There are seven habits according to Julian Treasure, an expert in sound and communications as they pertain to businesses, which people can fall in to that make them weaker speakers. Not weaker in the sense that they speak poorly or dont communicate well—in the sense that no one wants to listen to them.
So what are these habits, and how can we break them to become more powerful, influential speakers?
The first habit that almost every human falls victim to is gossip. Speaking badly about either people, especially behind their backs, is not a nice habit and more often than not, if someone is gossiping to you, theyre also gossiping about you. Avoid participating in and listening to gossip—not only will it simplify your life by eliminating unnecessary conflict with others, it shows that you can be trusted with sensitive information.
Judging others is one way to alienate the people around you, and alienated individuals dont feel very obligated to listen to you. You may not have the entire context of that persons situation, and making snap assumptions can be damaging.
Its very difficult to listen someone who is constantly negative and never sees—or talks about—the positive things in life. In fact, listening to someone speak in negatives can be physically and mentally exhausting.
Take responsibility for your actions and dont make excuses. No one wants to listen to someone who places blame on everyone else, rather than owning up to mistakes.
Be careful with how often you exaggerate around others. Eventually, exaggeration can escalate into flat out lying, and who wants to listen to someone they know is lying?
Dont constantly switch your opinions and facts; keep them entirely separate. People are generally interested in hearing your opinions, especially if youre friends with them, but dont state your opinions as fact, or try and convince others that your opinion is fact.
So, how do we break these habits?
There four powerful cornerstones that Julian Treasure discusses in his TED talk that enable us to become stronger speakers. These four cornerstones encourage people to listen to what you have to say—and those cornerstones can be described with HAIL.