Watching TED Talks is a popular pastime at CN&CO. We visit regularly to clear our heads, have a laugh or get inspired. TED Talks open our minds, spark new ways of thinking and can lead to some very interesting conversations. Each week we pick a favourite and publish it on a Tuesday, because we like how “TED Talk Tuesday” sounds. This week we hear from Emi Adriano 

Flipping through Pinterest, I came across a quote by Hafiz that read, “the words you speak become the house you live in.” This concept stuck with me as more often than not we speak reactively and responsively, without considering the way in which we speak and how our words may in effect, affect the people we are speaking to.

Julian Treasure unpacks the human voice, the one instrument we have at our fingertips and the most powerful sound in the world. But how do we speak powerfully so that people truly listen?

When speaking to others, there are certain things we should avoid. These are referred to as the seven deadly sins of speaking, which are:

  • Gossip
  • Judging
  • Negativity
  • Complaining
  • Excuses
  • Lying
  • Dogmatism

There are also four powerful foundations that we can stand on to make our speech powerful:

  • Honesty – be straight and clear
  • Authenticity – standing in your own truths
  • Integrity – be your word
  • Love – wish well on others

HAIL itself means to great or acclaim enthusiastically which could be the result how our words will be received if we speak in conjunction with those four things.

He then refers to the toolbox to which we all possesses that we should consider when speaking, whether it be in a meeting, a presentation or talk or simply amongst friends and family so that our words are received positively so that individuals are enticed to truthfully listen.

The tools in the toolbox are:

  • Register
  • Timbre
  • Prosody
  • Pace
  • Pitch
  • Volume

Sound should not be imposed on other individuals. Whatever it is that we are doing, we should consider our toolbox and pay specific attention to the delivery of our voices. We should not only speak to be heard, but to be listened to.

We a daily basis we are speaking into noisy environments to people who aren’t listening. We should consider what the world would be like if we were to speak powerfully and listen attentively into an environment fit for purpose. In doing so, we should be conscious of the way we speak in order to give power to our voice and by doing so, create a consuming sound so that people are responsive and understanding becomes the norm.

“If you are silent, be silent out of love. If you speak, speak out of love” – St Augustine

Have a look at this TED Talk by Julian Treasure for more about the power of speaking so that people want to listen.