Whether you want to convey an important message, make or maintain a friendship, get some respect or simply capture someone’s attention, the bottom line is that you want others to listen and take you seriously. Learning what gets others to listen will help you in your relationships throughout life.
An Interactive Activity
When someone truly listens to you, you feel important. You also become drawn to that person and want to hear what she has to say. Stay present, avoid interrupting and completely focus on what someone is saying. You can also summarize what someone said before you respond to assure that person that you understood.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who talks so much that you just stop listening? Stephen D. Boyd, professor emeritus of speech communication at Northern Kentucky University, argues that "we talk too much in our society." Boyd abides by the rule of less is more when speaking. He recommends using short sentences, thinking before speaking and avoiding excessive use of words or phrases like “kind of,” “basically,” “actually," "to be honest" and “generally."
Read Your Audience
In his article, "How to make a Good First Impression: 7 Tips That Really Work," communication expert and University of Georgia instructor Bill Lampton writes that we have only seven to 17 seconds of interacting with someone new before they form an opinion of us. Reading the person with whom you are conversing starts with knowing that person. What are his interests? What offends him? It ends with taking note of how he are responding to you. Does he look bored -- looking away, averting eyes, blank facial expression -- or interested -- animated facial expression, leaning forward, eye contact?
Package Your Words Beautifully
How you say something evidently has a lot more value than what is actually said. According to Keith Souter in his book "How You Can Talk to Anyone," 7 percent of a person's feelings and attitudes are conveyed his words, 38 percent through tone of voice and 55 percent through his body language. Souter recommends that people tape record themselves giving a speech or reading a book. Replaying the tape and noting how interesting you sound with your tone, inflection, depth of voice and articulation can help you practice becoming someone to whom others love to listen.
Beware of elements that will stop communication in its tracks. Not many people will want to listen to someone who interrupts, criticizes, judges, belittles or lies to them. In addition, most people don't want to be included in gossip about others, negativity or complaining and will turn a deaf ear when they hear it. We tend to listen more to people who are positive, kind, honest and take responsibility for their actions.
- Public Speaking Tips: Be Concise!
- BusinsessKnowHow.com: How to Make a Good First Impression: 7 Tips That Really Work
- How You Can Talk to Anyone; Dr. Keith Souter
- Photo Credit Getty Images/Photodisc/Getty Images
- How to Talk to Anyone, 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships; Leil Lowndes
- Reading People; Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, Ph.D. and Wendy Patrick Mazzarella