Julian Treasure is a sound and communication expert, founder of The Sound Agency, which creates favorable soundscapes and answers the question “how does your brand sound?”, a well-known TED talks lecturer. TED – an acronym: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED – an American media organization that publishes speeches on the Internet for free distribution on various topics (science, art, design, politics, culture, business, global issues, technology, and entertainment). The main slogan of the talks is ideas worth spreading.

In his book “How to be Heard. Secrets for Powerful Speaking and ListeningJulian Treasure gives useful tips on managing the sound environment at work and home, exercises for developing effective listening and speaking skills, and shares the rules for preparing for public speaking.

We constantly hear different sounds, they can affect our mood and health, and they are also the main element of communication between people. By recognizing the impact of sound on everyday life, you can improve your quality of life.

High noise levels cause stress, as well as increase the risk of heart attacks and harm the nervous system. You need to learn how to adapt sounds to yourself so that they help you in life, and not interfere. In the book “How to be Heard. Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening”, the author gives some tips for managing sounds. If you have set up a sound notification about messages, turn them off and develop the habit of checking your email and messengers at regular intervals so that you don’t get distracted all the time.

Powerful Speaking and Listening Book Cover
Powerful Speaking and Listening Book Cover

Use noise-canceling headphones when flying and at work, especially if you work in open space. For more effective work, try to choose slow music without sudden melodic and rhythmic changes. If you have trouble sleeping, try listening to the sound of the surf at a rate of 6-10 waves per minute. This temp is like the breathing of a sleeping person and perfectly calms.

Develop effective communication skills, learn to express your thoughts so that you are heard — this also reduces stress levels. There are four psychological factors that the author calls leeches that draw energy from communication.

Communication leeches

1. Looking good. 

This factor is expressed in:

– I Know. The desire to show that everything the other person says is well known to you

– Speechwriting. The habit of not listening to another person but concentrating only on your monologue

– Competitive speaking. When a person talks about something, and you try to present yourself in a better position concerning their story with your answer

– Embellishment. Exaggeration and the use of many metaphors

2. Being right. 

This refers to the habit of interrupting other people.

3. People-pleasing. 

The desire to please everyone. This is manifested in the habit of agreeing and does not contribute to open communication.

4. Fixing. 

This is reflected in the intolerance of other people’s negative emotions. Such people instantly rush to help even where it is not needed. 

Julian Treasure gives seven deadly sins that prevent communication

  1. Gossip
  2. Condemning
  3. Negativity
  4. Complaining
  5. Excuses
  6. Exaggeration and lying
  7. Dogmatism

All people make these mistakes. But when the deadly sin becomes a habit, problems cannot be avoided. Conscious training helps you get rid of these bad habits.

Gossip is one of the seven deadly sins that prevent communication
Gossip is one of the seven deadly sins

To avoid misunderstandings in communication, you must avoid the following 6 enemies:

  1. Assumptions
  2. Generalisations
  3. Emotions
  4. Noise
  5. Time
  6. Semantics

In his book “How to be Heard. Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening”, Julian Treasure talks about the importance of listening. To be heard, you must first learn to listen. Effective listening requires awareness and attention.

Julian Treasure describes three types of listening

The first is outer listening, recognition of external sounds. Unconsciously, each person passes important sounds through filters that cut off everything unnecessary. A person’s filters are influenced by culture, language, values, attitudes, beliefs/assumptions, expectations, intentions, and emotions. For effective communication, you need to be aware of these filters and disable them if necessary.

The second is inner listening. In this case, we are talking about the inner voice of a person. Often an inner voice criticizes our actions. To manage it, you need to realize that the inner voice is only a part of your personality, not the whole personality.

The third is created listening. It is an understanding of the state of the audience that is created during the speaker’s speech. The ability to feel the audience distinguishes the best speakers and outstanding leaders.

The author talks about seven practices for improving listening

  1. Silence. You need to appreciate the silence and try to practice three minutes of absolute silence every day.
  2. The mixer. You can amplify or mute the sounds that are present in your world by switching your attention.
  3. Savouring. Savor sounds like delicious food, and over time, your ability to hear will increase.
  4. Listening with. Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart.
  5. Listening from. Listen without filters. You need to create your set of listening positions.
  6. Listening for. You might listen for affirmation and encouragement; inspiration; connection; ways to help – or anything you choose.
  7. RASA – an acronym: Receive-Appreciate-Summarise-Ask. This model describes the stages of active listening: first, a full perception of the information (receive), then an expression of gratitude to the person for what he told (appreciate), then a retelling of what he heard in his own words (summarise), and finally a clarifying or complementary question on the topic of conversation (ask).
Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart.
Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart
Julian Treasure talks about other models for effective listening

HARAH: Humility-Awareness-Respect-Attention-Humour

The 4 CS: Commitment-Consciousness-Compassion-Curiosity

To successfully perform in front of an audience, you need to learn powerful speaking. The author suggests using the model HAIL for this purpose. 

– The H is honesty. No lies. It sounds easy, but it is difficult to apply. Be clear and be straight.

– The A is authenticity – approach to speaking where different personas cone to the fore depending on the audience.

– The I is integrity. The author defines it: be your word.

– The L is love.

When preparing for a speech, you should also pay attention to the following things

  • The big idea.  Indicate the main idea of the speech. It is necessary to be able to say only what is necessary and important, discarding all non-essential things
  • Perfect content. Impact stems from delivering great content well, in the right place at the right time. The author offers the following formula: Content+Delivery+Context=Impact
  • Intentions. If you want to create effective content, the first step is to be clear on 3 sets of intentions. The first set – your intentions for you. What do you want to achieve? The second set – your intentions for them. What do you want to give? The third set – their intentions. What does your audience expect from you?
  • Script. Make a plan for the speech.
  • 4 MAT. Dr. Bernice Mc Carthy developed a model of the way kids learn in 1979. This model was called 4 MAT. According to 4 MAT, there are 4 types of learners. Each has a favorite question.
  1. Why – imaginative learners.
  2. What – analytic learners.
  3. How – common-sense learners.
  4. What if – dynamic learners.

By answering all 4 questions in your content, you can increase the chances of audience engagement in your talk.

  • Think-Feel-Know. Clive Hyland believes that humans process information at three levels, linked to three main brain areas. According to his approach, he divides people into 3 types: Think-Feel-Know. In your speech, you need to be sure that affects all these types of people.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Practice. Practice. Practice
There are six types of story:

  1. Rags to riches (rise)
  2. Riches to rags (fall)
  3. Man in a hole (fall then rise)
  4. Icarus (rise then fall)
  5. Cinderella (rise then fall then rise)
  6. Oedipus (fall then rise then fall)
  • Memory. If you want to remember your speech, use one of the mnemonic techniques. But you don’t have to speak from memory. Most speakers don’t rely on memory alone.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice.
  • Slides. Avoid slides in your presentation with a lot of text and any lists. A good slide should have only 1-3 words and an expressive picture. 

Watch the purity and clarity of the language, the tone, posture, and gesture. Carefully consider and discuss all the technical details of your speech. Warm-up before the speech: chest, lips, tongue, voice. Be attentive to your presentation and your audience.

Julian Treasure lists common errors during speech: speaking to the screen, not looking at the audience, lack variation, tics, overtime, rushing off. 

And he advises avoiding the following danger words and word groups from your speech: 

  1. Should
  2. Just
  3. But
  4. You made me
  5. Maximizers (always, never, everyone, nobody)

After reading the book “How to be Heard. Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening”, you will be able to understand the impact of sound on your health, work, learn to speak so that you can be heard, and also love to perform in public and do it successfully.

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