Today I want to talk about the power of speaking. Five times as many people have watched my talk about speaking than the one about listening. That says a lot.
Speaking well is very important. And there’s a circular relationship between speaking and listening. Good speakers tend to be better listeners, and visa versa. Our speaking abilities have some very important outcomes.
You can listen to the audio blog or read the transcription below.
Have you ever had the experience of listening to an inspiring speaker? Have you listened to someone who made you want to follow them to the ends of the earth?
Most great projects have come about because somebody, somewhere, has been a persuasive enrolling speaker. Think about your work. Most career achievements need a team. Getting people on board is a huge part of that.
Speaking can be just as important with family too. Have you ever had a recalcitrant teenager who’s associating with the wrong crowd? Or somebody in the family who’s doing something self-destructive? It’s so useful to be able to use your speaking skills to handle the situation in an empathetic way.
The inability to communicate our emotions is frustrating and stressful. Often it can add to an already tense situation. If you can express yourself, you can voice your emotion in a reasonable way.
Have you come across the phrase, “When you do [that], I feel [this]”? It’s a good example of a safe container – a way of expressing emotion without having to shout or ‘be’ the emotion. We can express ourselves and move on.
Many people have approached me in my seminars and said, “Nobody is listening to me. I can’t make myself heard.” And there are so many ways of doing that – my new book covers lots of them.
Storytelling is one that helps a lot. It’s a powerful way of getting your point across in an engaging way. People love hearing “Once upon a time”. It doesn’t have to start so cliched – you could start with “You know, the other day I was…”. Immediately, people listen to your story. It works in all sorts of contexts to help you get your point across.
So, speaking has great outcomes. It is a transformational skill – and one that you can learn. If you’d like to discover more, How to be Heard is full of practical exercises and advice.
I was taught this exercise many years ago by a wise old friend named Charlie. I was bemoaning someone being in my way and Charlie put his hand on my arm.