Julian Treasure is the chair of the Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses – offices, retailers, hotels on how to use sound.
Sometimes you talk and get the feeling that noone is listening. Julian starts by listing the ‘7 deadly sins’ of conversation – basically people don’t want to listen if you are doing this
- Gossip (speaking about people who aren’t present, and probably saying nasty things about the listener later)
- Judging (judging the person you are speaking to, and finding them wanting)
- Negativity (negative outlook)
- Complaining (achieves nothing)
- Excuses (passing problems of the world on to everyone else)
- Dogmatism (mixing up facts and opinion)
However there are 4 positive, powerful ways to improve your conversation style – summarised as HAIL.
- Honesty – be true and clear with what you mean
- Authenticity – be yourself, stand in your own truth
- Integrity – do what you say, be trustworthy
- Love – wish people well
You can also look at how you say it – tools in your speech patterns to enhance your speech.
- Register – a deeper voice from the chest speaks with more power and authority.
- Timbre – how the voice feels or sounds – distinct from tone or loudness.
- prosody – the sing-song or up and down of the movement – opposite of montonous. Some problems are an upward inflection at the end of every sentence to make everything a question?
- Pace- a rapid pace, then slowing down for emphasis. Or just pausing occasionally can be very powerful.
- Pitch – a higher pitch can make you sound more excited
- Volume – quiet to make people lean in and pay attention, louder can also show excitement. Don’t broadcast loudly all the time.
Finally he discusses 6 vocal warmup exercises – to get you ready before you need to talk. This includes breathing, making noises with lips, ‘rapberries’, lalala on tongue, practising a rolled ‘r’, and moving through the whole range of pitch.