How to Speak so that People Want to Listen

Finding your “teaching voice” can take several months after teacher training, which is often devoted to rote memorization of class dialogue. Learning the proper sequencing of commands to teach effectively (and nonstop for 90 minutes!) takes tremendous effort.

It is never too early to learn the importance of vocal qualities that enable class instruction to truly sink in with students. Julian Treasure studies sound, and his Ted Talk is a great way to begin understanding the “yamas” and the “niyamas” of speaking, and the vocal qualities in your toolbox that are the cornerstones of “How to Speak so that People Want to Listen.”

Julian describes the seven deadly sins of speaking:

  1. gossip
  2. judging
  3. negativity
  4. complaining
  5. excuses
  6. lying
  7. dogmatism

He goes on to describe the four foundations of our speech with the acronym “HAIL”:

  1. Honesty = be clear and straight
  2. Authenticity = be yourself
  3. Integrity = be your word
  4. Love = wish them well

How do we SOUND when we speak? Begin to understand these aspects of voice available to you in your “toolbox:”

  1. Register (falsetto voice vs. speaking from the “gut,” or in-between)
  2. Timbre (the way your voice “feels,” e.g., rich and smooth)
  3. Prosody (sing-song vs. monotone)
  4. Pace (fast, slow, and silence)
  5. Pitch
  6. Volume

Enjoy the journey!

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