Talk Tips Tuesday #4: Listen More Carefully

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Public speaking is not a monologue, it’s a conversation. In this conversation one person speaks with words and everyone else speaks with shrugs, crossed legs, chuckles, eye rolls, applause, maybe a whistle, and in very unfortunate circumstances, rotten tomatoes. You have to be able to listen to your audience and engage with them where they are at. Practice this listening in all of your conversations. Hear what the shoulders and eyebrows and posture of your friends and colleagues are saying to you as you tell them about your weekend.  Also, listen to their words. Each. One. Of. Them.  Without formulating a response in your head.  Just listen. And then listen more. Great writers are great readers and great speakers are great listeners.


Homework:  This week, listen carefully to the words people say and to the emotions that seem buried inside of those words.  Journal about what you heard and what you think they WANTED you to hear.  

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Whitney ParnellComment