fast will make people excited while slowing down emphasizes our words. Silence is also a good tool to use because it can draw even more power to your words.
- Pitch – Pitch shows the emotion in the words you are using. Angrily shouting will show you are angry while speaking in a “mopey” voice will show you are sad.
- Volume – Speaking loudly will draw attention and doesn’t take much focus to listen to while speaking quietly will require more attention from the audience. It can be used to play with the attention and focus of your audience.
Treasure ends his talk by saying these factors will make you powerful at public speaking. He asks us to imagine a world built around making the world sound beautiful, where understanding is the norm instead of misunderstanding. This dream of his would allow the world to come closer in communication instead of isolating us. Following these tips and avoiding the bad habits will result in more people wanting to listen to what you have to say when public speaking.