Make Your Speech Powerful

Make Your Speech Powerful

More than ever before, people are surrounded with information from a variety of sources. What can we do to make our communication stand out in the workplace?
Julian Treasure, a sound expert from the United Kingdom, offers advice on how to speak so that people want to listen. First, there are communication habits that we need to avoid, particularly in a professional environment. Julian calls these the “seven deadly sins of speaking”:

1.Gossip – “speaking ill of someone who isn’t present.”
2.Judging – “it’s hard to listen to someone if you know that you’re being judged.”
3.Negativity – this spreads dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
4.Complaining – another form of negativity.
5.Excuses – “when someone doesn’t take responsibility for their actions.”
6.Lying – or exaggerating the facts.
7.Dogmatism – when someone is narrow-minded or strongly expresses their opinions without giving any supporting evidence.

Even though these negative communication patterns can be easy to slip into, we have to consciously move away from these habits. Not only is negative speech emotionally draining, it can result in other people being less likely to want to listen to us or seek our advice.

Julian offers “four cornerstones to powerful speech and making change in the world.” These are communication habits that we should focus on in the workplace for job maintenance and career growth:

1.Honesty – be true and straightforward in what you say.
2.Authenticity – be yourself.
3.Integrity – be someone people can trust.
4.Love – be kind.

These four words also make up an acronym: HAIL, which means “to greet with enthusiastic approval,” notes Julian. When people see that our speech is clear and that we follow through on what we say, they will want to listen to us. When our honesty is tempered with kindness, people will be more likely to trust us. When we are truly wishing others well, we won’t be judging them, and they will sense our acceptance.

Practicing these four communication habits—honesty, authenticity, integrity, and love—will not only make our speech powerful but also help us to build relationships in the workplace that contribute to our professional success.

This article is based on a TED Talks presentation by Julian Treasure. Watch it here: