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  • The human voice:

  • It's the instrument we all play.

  • It's the most powerful sound in the world, probably.

  • It's the only one that can start a war

  • or say "I love you."

  • And yet many people have the experience

  • that when they speak, people don't listen to them.

  • And why is that?

  • How can we speak powerfully

  • to make change in the world?

  • What I'd like to suggest, there are

  • a number of habits that we need to move away from.

  • I've assembled for your pleasure here

  • seven deadly sins of speaking.

  • I'm not pretending this is an exhaustive list,

  • but these seven, I think, are pretty large

  • habits that we can all fall into.

  • First, gossip,

  • speaking ill of somebody who's not present.

  • Not a nice habit, and we know perfectly well

  • the person gossiping five minutes later

  • will be gossiping about us.

  • Second, judging.

  • We know people who are like this in conversation,

  • and it's very hard to listen to somebody

  • if you know that you're being judged

  • and found wanting at the same time.

  • Third, negativity.

  • You can fall into this.

  • My mother, in the last years of her life,

  • became very, very negative, and it's hard to listen.

  • I remember one day, I said to her,

  • "It's October 1 today,"

  • and she said, "I know, isn't it dreadful?"

  • (Laughter)

  • It's hard to listen when somebody's that negative.

  • And another form of negativity, complaining.

  • Well, this is the national art of the U.K.

  • It's our national sport. We complain about the weather,

  • about sport, about politics, about everything,

  • but actually complaining is viral misery.

  • It's not spreading sunshine and lightness in the world.

  • Excuses. We've all met this guy.

  • Maybe we've all been this guy.

  • Some people have a blamethrower.

  • They just pass it on to everybody else

  • and don't take responsibility for their actions,

  • and again, hard to listen to somebody who is being like that.

  • Penultimate, the sixth of the seven,

  • embroidery, exaggeration.

  • It demeans our language, actually, sometimes.

  • For example, if I see something

  • that really is awesome,

  • what do I call it?

  • (Laughter)

  • And then of course this exaggeration becomes lying,

  • out and out lying, and we don't want to listen

  • to people we know are lying to us.

  • And finally, dogmatism,

  • the confusion of facts with opinions.

  • When those two things get conflated,

  • you're listening into the wind.

  • You know, somebody is bombarding you with their opinions as if they were true.

  • It's difficult to listen to that.

  • So here they are, seven deadly sins of speaking.

  • These are things I think we need to avoid.

  • But is there a positive way to think about this?

  • Yes, there is.

  • I'd like to suggest that there are four

  • really powerful cornerstones, foundations,

  • that we can stand on if we want our speech

  • to be powerful and to make change in the world.

  • Fortunately, these things spell a word.

  • The word is "hail," and it has a great definition as well.

  • I'm not talking about the stuff that falls from the sky

  • and hits you on the head.

  • I'm talking about this definition,

  • to greet or acclaim enthusiastically,

  • which is how I think our words will be received

  • if we stand on these four things.

  • So what do they stand for?

  • See if you can guess.

  • The H, honesty, of course,

  • being true in what you say, being straight and clear.

  • The A is authenticity, just being yourself.

  • A friend of mine described it as

  • standing in your own truth,

  • which I think is a lovely way to put it.

  • The I is integrity, being your word,

  • actually doing what you say,

  • and being somebody people can trust.

  • And the L is love.

  • I don't mean romantic love,

  • but I do mean wishing people well, for two reasons.

  • First of all, I think absolute honesty

  • may not be what we want.

  • I mean, my goodness, you look ugly this morning.

  • Perhaps that's not necessary.

  • Tempered with love, of course, honesty is a great thing.

  • But also, if you're really wishing somebody well,

  • it's very hard to judge them at the same time.

  • I'm not even sure you can do those two things

  • simultaneously.

  • So hail.

  • Also, now that's what you say,

  • and it's like the old song, it is what you say,

  • it's also the way that you say it.

  • You have an amazing toolbox.

  • This instrument is incredible,

  • and yet this is a toolbox that very few people have ever opened.

  • I'd like to have a little rummage in there

  • with you now and just pull a few tools out

  • that you might like to take away and play with,

  • which will increase the power of your speaking.

  • Register, for example.

  • Now, falsetto register may not be very useful most of the time,

  • but there's a register in between.

  • I'm not going to get very technical about this

  • for any of you who are voice coaches.

  • You can locate your voice, however.

  • So if I talk up here in my nose, you can hear the difference.

  • If I go down here in my throat,

  • which is where most of us speak from most of the time.

  • But if you want weight,

  • you need to go down here to the chest.

  • You hear the difference?

  • We vote for politicians with lower voices, it's true,

  • because we associate depth with power

  • and with authority.

  • That's register.

  • Then we have timbre.

  • It's the way your voice feels.

  • Again, the research shows that we prefer voices

  • which are rich, smooth, warm, like hot chocolate.

  • Well if that's not you, that's not the end of the world,

  • because you can train.

  • Go and get a voice coach.

  • And there are amazing things you can do

  • with breathing, with posture, and with exercises

  • to improve the timbre of your voice.

  • Then prosody. I love prosody.

  • This is the sing-song, the meta-language

  • that we use in order to impart meaning.

  • It's root one for meaning in conversation.

  • People who speak all on one note

  • are really quite hard to listen to

  • if they don't have any prosody at all.

  • That's where the world monotonic comes from,

  • or monotonous, monotone.

  • Also we have repetitive prosody now coming in,

  • where every sentence ends as if it were a question

  • when it's actually not a question, it's a statement.

  • (Laughter)

  • And if you repeat that one over and over,

  • it's actually restricting your ability

  • to communicate through prosody,

  • which I think is a shame,

  • so let's try and break that habit.

  • Pace. I can get very, very excited

  • by saying something really, really quickly,

  • or I can slow right down to emphasize,

  • and at the end of that, of course, is our old friend

  • silence.

  • There's nothing wrong with a bit of silence

  • in a talk, is there?

  • We don't have to fill it with ums and ahs.

  • It can be very powerful.

  • Of course, pitch often goes along with pace

  • to indicate arousal, but you can do it just with pitch.

  • Where did you leave my keys?

  • Where did you leave my keys?

  • So slightly different meaning

  • in those two deliveries.

  • And finally, volume.

  • I can get really excited by using volume.

  • Sorry about that if I startled anybody.

  • Or, I can have you really pay attention

  • by getting very quiet.

  • Some people broadcast the whole time.

  • Try not to do that.

  • That's called sodcasting,

  • imposing your sound on people around you

  • carelessly and inconsiderately. Not nice.

  • Of course, where this all comes into play most of all

  • is when you've got something really important to do.

  • It might be standing on a stage like this

  • and giving a talk to people.

  • It might be proposing marriage,

  • asking for a raise, a wedding speech.

  • Whatever it is, if it's really important,

  • you owe it to yourself to look at this toolbox

  • and the engine that it's going to work on,

  • and no engine works well without being warmed up.

  • Warm up your voice.

  • Actually, let me show you how to do that.

  • Would you all like to stand up for a moment?

  • I'm going to show you the six vocal warmup exercises

  • that I do before every talk I ever do.

  • Anytime you're going to talk to anybody important, do these.

  • First, arms up, deep breath in,

  • and sigh out, ahhhhh, like that.

  • One more time.

  • Ahhhh, very good.

  • Now we're going to warm up our lips,

  • and we're going to go ba, ba, ba, ba,

  • ba, ba, ba, ba. Very good.

  • And now, brrrrrrrrrr,

  • just like when you were a kid.

  • Brrrr. Now your lips should be coming alive.

  • We're going to do the tongue next

  • with exaggerated la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.

  • Beautiful. You're getting really good at this.

  • And then, roll an R. Rrrrrrr.

  • That's like champagne for the tongue.

  • Finally, and if I can only do one,

  • the pros call this the siren.

  • It's really good. It starts with "we" and goes to "aw."

  • The "we" is high, the "aw" is low.

  • So you go, weeeaawww, weeeaawww.

  • Fantastic. Give yourselves a round of applause.

  • Take a seat, thank you. (Applause)

  • Next time you speak, do those in advance.

  • Now let me just put this in context to close.

  • This is a serious point here.

  • This is where we are now, right?

  • We speak not very well

  • into people who simply aren't listening

  • in an environment that's all about noise and bad acoustics.

  • I have talked about that on this stage

  • in different phases.

  • What would the world be like

  • if we were speaking powerfully

  • to people who were listening consciously

  • in environments which were actually fit for purpose?

  • Or to make that a bit larger,

  • what would the world be like

  • if we were creating sound consciously

  • and consuming sound consciously

  • and designing all our environments

  • consciously for sound?

  • That would be a world that does sound beautiful,

  • and one where understanding

  • would be the norm,

  • and that is an idea worth spreading.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you. (Applause)

The human voice:

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A2 UK TED ba la listen people toolbox

【TED】Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen (How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure)